ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
FEBRUARY 12, 2004, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE ROOM
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Rod Orton
Council Member Suzanne Allen
Council Member Larry Gardner
Council Member Bobby Whatcott
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun
Council Member Sharon Isom
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all present.
ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION
A motion to adjourn to an executive session was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Allen to discuss litigation. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.
A motion to reconvene was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Allen. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.
PLAN FIELD TRIP:
Council Member Allen commented that the Park City Planning Commission and City Council take a road trip each year to look at projects they are considering for their city. This program has been very successful, and Community Development Director Bob Nicholson indicates that he has money for this purpose.
Marc Mortensen advised that he will plan a tour for the Council of good examples of planning.
Council Member Gardner suggested that when a downtown committee is formed to make suggestions for the downtown area Sarah Urquhart be appointed to serve on that committee. He inquired if a committee would be formed in the near future.
City Manager Gary Esplin replied that staff has been interviewing several designers for a master plan of the entire area. He suggested that the professional designer be hired first and then a committee formed consisting of 10-12 representatives of the School District, business owners and renters, the Chamber of Commerce, etc. He advised that staff should have a recommendation for the City Council by the end of the month.
Council Member Gardner advised that the Urquharts and Stanleys have carried on a triathalon the past several years which has grown in popularity and enthusiasm. They are planning to move the site of the event to the new Sand Hollow Reservoir yet still refer to it as the St. George Triathalon. They would like the City to sponsor the event in the amount of $1,000.
Marc Mortensen advised that there are three triathalons held annually in the community.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised that due to a Supreme Court ruling concerning contributions, the City can no longer sponsor anything other than what it is a party to and named as a participant. He stated that it must be determined if the City wants to take on a role in the event itself.
WASHINGTON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE UPDATE:
Council Member Gardner advised that Carol Sapp was elected Vice Chair of the Washington County Economic Development Committee. He inquired if he was a voting member of the Committee.
City Attorney Shawn Guzman replied that he would look at the by-laws to determine
if Council Member Gardner was a voting member.
Council Member Gardner inquired who made the appointments to the Committee.
Mayor McArthur advised that appointments were made by the County.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City is a major sponsor.
Council Member Gardner advised that What?s Up Down South was very successful and next year will be held January 26.
DISCUSSION RE ST. GEORGE MUSICAL THEATER:
Present for this discussion were George Leupold and Roger Head.
Mr. Leupold explained that while he is not with the St. George Musical Theater, he has been involved with them on a consulting basis when asked. He expressed frustration with them, akin to herding cats. He explained his professional background in fund raising, and while he is now retired, he enjoys being connected in a meaningful way to the community in which he now lives. He explained that both he and Mr. Head became involved with the SGMT about two years ago, and while the SGMT makes an outstanding contribution to the quality of the community, organizationally there are many concerns. Elaine Alder is helping to correct organizational deficits, and while he does not make a judgment on whether the old Woodward gym should be torn down or renovated, this needs to be decided ASAP so the SGMT can plan accordingly. From an organizational fund-raising standpoint, it would be ideal to perceive it as a component in development of the ?heritage square? to enhance existing programs and provide an area conducive to leisure and aesthetic appreciation. Big donors gravitate to big causes. The amount of money needed now is $100,000. The SGMT has $62,000 in outstanding bills.
Roger Head explained his background in project management. He stated that his experience with the SGMT is similar to Mr. Leupold?s. He stated that the SGMT makes a tremendous contribution to the community, and there is a tremendous opportunity for revitalization within the central business district. In order for the SGMT to plan for its future, he inquired how this comprehensive planning process for the downtown area stacked up with all the City?s other priorities.
Mayor McArthur replied that the City Council has a vision for the downtown, as a dying downtown shows a community is failing and not growing. The City is committed to a vibrant downtown, and has purchased property in the area with plans to improve the area. This may or may not include tearing down the old Woodward gym and replacing it with something better.
City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City has been trying to select someone to help with the planning process in the downtown, and within the next few weeks will make a recommendation to the City Council on someone to do the master plan for the downtown. A committee will then be formed to help with the visioning process. He stated that revitalizing the City?s core is the most important project the City has going right now.
Mr. Leupold commented he heard a study had previously been done.
Mr. Esplin replied that it was done a long time ago, before the City purchased property in the area. While the study was helpful, there was no community buy-in at that time, nor finances or momentum.
Mr. Head suggested that some times a consultant moves ahead of the consensus of a committee which results in a loss of the buy-in.
Mr. Esplin replied that the City does not want someone to come in and tell the City
what to do, as the City knows what it wants. The consultant will work as a facilitator.
Mr. Leupold inquired if the City?s plan included a bond issue or raising money from the private sector.
Mr. Esplin replied that the City has the ability to fund proposed improvements through Redevelopment Agency funds, CDBG funds, and money which has been saved. The City just recently purchased the old Chevron station on the corner of Main Street and St. George Blvd, and the Bruce?s Rent To Own building, and is in negotiations with the car dealership. The City has also committed 1.2 million dollars to the downtown parking structure. Bonding is not anticipated at this time.
Mr. Leupold inquired if the City saw the SGMT as being part of the downtown concept.
Mayor McArthur replied that the SGMT or similar group should be a part of the downtown plan. He stated he was in favor of looking at another piece of the City?s downtown property on which to build a theater or community center which would be used by others as well.
Mr. Leupold inquired if the SGMT was organized and had that to put on the table as well as some money, if there would be a possibility for a match or cooperative venture some time in the future.
Mayor McArthur replied that the organization and structure of the SGMT must come first.
Council Member Gardner commented that while there has been no attempt to fault the Kenworthys on their efforts, their focus has been narrow. The City feels that the SGMT should have a broad base of support with a legitimate board and organization and perpetuity so that it survives beyond one or two years of production. Communication needs to be encouraged all the time, not just after the fact.
Council Member Allen suggested that an operating agreement be entered into with regard to use of the Woodward gym. The SGMT should be required to have bylaws or a charter to make sure they are a legitimate organization and remain fiscally sound. She suggested that a Council member or other City employee be made a member of the board to keep the City Council informed of progress made.
Mr. Head advised that there is not currently an active board, but Elaine Alder is assisting with this effort.
Mr. Leupold said that he now felt good about recruiting board members with credibility and continuity.
Mr. Head advised that he has avoided asking for major funding for the SGMT because of the lack of organization. He stated that in order to obtain major funding there needed to be a partnership with the City. He inquired if all the steps required by the City were put in place, if the City would endorse the SGMT in a large, fund raising type of way.
Council Member Whatcott commented that the City could not endorse them until the SGMT had some direction, and in all likelihood the old Woodward gym will be torn down. The City promised them five years in the facility in order to recoup their costs of remodeling, and it will honor that promise, but that will probably be the end of it. In order for the City to participate further, the SGMT will have to bring something to the table.
City Manager Gary Esplin commented that after the master plan for the area is completed and the community has bought into the project, and if one of the integral parts of the master plan is a performing arts center, and it was approved as part of
the master plan, the City could lend its support to a fund-raising effort as long as the funds were used to implement the master plan.
Mr. Leupold advised that City endorsement would improve the possibility of receiving a grant.
Mr. Head commented that he felt comfortable with the City?s answers.
Council Member Whatcott commented that he would not be surprised if a performing arts center was master planned for the downtown area, but he was not sure that it would be exclusive to the SGMT.
Mr. Leupold advised that the SGMT is interested exclusively in a theater-in-the round.
Council Member Whatcott commented the City would be foolhardy to limit itself to a theater in the round at this time.
City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the more uses that can be made of a facility the better, and the easier it will be to obtain a community buy-in.
Council Member Gardner commented that the SGMT needed to be careful about the types of productions it presents if it wants to be successful, as St. George is a conservative community.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised that once the SGMT is organized and is ready to proceed, perhaps one of its board members will serve on the downtown master plan committee. If the SGMT is still not viable, someone else representing the performing arts will be appointed to serve on the committee.
Council Member Orton commented that there was an opportunity for the SGMT to step ahead as a viable group to make sure it is a part of what is happening with regard to the downtown master plan.
Mr. Leupold inquired if the City could guarantee that the Woodward gym would not be torn down.
Council Member Orton replied that if the building could be made structurally sound and made to look the way the City wants it to look, the City Council would consider it.
Council Member Whatcott commented that the key criteria is the way it will look.
Mr. Leupold inquired if there were a guarantee a theater-in-the round would be part of the master plan.
Council Member Whatcott commented that he would not vote for anything having to do with the SGMT unless there were a viable board.
City Manager Gary Esplin commented that it has not been decided what kind of theater will be built, if at all.
The meeting then adjourned.
Gay Cragun, City Recorder