RD’s Moab City Council Meeting Preview 2021-05-04

[Editor’s note: Both Rani Derasary and Mike Duncan have graciously agreed to let MADAR reuse their regular email updates to constituents. Despite the overlap, we are running both versions of the MCC previews. Readers can choose to read both, either or neither of the previews.]

Good day all. The City Council will have it’s next special meeting/workshop on Tuesday, May 4 to cover 3 items as described in more detail below, but in a nutshell involving: transit, timed entry at Arches National Park and the City’s budget. 

Here are details:
Tuesday, May 4 City Council special meeting – 6:00pm, online only

  • As a reminder to why these meetings are occurring online, as explained in the agenda, “Consistent with provisions of the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act, Utah Code Ann. § 54-2- 207(4), the Moab City Council Chair has issued written determinations supporting the decision to convene electronic meetings of the Council without a physical anchor location. Due to the health and safety risks related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and considering public health orders limiting in-person gatherings, Moab City Council will continue to hold meetings by electronic means.” The public is invited and encouraged to view the Council’s electronic meetings – live or after the fact – on the City’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/MoabCityGovernment
    You can find the 70-page packet for the May 4 meeting here: https://moabcity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_05042021-1037.

The 3 items on the agenda are:

  • Presentation and discussion regarding UDOT’s Proposed Transit Service Alternatives. FYI, Council initially discussed this at our April 27 meeting. (You can listen to that meeting here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U55cyC11AJA – the transit item begins at the 2:07:05 mark). I believe this May 4 slot is an opportunity for Council to have more discussion and ask questions to help us all hone in on which transit option people find most appealing for our community. Please see pages 2-42 of our May 4 packet for more detail. As for more background, the May 4 packet does not include an agenda summary, but the April 27 packet’s agenda summary essentially noted: the desire for a public transportation system in our community; that in Fall 2020 the Arches Hotspot Region Coordinating Committee recommended that $1.5M of Hotspot grant funds be used to fund the first 3 years of a pilot shuttle or transit solution; that the City and County would contribute a total of up to $1M to cover pilot years 4 and 5; Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) contractor Fehr & Peers developed transit alternatives, and presented those alternatives to Council April 27; next UDOT will choose a preferred alternative to recommend to the Utah Transportation Committee (UTC) for approval at UTC’s May meeting.
  • Joint letter to National Park Service to implement a pilot Timed Entry System. While there is no agenda summary in our packet on this item, there is a draft letter to the National Park Service from the Mayor and Grand County Commission Chair about this on packet pages 44-45. The letter comments on several ways in which a timed entry system at Arches National Park could be beneficial – from protecting park resources, visitors’ experience and Park Service employees’ ability to do their jobs, as well as how this relates to traffic congestion. My understanding is that Council will be briefed on the letter May 4, and will be asked whether we support the Mayor in signing it.
  • Fiscal Year End 2022 Budget Workshop. This is the next in the series of workshops the City Council has been holding to help prepare the 2021-2022 budget for passage. There’s no agenda summary about this in our May 4 packet, but you can find the proposed budget on pages 46-70.

That’s it for the special meeting. Have a good week!

Rani Derasary

Moab City Council member