Monday, March 5, 2018

Washington County moves ahead with $2 million inmate housing facility

Washington County is moving ahead with plans to build a $2 million low-security detention facility at the Purgatory Correctional Facility in Hurricane. The 14,000-square-foot building, which could house up to 128 inmates, is intended for low-risk inmates taking part in the county's inmate worker program. Participants in the program can be seen around the county, cleaning up trash along highways, gardening in parks and at public facilities, and doing other general labor. The Washington County Commission unanimously approved the expenditure in September.

Hughes Construction Inc. won the bid as the project contractor, and Naylor Wentworth Lund was chosen as the project architect. Construction is scheduled to start later this month, with an estimated completion by September. The Spectrum

Southwest Technical College receives $100K grant

Southwest Technical College has announced that the Sorenson Legacy Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to assist the college with a major remodel project at its facility in Cedar City. The Southwest Tech Business and Technology Building requires extensive remodeling in order to relocate its automotive technician and professional truck driving programs. These two programs are currently taught off-campus at a leased facility. The remodel project is set to commence this summer. Last October, the Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Foundation pledged a $400,000 matching last-in grant to assist the college with the remodel project. The Miller commitment will match any community donation dollar for dollar up to $400,000. St. George News

Groundbreaking set for $1.2M animal shelter in Cedar City

Cedar City is breaking ground on a $1.2 million animal shelter and adoption center. The main shelter building, originally designed as a coal storage facility, is more than 60 years old. Cedar City has purchased property near the current animal shelter where a new shelter will be located. The building will be approximately 6,500 square feet with plenty of space to meet current needs and to accommodate future growth. St. George News

New arsenic treatment plant near Gunlock would add water sources for St. George

St. George Water Services plans to build an arsenic treatment plant on Gunlock Road just south of Gunlock reservoir. The project is slated to begin construction next year, and the estimated $10 million for the building will come out of the water services budget. St. George News

Construction is on schedule for Dixie Regional Medical Center’s project

Construction is on schedule for Dixie Regional Medical Center’s $300 million expansion/consolidation project that will merge the two hospital campuses in St. George. Four separate buildings have been under construction beginning in April of 2016 and have staggered completion dates this year.

All will be celebrated in a grand opening scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 12. The Intermountain Precision Health Center and Women and Newborn Center will be completed in October. The northeast tower will open in June, and the smallest addition -- the diagnostic and treatment center - will open next month. This new hospital addition houses 50-plus flex beds, all clinical lab services, and two new high-tech surgical suites. The Spectrum

Lodging numbers for Cedar City LDS Temple open house below expectation

The three-week open house for the new Latter-day Saints temple brought more than 180,000 people to Cedar City last year, but recently released numbers show many of the visitors didn’t stay overnight.

Tours of the interior and grounds of the new temple ran from Oct. 27-Nov. 18. According to the results of Cedar City’s municipal transient room tax (TRT), approximately $20,447 was generated in 2017 — $388 more than the area saw the year prior.

November saw the biggest impact with a nearly $5,000 increase to approximately $14,373 in reported TRT compared to $8,936 in 2016. The 4.25 percent tax is added onto every room night sold at lodgings in Iron County. Cedar City also has an additional 1 percent municipal tax. The numbers were significantly lower than Iron County/Brian Head Tourism Bureau officials expected. The Spectrum

Youth Tournaments Bring Visitors, Large Economic Impact to St. George during President's Day Weekend

Following a consistent migration pattern, youth teams from the north got an early start on their seasons by participating in three massive tournaments over the Presidents’ Day weekend. These events utilized nearly every patch of grass in the St. George area. Attracting some of the largest crowds this holiday weekend is the Rage Invitational soccer tournament, which includes 266 teams and an estimated 4,000 players, coaches and officials.

The Rage Invitational tournament brings an estimated 11,000 people into the St. George and Washington City area for a fun recreational weekend of soccer according to officials. The Ice Breaker Soccer Tournament brought a significant quantity of visitors to the area, with 246 teams and nearly 4,000 total participants.

In addition to the soccer tournaments, a plethora of out-of-town visitors also come to St. George to participate in the Rocky Mountain School of Baseball’s sizable Presidents’ Day Tournament. The event includes 125 competition teams — adding up to approximately 2,000 players, coaches and umpires.

The economic impact of the youth athletic tournaments is significant, given the fact that each player is accompanied by family members who stay at area hotels, dine at restaurants and spend money shopping or on other outdoor recreational activities. Historically, an average of more than three-quarters of the participants for these tournaments are from outside the area. The sports commission estimates the economic impact of those three tournaments to be approximately $15 million. Utah Business Magazine

Report: Cultural businesses generated $76M, 2,000 jobs in Iron County last year

Businesses related to arts, humanities and culture in Iron County generated $76.1 million in spending last year and employed nearly 2,000 people, according to the Utah Cultural Alliance.

The Alliance highlighted Iron County in its annual “State of Utah Cultural Report,” which found that cultural businesses in the state accounted for $3.5 billion in revenue and provided jobs for 79,328 people. A press release from the Alliance did not include data for Washington County. Iron County was higher than typical in direct spending because most patrons were visitors. St. George News

Utah's Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rates

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates for all Utah counties have been posted online here.

Each month, these rates are posted the Monday following the Unemployment Rate Update for Utah.

For more information about seasonally adjusted rates, read a DWS analysis here.

Next update scheduled for March 26th.