City Council Minutes

Thursday, March 23,2000



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES WORK MEETING MARCH 23, 2000, 4:00 P.M. CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS/ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur Councilmember Suzanne Allen Councilmember Rod Orton Councilmember Larry Gardner Councilmember Bob Whatcott Councilmember Sharon Isom City Manager Gary Esplin Deputy City Attorney Ron Read City Recorder Gay Cragun OPENING: Mayor McArthur advised that Councilmember Isom would be arriving late. The invocation was offered by Councilmember Allen. DISCUSSION CONCERNING A RECYCLING PROGRAM: Mayor McArthur advised of the many ways the City is currently recycling, such as collecting and recycling aluminum cans from the golf courses, and recycling paper products. The City also has a policy of purchasing recycled products if they are within 5% of the lowest price. City Manager Gary Esplin advised the City has made a major investment in its Reuse Center on Brigham Road which recycles green waste. The City also recycles cement and asphalt at that location for use as road base. Mayor McArthur advised that sludge from the City?s Wastewater Treatment Plant is recycled by mixing it with the green waste from the Reuse Center to make compost. This compost is available to the public at $30 per ton. He advised, however, that recycling in general is handled through the Washington County Solid Waste District, and any efforts toward recycling must begin on a small basis and expand. Bonnie Deem introduced Tia and Sherry Garr who presented a recycling program that will be taken to the local schools to educate children about recycling. Mrs. Deem advised the neighborhood recycling program which began with just seven blocks now includes 75 blocks. Jennifer Ott, Executive Director of the Recycling Coalition of Utah, advised her organization can be used as a resource for information and networking for communities interested in recycling. She offered her assistance in developing a feasible recycling program for St. George. Councilmember Gardner advised he supported a community effort to recycle, but that it would be hard to supplement a program that does not pay for itself, and creative ideas were needed to make it work. Ms. Ott advised there is very little grant money available for recycling programs. Mayor McArthur advised that many communities are not recycling because of the prohibitive cost and fluctuation in the market. Ms. Deem advised that all items for recycling picked up by her volunteers are turned over to Recycle USA. She advised more volunteers were needed to help with the program, with the main emphasis being working with the schools to educate the children about recycling. Mayor McArthur suggested that Ms. Deem contact the Washington County Solid Waste District about institution of a recycling program. Councilmember Gardner suggested that perhaps the savings from the lower solid waste collection fees could be diverted to the recycling program. Mayor McArthur commented the savings are insignificant compared to the cost of a recycling program An unidentified man from the audience inquired if there were any way the City could advertise the recycling program in its utility billings and determine a level of support for such a program. Mayor McArthur replied that could be done the next time there is a City-wide survey. City Manager Gary Esplin commented the parameters and cost of a recycling program would have to be determined. Councilmember Rod Orton commented most large grocery stores in the area are already recycling cardboard. Roene Wilkinson advised she has been in the recycling business for 15 years, and helped institute recycling programs in Salt Lake City and Sandy. She advised that a recycling program is very costly. She offered her help in instituting a program in St. George. Mayor McArthur encouraged Ms. Deem and volunteers to continue with their recycling efforts and to contact the Washington County Solid Waste District. INCREASE IN JUNIOR GOLF FEES: Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins distributed a memo concerning 2000 junior golf rates. He advised staff proposes to raise junior golf fees by $1 per round. This is not an attempt to augment golf revenues, as the increase will be used entirely within the JAG program and will be used to implement a summer marshal program to teach junior golfers proper on-course golf etiquette. He advised this education process would ultimately help protect the golf courses and improve the overall program. It was the consensus of the City Council to approve the increased fee with the key to the success of the program being the hiring of the right people for the marshaling positions. DONATION OF CHERRY TREES: Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised he received a letter from St. George International who is bringing to St. George another group of Japanese people. This group donated 100 cherry trees previously which were planted at the trail head at South Main. They would now like to donate more trees, and St. George International suggested the donor?s name be recognized on a plaque and placed somewhere along the trail. Mr. Perkins suggested the plaque designate the trailhead area as ?Ohashi Gardens.? It was the consensus of the City Council to approve this request. DISCUSSION RE TEMPLE TRAILHEAD: Mayor McArthur reported on a meeting with Craig and Kevin Flowers concerning a trail through their property adjacent to the Temple Trail. They are willing to allow the trail through their property, as well as donate to the City the hillside all the way to the ?D.? Negotiations are ongoing. FIELD TRIP SCHEDULED: City Manager Gary Esplin advised a field trip to view the dinosaur tracks on Sheldon Johnson?s property has been scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 30. A trip to the site of the requested zone change for State School Trust lands in Bloomington was also scheduled immediately following the viewing of the dinosaur tracks. RED CLIFFS DESERT PRESERVE PUBLIC USE PLAN: Lori Rose presented a map of the recently amended Red Cliffs Desert Preserve Public Use Plan, and advised a public hearing will be held March 28, 2000 at 6:00 p.m. in the Washington County Commission Chambers. Written comment will also be accepted through April 14. She reviewed with the City Council the changes to the Plan. Mayor McArthur inquired if options were available for creating more trails through the Preserve in the future, and Ms. Rose responded that it is anticipated changes will be made. DISCUSSION RE PARK AREA ALONG VIRGIN RIVER ON EAST SIDE OF BLACK RIDGE: A discussion took place concerning the dinosaur tracks on Sheldon Johnson?s property. Mr. Layton Ott advised the tracks can be moved to the park or trail area if desired by the City. It was also suggested some of the tracks could be located in the proposed Wildlife Museum at the Dixie Center. Mr. Ott displayed a map of the area and advised he and Mr. Paul Jensen would like to proceed with zoning of the area. He stated he felt PD Commercial zoning would be appropriate, but requested the City?s input. A discussed ensued about the possibility of locating soccer fields on a portion of the property. Lynne Scott advised that 10 acres was needed for a soccer complex, but it would be too risky to locate the soccer fields that close to the river. City Manager Gary Esplin advised the property was very valuable as a parkway, and expressed concern about locating a soccer complex there as no structures should be located on the property. Layton Ott advised it was his desire to work with the City any way he could, but the first step in development of the property is zoning. He then advised he needed a commitment from the City as far as participation. Councilmember Isom arrived. City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that perhaps a land trade could be negotiated. Councilmember Gardner commented this site may work well as a soccer complex while the other proposed sites may not work. He suggested the City keep its options open. City Manager Gary Esplin suggested the frontage property along Riverside Drive could be master planned. It was the consensus of the City Council that they preferred PD Commercial zoning of the property. Mr. Ott commented he would consult with Sheldon Johnson and then contact City Manager Gary Esplin. SKATE PARK PRESENTATION: Zack Wormhoudt, design of the proposed skate park, presented drawings. He advised the proposed skate park is 15,000 sq. ft. He advised he relied heavily on input from skaters when designing the park. The park will be built of concrete and will be a maintenance free facility. The park will accommodate a mix of street style and free form skating, with safety being the prime consideration. The park has features making it safe and practical for beginning skaters, yet challenging for advanced skaters. Councilmember Gardner inquired if the design were sophisticated enough to accommodate competitions. Mr. Wormhoudt replied the park has the potential to host competitions, but that would also depend on how the park was operated. He advised the cost of the facility will be between $15-$20 a sq. ft. 4000 psi reinforced concrete will be used. Councilmember Orton inquired about fundraising efforts of the community skate park committee. Assistant Leisure Services Director Herb Basso replied the efforts have been stalled because visual aids were needed to raise funds. Now that the design is available, it will be used in fundraising efforts. Mr. Wormhoudt estimated the total cost of the project could be between $230,000 and $300,000. Councilmember Orton inquired about liability. Parks Superintendent Lynne Scott replied it has been found that cities are not having big accidents at skate parks, and more accidents happen on playgrounds. Liability is very low. She advised that safety gear will be required. Mr. Basso advised some adult skate park committee members want to know to what extent the City is willing to financially support the facility. City Manager Gary Esplin advised the City has bought the property, but no funds have been set aside for construction of the skate park. The success of the fundraising efforts will be taken into consideration, and money could be allocated to the project if desired by the City Council. Park impact funds, however, could not be used. Mr. Basso estimated that between 700-1200 skaters will use the new facility regularly 2-3 times a week. PRESENTATION OF PLAN FOR TENNIS COMPLEX: Parks Superintendent Lynne Scott presented a proposed plan for a tennis complex to be located between the new Tonaquint Cemetery and the Tonaquint Park and Nature Center. She advised the proposed time frame for completion is by October 9, in time for the Senior Games. It is scheduled to go out to bid by May 21. City Manager Gary Esplin suggested bids be taken for concrete and asphalt courts so as to not delay the project if concrete is too expensive. Ms. Scott replied that because top-of-the-line courts are desired, concrete and post-tension concrete could be bid. $740,000 is the preliminary cost estimate for the complex. It was the consensus of the City Council to proceed with the project. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss personnel matters was made by Councilmember Gardner. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Whatcott, and all voted aye. RECONVENE: A motion to reconvene was made by Councilmember Isom. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Whatcott, and all voted aye. UPDATE ON MEETING WITH SCHOOL DISTRICT: Mayor McArthur advised he and City Manager Gary Esplin met with representatives of the School District who are willing to back down from some of their previous conditions for purchase of property in the downtown Historic District. The agreement will be re-drafted. The City will give the School District $600,000 down, payment of $400,000 in four years, and the remainder due in 7.5 years. The School District will have to meet parking requirements, and will have the right to lease the old gym building and receive lease payments for up to five years. After five years, or when the City takes over the building, the City would then receive the lease payments, but not before five years. If the building was not leased in the first two years, this provision would be eliminated and the building torn down. The School District is also responsible for demolishing the old school office building at their expense, but would leave the bus maintenance building and shed at the City?s option. DISCUSSION RE CEC: Councilmember Whatcott reported on a recent CEC meeting and advised the interlocal agreement is currently being amended to reflect new census numbers. Reorganization of the board took place to afford more say to those who pay. The City will now have two seats on the Board. There is a recommendation before the Board to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars fixing up a semi. This semi was purchased from a state college?s broadcasting department, but is filled with analog equipment which is incompatible with digital equipment. Councilmember Gardner commented it was apparent the CEC was lacking in technical expertise. Councilmember Whatcott asked for direction from the City Council. The CEC has almost $800,000 in outstanding debt, yet Stan Everett is recommending extension of credit lines in order to acquire another $200,000 to put into the semi truck. Councilmember Isom advised she was not in favor of increasing the debt. Councilmember Gardner expressed concern about programming. Councilmember Whatcott suggested appointing Marc Mortensen as a member of the CEC Committee. Mayor McArthur concurred with this recommendation. _______________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder