During the regular May 23 city council meeting, three departments—communications, sustainability, and parks, recreation, and trails—delivered updates on their current projects. Both the sustainability and parks departments are working on creating master plans.
Lisa Church is the city’s communications director: she updated the council on a website redesign project (the city’s website can be found at www.moabcity.org). Every five years, the city can redesign its website under its contract with CivicPlus; the purpose is to “create a more user-friendly site, where people can find information more easily and we can streamline the way they access forms, applications, and other kinds of information and materials,” Church said.
Church said all city departments will be involved in the redesign to identify where information needs to be updated. The redesign will be completed and ready to launch this fall.
“We’re going to make it more efficient, more attractive, and more usable—this is really for our residents, and it’s a service we provide,” Church said.
Alexi Lamm, the city’s sustainability director, updated the council on the city’s dark sky regulations. In 2019, the then-council passed an ordinance that established new lighting standards to minimize light pollution to enhance the nighttime visual environment; now, the city is currently in the process to become an official “Dark Sky” community.
The city is only in the first phase of that process. There are a few requirements still holding Moab back, one of which is streetlights. Dark sky compliant lights need to be fully shielded with “warm-color” lighting, Lamm said: Moab can either retrofit or replace current streetlights owned by the city that are non-compliant.
A few other streetlights in town are owned by Rocky Mountain Power—last year, the city worked with Rocky Mountain Power to install demonstration dark-sky compliant lighting in a few areas around town. Survey results following the demo showed that most respondents didn’t like the lights because they were perceived to be too bright. The city is left with three options: approve the demo lights, pay Rocky Mountain Power to de-lamp the fixtures and put up new ones, or purchase all Rocky Mountain Power’s lighting-related infrastructure.
“This is the major hangup on our application, because we need a plan to be compliant,” Lamm said.
After much council deliberation—should there be another demo? Would it be better to find dimmer streetlights? Are filters an option?—Lamm said she would look into adding shields to the current demonstration lights and options for installing dimmer lights.
Parks, Recreation, and Trails
Annie McVay, the director of the parks, recreation, and trails department, updated the council on the current project to create a city parks master plan. So far, the city has worked with a consultant to survey demographics and take site and conditions assessments. The current step is a “gap analysis,” finding the gaps between what’s needed at the parks versus what the city is currently providing. A draft of the plan should be ready by November, McVay said.
A recent survey put out by the city, with 833 respondents, showed that nearly all respondents (96%) said local parks and recreation opportunities are “important or essential to the quality of life in Moab.”
“People out there very much care about our parks,” McVay said. “And there are 30 pages of open-ended comments, which I’ve never seen before. People are very passionate.”
The parks have also been undergoing maintenance: an old restroom at Rotary Park was removed; borders installed and wood chips replaced at the site of the musical instruments at Rotary Park; new sprinklers installed at Lions Park; and the city received a pond beautification grant for the pond at Old City Park.
“We want to incorporate the pond as more of a feature you can enjoy instead of it being caged off,” McVay said.