City Council Minutes

Thursday, January 27,2000



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES SPECIAL MEETING JANUARY 27, 2000, 4:00 P.M. ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur Councilmember Rod Orton Councilmember Larry Gardner Councilmember Bob Whatcott City Manager Gary Esplin City Attorney Jonathan Wright City Recorder Gay Cragun EXCUSED: Councilmember Sharon Isom Councilmember Suzanne Allen OPENING: Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The invocation was offered by Larry Bulloch. Mayor McArthur invited a Scout to introduce himself. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised he and Scott Hirschi were invited by the Mayor of Washington City to make an airport presentation to the Washington City Council at their meeting of February 23 at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Bulloch invited the Mayor and Councilmembers to attend. DISCUSSION RE MASTER DRAINAGE PLAN: Public Works Director Larry Bulloch explained that the City previously hired a consulting firm to do a master drainage study. As a result of that study, drainage improvements were recommended in order to protect citizens against flood hazards. A citizens? committee was then formed to establish a priority for the recommended projects. Cost of the proposed projects exceeded $40,000,000. He advised that a method needed to be established to pay for the improvements, as it would take 100 years for drainage impact fees to generate enough revenue. Use of impact fees is also restricted in that they cannot be used to solve existing problems and require matching funds. He advised that another source of funding was needed, and asked the Mayor and City Council for guidance. Mayor McArthur commented that the drainage study recommended a fee of $3.00 per household be charged for use on drainage projects. Councilmember Gardner commented at that time there was concern about imposing another fee on citizens, and it seemed to him the plan included solving every problem in the entire community. City Manager Gary Esplin advised that charging a fee of $3.00 per household would still not generate enough income. The City would have to bond for the project and have a dedicated guaranteed source of income. Councilmember Whatcott arrived. Mr. Esplin suggested the City select the most critical projects which would have the most impact on the community, bond for them, complete them, and still leave enough money to do matches for impact funds. Without another revenue choice, he stated he could not see any other alternative. Councilmember Orton inquired if there were a priority list. St. George City Council Minutes January 27, 2000 Page Two Mr. Bulloch responded there was, and input was needed from the Mayor and Council on the suggested top priorities. Carol Sapp advised that she was a member of the citizens? committee for the drainage plan, and that the committee recommended user fees and appropriate use of impact fees. She expressed concern about how the improvements would paid for and what exactions would be required of developers. She also expressed concern about upstream waters generated from one property that have to be contained on another. Linda Kirkpatrick advised she is a property owner and developer in the Millcreek area, and she requested that the Mayor and City Council look at a drainage study which was prepared for her project. Todd Edwards from Bush and Gudgell was present to make the presentation. City Manager Gary Esplin stated a discussion about a site specific project was not appropriate at this time, as this item was scheduled for a philosophical discussion only, and Alpha Engineering was not present to answer questions about the drainage study. Todd Edwards expressed concern that the drainage calculations used in the City?s study were overly conservative. Mayor McArthur stated that a uniform formula was needed. Larry Bulloch advised that the study established a uniform design criteria. Councilmember Gardner stated it appeared the City?s program as presented was too conservative. He suggested that drainage corrections to places not critical be dealt with in functional ways, rather than through expensive means. City Manager Gary Esplin advised it was staff?s intent to reduce the scope of the proposed projects, but a way still needed to be identified to obtain the necessary funds to do the projects. Councilmember Gardner stated it appeared different criteria had been established by different people, and the legitimacy of the study needed to be looked at to determine which projects really needed to be done. Larry Bulloch advised that when calculating floods, there is much differential between the ten year and 100 year flood, and the City?s study addressed ten year floods only. He advised the $3 charge per household would generate $1.2 million a year. City Manager Gary Esplin advised a 25 year bond would generate $18-20 million. City Engineer Dave Demas advised the City is not proposing to design for a 100 year storm, but for a ten year storm, and the system is not a ?cadillac? system, but is standard to the industry and provides reasonable protection for citizens. Councilmember Gardner stated he was not offended by a little surface water and is supportive of the City?s attempt as long as it is not being so aggressive so as to create unnecessary impacts. St. George City Council Minutes January 27, 2000 Page Three Linda Kirkpatrick inquired if City staff used a method or formula for budget proposals, such as the percentage assessed to developers, and if so, what was it based on. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch responded that the City evaluates what is created by each development, such as the amount of pavement which creates run-off and would require larger pipes. The developer would have to fund that in order to do the project and to not create impacts downstream. City Manager Gary Esplin explained that wherever located in the City, each developer is responsible for taking the drainage through his or her property and not allow additional runoff and retain it on site. The City pays for oversizing, the developer only pays for his or her impact. Joe Christopher advised he is a strong proponent of the drainage system, but urged caution in assuring more is not being spent than needed. He complimented the drainage presentation being made by Jay Sandberg to various service clubs. He urged the Mayor and City Council not to wait for a wet year to make the improvements. Mayor McArthur suggested setting a date for a public hearing. City Manager Gary Esplin advised City staff will review the study again and refine the numbers to a minimum. Mayor McArthur suggested the matter again be discussed in a work meeting. Councilmember Whatcott inquired as to whom to trust. City Engineer Dave Demas responded that the City needed to be consistent and use one base system and method. Linda Kirkpatrick inquired if City staff could meet with developers on site specific issues before meeting again with the City Council. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch responded that City staff would be happy to meet individually with developers concerning their projects. Mayor McArthur invited another Scout to introduce himself. AUTHORIZE GRANT APPLICATION FOR TEA-21 GRANT PROGRAM: City Manager Gary Esplin requested authorization for City staff to proceed with a grant applicant for the TEA-21 grant program. Money is available under this program for expenditure on non-vehicular projects such as trails, restoring historical sites which can be seen from federal highways, landscaping medians, etc. City staff is recommending application for this grant to finish landscaping the freeway interchanges. Staff would like to apply for a grant in the amount of $580,000, which would require matching funds from the City in the amount of $116,000. A motion was made by Councilmember Whatcott to authorize submission of a grant application for the TEA-21 grant program. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Gardner, and all voted aye. St. George City Council Minutes January 27, 2000 Page Four DISCUSSION CONCERNING SUNBROOK CLUBHOUSE: Director of Golf, Dave Terry, advised that when the Sunbrook Golf Course and Clubhouse were purchased by the City, the clubhouse was substandard. The northeast corner of the building has since settled and cracked, the floors have cracked, the foundation is unstable, the deck and stairs are in terrible condition, and the restrooms are deplorable. The size of the clubhouse is also a problem, and the cart storage area is not big enough since the new nine holes were built. The snack bar is not large enough to serve clients of a 27 hole golf course, and the entire facility is suffering from an image problem. Sunbrook is the top rated municipal course in the State, but something has to be done to fix the clubhouse. There is also $100,000 in capital improvement needs at all the City?s courses which the City will never be able to fund until debt service is paid off, or unless a funding source can be identified outside of the operations budget. No general fund money has been used to fund any portion of any golf course, and all options being discussed are within the golf enterprise fund. Neither property taxes nor sales taxes nor general fund money has been used or is being proposed to be used. Mr. Terry explained that many safety hazards exist on the courses, such as deteriorating bridges and cart paths. Revenue enhancement is an important issue too for the City, as is image. City Manager Gary Esplin advised that from a competition standpoint, the City needs to continue to provide a comparable facility at a reasonable cost. He stated that two new golf courses in the area will be coming on line to compete for the same golfing dollars. Both courses will be open to the public. Dave Terry then showed slides of the deteriorating conditions at the City?s courses. He advised that the City Council previously approved a remodel of the Sunbrook clubhouse by Les Stoker, and authorized $550,000 for the project. The low bid received, however, was for $627,491, and the remodel project was not pursued. Mr. Terry then reviewed the remodel design by Les Stoker and a proposal from Norm Olsen to build a new building. City Manager Gary Esplin advised there is a $100,000 difference between the two projects, and Mr. Olsen is contributing $150,000 toward this project. The City also has a shared parking agreement with Mr. Olsen for use of his adjacent property. He is also allowing the use of his property for storage of City golf carts. Mr. Esplin advised that if enterprise funds were used, few of the problems presented would be able to be taken care of. He explained the Golf Course Fund is a break even fund, and a creative way to fund the suggested improvements is needed. He advised that Sunbrook was built on two different bond issues, and the debt could be extended for an additional three years which would provide $878,000 in new dollars. No payment would have to be made until the other bonds were paid for, and debt service would not be increased. $400,000 would have to be allocated to the Sunbrook clubhouse, and the balance could be spread out over the other prioritized projects. Councilmember Gardner and Mayor McArthur recommended extending the bonds. Councilmember Orton commented the impact the City golf courses have on the economy is great. St. George City Council Minutes January 27, 2000 Page Five City Manager Gary Esplin advised that money could also be used from the capital projects fund, or a one-time use of the economic development fund, which comes from the 1% fee charged by motels which is dedicated to the Dixie Center. Linda Kirkpatrick advised that the life span of the remodel would not be the same as that of a new building. City Manager Gary Esplin advised the golf courses have a direct impact on the economic condition of the City by having available rounds. Non-resident play is about 80% of Sunbrook?s usage. Councilmember Whatcott commented that of all the City?s courses, the St. George Golf Club has the most potential to increase its revenues if the suggested improvements are made. Councilmember Orton commented it was critical to maintain the image of Sunbrook. Councilmember Whatcott advised that the City has tried to keep its golf rates low so that everyone can enjoy the courses, but basic needs have to be met. He inquired if the $100 per sq. ft. cost being proposed by Mr. Olsen was high. Dave Terry replied that according to his research, the cost was reasonable. Carol Sapp inquired if there could be things done to reduce the cost of the new building, such as removing the hexagons from the design. She also suggested the project be put out to bid. City Manager Gary Esplin replied timing would be a problem if the project were put out to bid. Dave Terry advised there is only two months to get the plans ready so that construction on the building can begin in May and be ready to use by October. Mayor McArthur advised that the new building must be large enough to accommodate all the golf carts, even those required for another nine holes at some time in the future. Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins expressed concern that Mr. Olsen?s proposal was for a building smaller than the proposed remodel, and the City cannot do without any less cart space than proposed under the remodel. He suggested the plan be revised. He also advised that Mr. Olsen is providing an engineer and architect for the project at no cost to the City. City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City could also do its own landscaping of the project up to $30,000 to cut the cost of the project. Glen Bundy inquired if the proposed clubhouse would be expandable to accommodate future use. Councilmember Whatcott made a motion to approve the construction of the Sunbrook clubhouse as proposed by Mr. Olsen, giving Gary Esplin and Dave Terry and any others an opportunity to look at all potential revenue St. George City Council Minutes January 27, 2000 Page Six sources, to work with the developer on a redesign of the proposed project that will meet the City?s needs now and in the future, prioritizing options for funding keeping taxes as a last resort and possibly using economic development funds. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Orton. City Manager Gary Esplin again reiterated it was not the City?s intention to use any tax dollars or general fund monies for this project. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. DISCUSSION CONCERNING OPEN SPACE PLANNING: City Manager Gary Esplin advised that at present two major entities control the open lands around the City - the BLM and the State. The State recently contacted the City inquiring if the City would be interested in jointly planning some of this open area and to identify it as open space forever. This would create a ring of open space around the City. The State is requesting that the City enter into a joint planning agreement and contribute some money for the planning process and to hire Ira Hodges. Mr. Esplin advised the City is also working with the BLM on a joint planning process in another area. Carol Sapp stated that when the general plan was adopted, critical areas and hillsides that needed to be preserved were identified. She asked if these agreements would supercede the general plan. City Manager Gary Esplin advised that all the City is doing with the State and BLM is identifying certain areas which cannot be developed, not designating any additional open space, as the BLM property is not within the City limits. He advised this is a whole new concept of master planning with the federal government and will provide a significant amount of open space for people to enjoy for hundreds of years. Councilmember Whatcott commented it sounded like the City is continuing to expand its master plan. MISCELLANEOUS: Councilmember Whatcott advised he was contacted by a citizen who suggested that the proposed statue for the roundabout include a father figure to represent the family values espoused by the community. He advised he and others would be willing to donate to the cost of this additional figure. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion was made to adjourn to an executive session by Councilmember Gardner. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Whatcott, and all voted aye. RECONVENE: A motion to reconvene was made by Councilmember Whatcott. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Orton, and all voted aye. DISCUSSION RE COMMUNITY EDUCATION CHANNEL: A discussion took place concerning the Community Education Channel, and the need for coverage of high school sports and a variety in the scheduling. A meeting with Stan Plewe and Pres. Bob Huddleston has been scheduled. St. George City Council Minutes January 27, 2000 Page Seven DISCUSSION RE SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS: City Manager Gary Esplin advised that he and Chief Flowers met with Superintendent Kolene Granger and Asst. Superintendent Jim Johnson from the Washington County School District about the School Resource Officer program. The City can only fund 40%, so the County and School District share would rise to 60%. Resource Officers will not be provided for the middle schools due to a lack of funding. MISCELLANEOUS: Councilmember Gardner advised that Sam Laub has offered to serve on any City board or committee, if needed. ADJOURN: A motion to adjourn was made by Councilmember Whatcott. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Gardner, and all voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m. ________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder