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Cedar City council to vote on transportation study Wednesday

CEDAR CITY — The city council will vote Wednesday on a proposal to study an expansion of the Cedar Area Transportation Service to Brian Head to serve employees and resort customers.

Public Works Director Rick Holman asked the council in last week's meeting to participate in the study.

"At this time, I am not advocating an expansion of CATS," Holman said. "However, participating in the feasibility allows Cedar City to determine if the concept has merit or not."

The council is also expected to vote on whether to pave a stretch of 3900 West.

It's unclear how the council will vote on the transportation study as some members appear split over the idea.

Six months ago, Brian Head approached the Utah Department of Tranportation Public Transit about setting up a CATS program.

The total cost for the study is $30,000 and Brian Head and Parowan both support funding the study.

Eighty percent would be paid with federal funds administered by the UDOT, and the remaining 20-percent would be paid from local sources. Brian Head would contribute $3,000, Parowan $1,000 and Cedar City $2,000 toward the local portion of the study's cost.

Holman told the council that the study would allow participating entities to evaluate the pros and cons of public transportation to Brian Head as well as the costs.

City Councilman Dale Brinkerhoff said he has no interest in expanding CATS.

"I don't have any warm fuzzies about extending services up to Brian Head," he said. "We would be increasing our liability and our capital costs. It doesn't do anything for me."

City Councilwoman Nina Barnes said she would support the feasibility study and would like to explore the options.

"I could see the benefit in tourism, especially with Brian Head," she said.

A survey by the Department of Workforce Services indicated there is not a strong interest among Brian Head workers who live outside the area in expanding public transportation to Brian Head.

"Whatever the council wants to do with the study or with CATS, I'll do," Holman said.

The council will vote next Wednesday on the proposal.

In other business, a group of residents asked the city in last Wednesday's council meeting to pave 3900 West between 1200 and 800 North.

Cedar City resident Cidnee Beezer presented 235 petitions from people in her neighborhood who support paving 3900 West, a dirt road that stretches for a half mile.

"We hope we can present a big enough need and that we can at least be considered," she said. "Our top priority for this need is safety."

Beezer said the traffic kicks up so much dust in the summer that motorists can't see traffic or pedestrians and in winter the potholes can become so deep cars and trucks have to drive around the holes.

Eight buses travel the 3900 West road daily, she said.

"It would be much more efficient and much quicker and it would also be a benefit to the buses to save the life of their tires," she said.

Paving would cost $147,000, all of which would come from the city's 2011 budget.