City Council Minutes

Thursday, March 9,2000



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES WORK MEETING MARCH 9, 2000, 4:00 P.M. ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur Councilmember Bob Whatcott Councilmember Larry Gardner Councilmember Suzanne Allen Councilmember Rod Orton City Manager Gary Esplin City Attorney Jonathan Wright City Recorder Gay Cragun EXCUSED: Councilmember Sharon Isom FIELD TRIP TO CANYONS COMPLEX: A field trip was taken to the site of the proposed maintenance building at the Canyons Complex. Also present was Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins. DISCUSSION RE CONCURRENCY: City Manager Gary Esplin advised the City has received a request for a building permit in the Bloomington Ranches area where there is no sewer service and the recently proposed SID was defeated. He explained the property in question is next to property which has experienced septic system failure. There are also ground water problems in the area. However, approval from the Southwest Utah Health Department has been obtained for a septic system. Councilmember Gardner explained that septic fields can be located on top of the ground and covered with a berm so the leach pad is located above the water table. Councilmember Orton advised a SID is badly needed in the area. City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the more septic tanks the City allows to be located in this area, that many more people will be opposed to an SID in the area because of the investment they have already made in a septic system. Mr. Esplin advised City staff is working on another proposed SID in the area. Councilmember Gardner inquired if the City could deny the building permit based on the fact plans for an SID are in progress. City Manager Gary Esplin suggested the matter be considered in a regular City Council meeting, and perhaps issuance of building permits in this area could be suspended for a 3-4 month period of time while the City determines support for the SID. Councilmember Gardner inquired what the City?s legal options were. City Attorney Jonathan Wright advised the City has approved the platted subdivision in the area, and could only deny a building permit based upon an emergency or health provision. Councilmember Orton commented that while he understood the rights of property owners in the area, this particular area of Bloomington is faced with a big problem that could affect their health and safety. He inquired if an SID could be created without support from the property owners. City Attorney Jonathan Wright advised an SID could not be forced upon the property owners. Councilmember Orton suggested the area be canvassed to determine the actual level of problems with septic systems, and remedy it if possible. Mayor McArthur commented in his opinion the building permit should be denied until the problem level in the area is identified. If it is determined there is not a problem in the area, the building permit could then be issued. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch presented the proposal for the new SID in this area. It was the consensus of the City Council to proceed with the SID. City Manager Gary Esplin inquired of the Mayor and City Council what they would like to do as far as requiring concurrency in the Little Valley area for areas not served by the new SID. Councilmember Allen advised she would like concurrency strictly adhered to. City Manager Gary Esplin suggested a discussion be scheduled to discuss concurrency requirements for any new subdivision east of 3000 East. However, 4-5 new subdivision have already been approved in this area. He advised he would instruct planning staff that sewer concerns for any construction east of 3000 East will have to be resolved before a building permit can be issued. DISCUSSION ON MEETING WITH WASHINGTON CITY RE NEW AIRPORT: Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised that Washington City is planning a meeting to gather input from its citizens on the new airport. St. George has not been invited to make a presentation. Mr. Bulloch advised he has drafted a resolution to initiate a joint planning board with the City of Washington. It is currently being reviewed by the City Attorney?s Office. City Manager Gary Esplin advised he heard the Kleins are initiating their annexation to Washington City. St. George has not yet received any notice to this effect. Larry Bulloch commented he would like to establish a partnership with Washington City. Councilmember Gardner commented that before any commitments for annexation are made by St. George City, levels of participation need to be determined. Mayor McArthur commented the most important issue is to protect the airport site. City Manager Gary Esplin commented that some things are out of the City?s control, and it can only do so much, but the City has an obligation to partner and try to work out differences with Washington City, and if this effort is made, the FAA will recognize the City?s good faith effort. DISCUSSION CONCERNING EQUAL PAYMENT PLAN FOR UTILITY SERVICES: Finance Director Phil Peterson distributed copies of a proposed Resolution Providing for an Equal Pay (Budget) Plan. He explained the City has received many requests for an equal payment plan but has been hesitant in implementing one because of software problems. The City?s electronic fund transfer (EFT) program has worked well, and an equal payment plan has now been designed to piggyback on to the EFT program. It is proposed the equal payment plan be available for residential accounts only at this time for customers with a favorable 12 month history, and only through the EFT program. Payment would be taken out of the accounts on the 10th of each month, regardless of the customer?s cycle. The equal pay plan was approved by the Water and Power Board. If approved by the City Council, it is proposed the program be implemented in June. City Manager Gary Esplin advised he would schedule the proposed program on the next City Council agenda. Councilmember Whatcott suggested the plan not be implemented in June because June is the beginning of a peak usage period, and the City would then be fronting funds for the highest use period of the year. DISCUSSION RE TRANSPORTATION FUNDRAISING REQUEST: Finance Director Phil Peterson advised he received a telephone call from Beth Cottam who informed him that the transportation grant she applied for was not denied, it had not been released but should be coming. Matching funds must be provided, however. She is requesting permission to raise funds through an insert in the City?s utility billing asking for donations to the program. She is also requesting that the City collect the donations and remit them to her. She feels donations will be enhanced if donees feel the project is City-related. Mr. Peterson expressed concern with handling and co-mingling the donated funds with City funds. City Manager Gary Esplin advised this issue is scheduled on the City Council agenda for March 16. City Treasurer Deanna Evans commented collection and remittance of the donated funds can be done with some difficulty, but would do so if desired by the City Council. She also expressed concern about setting a precedent for future requests. Mayor McArthur replied the City would only consider doing this for other governmental organizations. Councilmember Gardner commented the City is a participant and cooperative sponsor in the effort to raise funds for this transportation project. Mr. Peterson advised Ms. Cottam hopes to raise $50,000 in St. George. Councilmember Whatcott inquired about the possibility of charging a collection fee for administrative costs. Mayor McArthur commented the fundraising match is a legitimate way to raise funds without requiring an expenditure of funds from the General Fund. MISCELLANEOUS: City Manager Gary Esplin advised a discussion will be scheduled for the City Council agenda of March 23 concerning location of soccer fields and tennis courts. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session was made by Councilmember Orton. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Whatcott, and all voted aye. RECONVENE AND ADJOURN: The meeting adjourned at 7:00 p.m. ____________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder