January 25 2001 City Council Minutes
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE CITY COUNCIL
OF THE CITY OF ST. GEORGE
WASHINGTON COUNTY, UTAH
January 25, 2001
Daniel D. McArthur, Mayor
Robert Whatcott, Council Member
Larry Gardner, Council Member
Sharon Isom, Council Member
Jonathan Wright, City Attorney
Miriam Palma, Deputy City Recorder
Rod Orton, Council Member
Suzanne Allen, Council Member
Gary Esplin, City Manager
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. He excused Council Member Orton, Council Member Allen and City Manager Gary Esplin.
He asked Council Member Isom to give the opening prayer.
At the conclusion of the prayer, Mayor McArthur announced that the only agenda items to be discussed would be the status of the transportation program (D.A.R.T.), a presentation by Public Works and an Executive Session.
He invited Beth Cottam, Five County Association of Governments, to begin the DART presentation.
Ms. Cottam told Council Members that Chuck Hunter would lead the discussion and she, Lowell Elmer, Aron Baker and Larry Bulloch would provide supporting information.
Mr. Hunter gave an overview of ridership since the inception of the program and forecast ridership into the next five years. He announced that forecasts were favorable especially now that three new buses have been obtained.
He said that the routes are established, however little publicity work has been done until the rest of the buses were received and the program could function properly. He said the only public information, to date, had been an announcement in the paper and brochures placed around the community.
Council Member Isom asked that Council Members be given a copy of the brochure as they are asked questions about it every day.
Council Member Isom also asked if DART gets requests for ridership from cities that are not participating in the project. Mr. Hunter said they get a lot of calls, but they tell them are unable to respond at this time.
Those present discussed signage for the bus routes. It was decided that waist-high signs would not be effective as the standard 12-18" face on an 8-foot pole. The cost of the waist-high signs would be approximately $120 each and the others would be approximately $50-$80 each installed ($4,000-$5,000).
The Council asked how many signs would be needed. It was thought 85 total, of which 35 would be in the business district.
Larry Bulloch felt there were two questions that needed to answered. Would the City be willing to give more money to the DART system and/or would the City be willing to allow the Streets Division sign shop to make and place the signs if money could be obtained from another source. The Council Members present did not feel they could commit money without discussing the matter with the full Council, but they felt the labor could be done by the sign shop.
St. George City Council Minutes
January 25, 2001
The next question was how many signs should they start with - the full 85 or only the 35 in the business district. Council Member Isom felt that it should be done right the first time. Her opinion was that the full 85 should be placed. Others agreed.
Marc Mortensen, City Public Information Officer, was concerned that more marketing had not been undertaken. He suggested that the buses needed a logo which could be readily identified. He suggested that a radio station remote be done inside a bus to get people on the buses. He also felt that the brochures should be posted at the Chamber of Commerce and the City Offices. He emphasized that marketing needs to begin now to be successful. Ms. Cottam invited Mr. Mortensen to the next meeting of the DART committee to share his ideas.
The Council also commented that the buses are not very inviting because the windows are covered with advertising. In fact, they felt it was hard to identify them as transit buses at all. Ms. Cottam indicated this is a function of corporate sponsorship which brings in the greatest amount of money for the program. She told Council Members that the buses would have the DART logo on the front and back bumper.
Mayor McArthur was adamant that at they should try to run at least on bus without the advertising on the window and see if ridership would improve on that bus.
Ms. Cottam emphasized that she did not expect to come back to Council this year seeking more funds, but she told Council Members that they had not realized the cost of signage was so high. She also emphasized that this bus system is a community effort and there is no one directing agency or one sustaining pot of money. This is not an entitlement with a transit district, just a community pulling together for the good of its citizens.
Mr. Bulloch told Council Members that the bottom line is that with MPO status looming in our future, we will be required to have a bus system in order to get any transportation funding. He felt Ms. Cottam and Mr. Hunter had done the City a huge favor by starting the bus system, and if they had not done it, the City would have had to do so.
Mayor McArthur introduced Scout Masters Rick Ence and Doug Glendenning and asked the Scouts to introduce themselves and tell their rank. They were: Bruce Cassity, 2nd Class Scout; Zack Covington, 2nd Class Scout; Trumble Bundy 2nd Class; Paul Stevenson, Star Class; Skyler Ence, Life Scout; Jessie Ence, Star; and Matt Ledine, Star.
Mayor McArthur told them he was pleased to see them at this meeting in their uniforms and looking so sharp.
Hearing no further business, he asked for a motion to adjourn to Executive Session.
Council Member Isom made a motion that the meeting be adjourned at 4:40 p.m. to Executive Session to discuss potential litigation and personnel matters. Council Member Whatcott seconded and the vote was unanimous as follows:
Council Member Isom Aye
Council Member Whatcott Aye
Council Member Gardner Aye
RECONVENE AND ADJOURN
Hearing no further business, Mayor McArthur dismissed the Work Meeting at 5:15 p.m.
Miriam Palma, Deputy City Recorder