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Reporting from the St. George area focused on local government, public lands and the environment, indigenous issues and faith and spirituality.

Water is ‘liquid gold’ says St. George’s mayor in her 1st State of the City

St. George Mayor Michele Randall gave her State of the City address next to large water barrels to illustrate the need to conserve.
Lexi Peery
St. George Mayor Michele Randall gave her State of the City address next to large water barrels to illustrate the need to conserve.

In her first State of the City address, St. George Mayor Michele Randall discussed water, public safety and growth. She said she’s hopeful the city will have a bright future, despite the challenges the area is facing.

Randall was appointed mayor last January when former Mayor Jon Pike stepped down to serve in Gov. Spencer Cox’s cabinet. She won the city’s mayoral race 10 months after that, becoming the first woman elected to lead the city.

Randall stood next to water barrels that in total hold around 1,000 gallons during her address at the Dixie Convention Center Tuesday afternoon. She said that amount of water costs residents $1.10.

“We need to start treating our water like liquid gold,” she said. “If we don't start getting real serious about conservation, then we're going to have to raise our rates to help people conserve and we don't really want to do that, so we’re hoping you’ll conserve.”

Public safety is something “near and dear” to Randall’s heart because she has several family members who are first responders. She said the city has made significant investments in public safety to meet the growing population. Over the past four years, the city has increased full-time personnel in the fire and police departments — 70% and 30% respectively.

“We want our community to remain safe,” she said. “Despite the increases to our public safety personnel levels, we will still need more police officers and firefighters, and we are committed to adding these positions.”

Randall highlighted the outdoor recreation and events throughout the city, with the Ironman World Championship, one of the biggest the region has ever seen, coming up in May.

St. George’s slogan is “The Brighter Side,” and Randall said the quality of life the city offers is why so many people are moving to the area.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the great residents that we have in our community,” she said. “We couldn't host the events we do without the great residents in our community, and I want you to know that I am so grateful to be the mayor of this city at this time, even though we have a lot of challenges ahead of us.”

Randall invited all residents to attend neighborhood open houses hosted by the city. The first will be on March 31, 2022.

Lexi is KUER's Southwest Bureau reporter
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