ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
JUNE 22, 2000, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM
Mayor Dan McArthur
Councilmember Sharon Isom
Councilmember Rod Orton
Councilmember Suzanne Allen
Councilmember Larry Gardner
Councilmember Bob Whatcott
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Jonathan Wright
City Recorder Gay Cragun
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The invocation was offered by Councilmember Gardner.
ORDINANCE VACATING PORTION OF 400 SOUTH STREET:
City Manager Gary Esplin explained the City received a request from Woodbury Corp. to vacate a portion of 400 South Street east of River Road as the site plan for Lowe’s calls for the building to sit in the middle of this road and it is no longer needed for a public street. There is a problem with title to the property, however, it is recommended the City proceed with the abandonment.
A motion was made by Councilmember Orton to approve the ordinance abandoning a portion of 400 South Street east of River Road. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Gardner. A roll call vote was taken and all voted aye except Councilmember Whatcott who was not yet present.
ADJOURN TO WORK MEETING:
A motion was made by Councilmember Isom to adjourn to a work meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Allen, and all voted aye.
Mayor McArthur recognized a Scout in attendance at the meeting.
Councilmember Whatcott arrived.
DISCUSSION RE IMPROVEMENTS AT BLOOMINGTON INTERCHANGE:
City Manager Gary Esplin explained the next step after approval of the zone change for Walmart was to have a feasibility study done for the roundabout at the interchange. That feasibility study has been completed and submitted to the State. The City is in possession of a letter from the State advising that the roundabout will work and they accept the concept.
Lowry Snow distributed a diagram of the proposed roundabout. He advised the outside diameter of the circle is 300'.
City Manager Gary Esplin stated the next step is to determine how to pay for the improvements. $1,485,000 is the estimated cost of the project, including both roundabouts and all improvements.
Jay Schneider advised the old bid did not contain a great deal of design. The new design is detailed and contains improvements suggested by UDOT.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised Walmart is willing to contribute $500,000 toward the cost of the project, and the State has committed up to $500,000 toward the cost of the project, although nothing has been received in writing. $485,000 remains to be funded by others. He stated he held discussions with State Trust Lands and Sun River, and advised them the City would be
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June 22, 2000
looking to them and others to help pay for the shortfall. He stated they understood they had some obligation to pay for improvements at that interchange. Mr. Esplin advised a key issue is that this project is projected to solve traffic needs at this intersection for the next 20-30 years, and any contribution the City makes to this project would help solve a long term traffic situation, rather than allowing Walmart to install traffic lights for a short term solution. He stated he did not view City participation in the project as subsidizing Walmart’s development, but as good long range planning.
Mayor McArthur stated this project will not impact or change any plans the City has for other transportation improvement projects, and will not financially impact its citizens.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised the shortfall could be funded by Walmart, with reimbursement by the City at a later date as revenues were collected. An interest rate would have to be determined to see if it would be better to front the costs or borrow the funds and pay interest. He advised the matter would be placed on a City Council agenda for official action when a document has been prepared and terms specified.
City Councilmember Isom stated there is a perception that taxes will have to be raised if the City participates in the roundabout.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised the City would be using transportation funds to solve a long range traffic planning issue, and it should take advantage of the opportunity to combine funds to make the project work. He advised if the City Council felt comfortable with the concept, he would begin negotiations with the parties. He advised that timing is important, as there is a six month time requirement for the UDOT review process.
Lowry Snow advised Walmart believes the $1,485,000 cost of the project is a conservative bid, and might come in lower. This lower amount would reduce the City’s share of the project, not Walmart’s or the State’s share. He advised that Walmart is willing to take a risk and continue through the building permit process, even though UDOT has not given their final approval. He advised he recognized the roundabout had to be in place before Walmart opened.
Councilmember Gardner commented he was not sure $500,000 was a sufficient contribution from Walmart to help solve the traffic problems.
Councilmember Whatcott inquired if the roundabout was the optimum solution to solve traffic problems at this intersection, or if other options had been considered.
Walmart representatives advised there were always other solutions, but the roundabout is the most economical and best solution for the area as it will handle traffic problems for the next 20+ years.
Councilmember Gardner advised criticism has been made concerning the southbound off-ramp where it intersects with the circle, and the east/west underpass road. He requested that distances and site clearances be addressed.
Walmart representatives advised there is a six month process for full design, and these issues will be addressed in the final design process.
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June 22, 2000
Mayor McArthur advised the issue will be scheduled on a regular City Council agenda.
PRESENTATION RE TRAFFIC SYNCHRONIZATION PROGRAM:
Traffic Engineer Aron Baker gave a presentation on the City’s traffic signal coordination system, future trends, and proposed traffic signals.
DISCUSSION RE PARK FEE WAIVERS:
City Manager Gary Esplin advised staff is recommending a change in the park fee waiver process for ease of administration.
Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised the City receives many requests for park fee waivers, and currently City Council approval is required for each. He distributed a list of fee waivers recently given, and inquired if the City Council wanted to continue to review all fee waivers or delegate some of the responsibility to him.
Councilmember Isom recommended a criteria be established for granting of fee waivers.
Councilmember Allen suggested a cleaning deposit be charged, even if the fee is waived.
Councilmember Orton commented that all users should pay equally, and perhaps the fees should be adjusted so there are not so many requests for waivers.
Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins suggested the City grant fee waivers for repeat users, and require a refundable cleaning deposit.
Parks Superintendent Lynne Scott suggested the City give blanket fee waivers for youth activities and events that serve the community.
Councilmember Isom suggested a criteria be established and reviewed by the City Council.
Councilmember Whatcott stated the City’s maintenance costs should be covered.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised staff will return with a recommendation to address cleaning deposits and types of uses allowed.
Mayor McArthur advised in the meantime, the City’s policy should remain status quo.
It was the consensus of the City Council to allow the Dixie ham radio operators group overnight use of a park.
DISCUSSION RE USES IN CITY PARKS:
Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised the City has been acquiring most of the Virgin River property from the Bloomington Man O War bridge to Washington, and citizens look to the City for management of that open space. There are a lot of illegal activities taking place on this land, including dumping, transient camps, shooting, vandalism, graffiti, and riding of ORVs, etc. Many citizens have complained about the noise and dust, yet others say ORVs should be allowed along the river. He advised that Fish and Wildlife is concerned about the noise impact on habitats along the river.
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City Manager Gary Esplin advised the BLM is trying to designate a site west of Bloomington above the treatment plant as a site for ORVs.
Parks Superintendent Lynne Scott advised the City has been trying to preserve the river and wash areas, and if it is not prepared to handle ORVs, they will destroy these areas.
Councilmember Orton commented a solution would be to help other entities find a legal place for ORVs to go.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised until then, he will meet with the Chief of Police concerning enforcement and come back with a plan for the City Council’s approval.
Councilmember Gardner suggested a good service project would be to stake out a trail along the Virgin River to accommodate ORVs, but not allow them free run of the area.
Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins suggested the area below the wastewater treatment plant would be suitable for ORVs.
ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss a land purchase and personnel issues was made by Councilmember Whatcott. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Gardner, and all voted aye.
RECONVENE AND ADJOURN:
A motion to reconvene and adjourn was made by Councilmember Whatcott. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Orton, and all voted aye.
Gay Cragun, City Recorder