MD’s Moab City Council Meeting Preview 2021-09-14

[Editor’s note: Both Mike Duncan and Rani Derasary 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.]

You can write City Council (anytime, on any subject):

Regular session starts at 7 PM. This meeting is live in City Council chambers. Masks and Social Distancing will be required. Note that Grand County High School and HMK middle school (staff and students) have lately seen a surge in new Covid cases. If you’re not already vaccinated, do it. We’re not getting out of this until more people are.

  • It should be a short public session. Unfortunately for Council and Mayor, there is a, sigh, closed session afterwards. I have not included non-controversial agenda items here. Please see the full agenda at for full details.

Citizens to Be Heard: To have your written comments considered (on any subject) for the Citizens to Be Heard portion of the electronic meeting, please fill out the form found here: You must submit your comments by 7:00 PM on the date of the meeting. Please limit your comments to 400 words.

Acting City Manager Updates – Carly Castle. Moab City administration is in flux, to put it mildly. I’m not sure how much of this is regarded as ‘personnel’ matters and therefore non-public, so forgive me if I tell you too little here. A month or two ago, then City Manager Joel Linares was suspended with pay for a few weeks, then reinstated after an internal investigation was completed. Subsequent to that closure, City Attorney Laurie Simonson resigned. Then Joel notified HR director Dani Guerrero on 8/24 that he was resigning with the agreement that his resignation would be kept secret until 9/7 for the purpose of a smooth staff transition. Joel notified Mayor and Council et al on that date, his last staff day, by email of his resignation. Assistant City Manager Carly Castle has since assumed duties as Acting City Manager.

Sustainability Update –  Mila Dunbar-Irwin.

Grand County School District Update – Amanda Knill.

Walnut Lane Updates – Kaitlyn Myers, Project Manager. The contractor,, who was under contract for Phase I of the project to build three two-story buildings each consisting of eight duplexes, has defaulted on its fixed price contract, citing the increased price of building materials over the course of the Covid pandemic.

  • The City acquired a $6.5 million Sales Tax Revenue Bond (STRB) in April 2021, which will cover the costs of the first two phases of the redevelopment, but must be spent within two years of bond issuance. In light of the cost increases and delays in the redevelopment timeline due to the pandemic, the loss of the Phase I builder, and the opportunity to use ARPA funds for the Walnut Lane project, the Council has requested budgetary updates from staff related to the STRB and an updated economic pro forma. Finance Director Ben Bilingsley will help facilitate this conversation.
  • Kaitlyn also wishes guidance from Council as to whether to choose a new Builder (to replace indieDwell) at the same time as some site plan re-design will occur; or rather do the re-design first, then bid out the actual construction subsequently. There are arguments for both approaches; I’m personally inclined to do the design and build at the same time, to get something tangible constructed sooner, but we’ll see how the discussion goes.

2021 Class C Roads Update – Chuck Williams, Chief Engineer. Class C roads are city roads (and curbs, gutters and sidewalks) that receive state funds for maintenance. Chuck tells us that out of about 28 miles of roads in town, we’ve added 1.6 miles of paved and lost 0.2 miles of gravel or dirt roads. [And did you know that the total length of the DNA in the 48 chromosomes in each cell of your body totals about 2 mi?]

Hope this helps,

Mike Duncan, City Council member