Confluence Park Executive Board and

Technical Advisory Committee Minutes

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 4:00 p.m.

435 N. Main, LaVerkin, Utah

Present:

Board Members:

Cameron Rognan                      Washington County-HCP

Clark Fawcett                           Hurricane City

Ken Hooten                              La Verkin City

 

Others:

Victor Iverson                          Washington County Commission

Kathleen Nielson                      Grant Writer

Dennis Kay                              VRLPA

Bruce Bonebrake

Lane Blackmore                      

Christy Ballard                         La Verkin City

 

Cameron reported there had been a vandalism issue at the power station.  A report was filed with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department. 

Some of the vandalism was obscene and would need to be painted over. 

 

Commissioner Iverson said after visiting the site with the Historical Society it was determined there would not be any renovation done to it, it will only be preserved for appearances.  He suggested considering cameras to help prevent the vandalism and would prefer sandblasting the graffiti rather than painting over it. 

The old dairy is the same, will not be renovated only preserved for the historical look and mentioned paint and interpretive panels would be beneficial.  He told Cameron as soon as he was ready, to get bids put out for those two areas.

The Sheriff’s Office and/or Chief Lee may have some ideas on the possibility of installing cameras.  

Commissioner Iverson has talked to the County road crew to fix the road into the parking lot for the bikers.  He does not know when they can begin the project.  The road going down to the Park from the SR9 entrance could also use some improvement.

He would also like to see a cleanup day organized to remove some of the debris that is in the Park and could arrange to have dumpsters delivered.              

 

Clark Fawcett arrived at 4:22pm

        I.            Meeting Called to Order:  Ken Hooten called the meeting to order at 4:23pm.

 

Kathleen introduced Bruce Bonebreak who was the habitat manager and wrote some of the conservation easements for the Park. 

 

Bruce suggested removing the wire from around the power station and adding some signage, saying a lot of the trouble would go away.

 

Mayor Hooten said there are a lot of hazards in and around the power plant that would need to be fixed first.  

 

  1. Approve Minutes:

Christy explained the date on the agenda and minutes says February15th, it needs to be corrected to April 19th.

Motion was made by Cameron Rognan to approve the April 19, 2017 minutes, second by Clark Fawcett.  Cameron-yes, Ken-yes, Clark-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

  1. Business:                            

A.    Lane Blackmore property exchange update.

Mr. Blackmore explained the conversations began in 2008 for the property exchange. 

He pointed out on the map the three parcels he owns which is all low ground that is in the Park that he would like to exchange for two sections of Park property.  One is above the cliff the other is a small peninsula he pointed out on the map.  The practical element from Hurricane City’s point of view is to connect to Main Street by the trailhead and then later connect to 200 West.  Blackmores would be developing the road across so that it would loop and come back up 200 West. 

One of the parcels Lane would like to trade to the County has 1200 feet of river frontage which could potentially extend the trail system and connect the Park to La Verkin’s upper trail system.

The Blackmores would be giving the Park roughly 8.76 acres and requesting approximately 2.23 acres in return. 

The parcel with the Hurricane monument could be given to the Park with the provision the monument stays but he planned to give it to the Sons of the Utah Pioneers. 

 

Mayor Hooten said the Board has always been in favor of the exchange, it is the environmental impact study requirement that has been the issue.

 

Kathleen said that Steve Hansen said it was too difficult to change the conservation easement. That the first thing that would need to be done is the impact study.

 

Commissioner Iverson pointed out all parties involved seem to be in favor of the exchange and wondered what was causing the issue. 

 

Mayor Hooten thought the process was the biggest factor.                   

 

Bruce has experience with conservation easements and explained they all have a specific purpose like protection of the endangered fish and protection of watchable wildlife. 

A lot of people think a conservation easement cannot be changed but that is not true.  You need to look at what the ordinance said the Park was created for.  If you can show a net increase with what you are trying to do, like with the land exchange, in one of those areas, such as the habitat for the endangered fish, you can do the trade. 

It may not be an acre for acre trade because there would need to be some incentive for the exchange.

It would require an inventory of what is there and how beneficial the exchange would be on all the land involved.  It would not be easy but it can be done.  If you have the county and surrounding communities backing the exchange that could pull a lot of weight. 

The federal government does get involved because it is a conservation easement.

 

Kathleen pointed out Hurricane has a safety issue with only one access if there was ever a traumatic event. 

 

Clark explained the exchange would provide the second access normally required for fire and safety. 

 

Lane pointed out the Park would own the access and not just be using it.

 

Bruce said while the conservation easement wasn’t written for access and safety, if the city would need to take some of the habitat to get what they needed for safety concerns, you can show how the exchange would be a benefit. 

 

Commissioner Iverson and Cameron will work together to try and move the exchange forward. 

 

Cameron suggested beginning the discussion again by using Hurricane City’s road issue as the basis of the land exchange.

 

Bruce mentioned the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation or the Nature Conservancy have dealt with conservation easements a lot and could possibly be good resources. 

 

Cameron will contact Elaine from the Nature Conservancy to see if she can offer any help.  He will also contact Rhett and see if he can begin the inventory process. 

 

Clark will get information from the different utility departments on the benefits this would be for Hurricane. 

 

Mayor Hooten pointed out the exchange benefits the communities involved, Confluence Park and Mr. Blackmore.                     

 

B.     Discussion on Park funding and the priority list.

Mayor Hooten thanked Commissioner Iverson for attending the meeting and being a champion of the Park to the County Commissioners. 

 

Kathleen passed out the priority list from her presentation during the last meeting.  The priority list will need to mesh with any grants Confluence Park gets so the improvements can be used as a match for those grants.  The grant cycle just ended but the Park does have a good reputation with Utah Quality Growth Commission and with the State Parks.  She thought Confluence Park would be able to get a grant next year.

 

Many of the items from the list had been discussed earlier in the meeting.

 

Kathleen asked Commissioner Iverson what he felt was the most important. 

 

Commissioner Iverson replied the County is developing a Trails Committee to work with the different cities and partners on providing quality information for existing trails and partner with the cities in interlinking their desires for trails.  The County would like to have Confluence Park the hub of trails moving up and down the river.   

Confluence Park does have a budget with the County but he would like to see the cities take ownership of the Park with the County helping.  He would like to continue to see the trails improved, the removal of the weeds and deadfall.  He also thinks the Blackmore trade is important and the Board should try and move forward with it.

His list would be first, remove the graffiti, second the “beach area” and third continue to clean up the Park. 

 

Mayor Hooten commented that connecting the two sides of the Park would really enhance the trail system.

Ash Creek Sewer District may be interested in collaborating with that.  They would like to run a line under it.    

 

Clark mentioned Hurricane City is going to connect the 600 North Trail to Grandpa’s Pond, part of which will be along the River. 

 

Commissioner Iverson will talk to Ron Whitehead to get a design and cost for a bridge in the Park.   

 

Mayor Hooten mentioned Ash Creek Sewer District is moving forward in building a treatment plant down there and the bridge would help distribute the water from that plant.   

 

Cameron was contacted by Deonna Cox, daughter of Gordon Wood who owns the property surrounding the SR9 Trail head.  She was interested in the plans the Park had concerning that property. 

 

Commissioner Iverson said if she was interested in negotiating for appraised value he will talk to the County.  There have been multiple offers made to the Wood family and they have not been interested.

By law the County cannot over pay for any property.  Confluence Park has a 30-foot easement through their property. 

 

Mayor Hooten mentioned La Verkin City has created a parking area north of the coffee shop on 300 South for people to park and walk to the SR 9 trailhead.   

 

Kathleen said the Center Street Trailhead has a sign that states “no vehicles and no parking beyond this point” with a gate.  The sign and gate are on Confluence Park property. 

The gate to the monument, which is not Park property, has been closed and is no longer accessible.   

 

Mayor Hooten suggested talking to the surrounding neighbors before removing the gate. 

            

  IV.            Public Concerns for Board Consideration:

No comments were made.

 

    V.            Board Members Concerns:

No comments were made.

 

  VI.            Adjourn:

Motion was made by Cameron Rognan to adjourn, second by Clark Fawcett.  Cameron-yes, Clark-yes, Ken-yes.  Motion carried unanimously at 5:14pm.

 

 

Minutes taken by Christy Ballard.

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