City Council

Thursday, April 13,2000

ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES WORK MEETING APRIL 13, 2000, 4:00 P.M. ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM Present: Mayor Dan McArthur Councilmember Sharon Isom Councilmember Rod Orton Councilmember Suzanne Allen Councilmember Larry Gardner City Manager Gary Esplin City Attorney Jonathan Wright City Recorder Gay Cragun EXCUSED: Councilmember Bob Whatcott DEDICATION OF 2450 EAST PARK: Mayor McArthur and City Councilmembers Orton, Allen and Gardner attended the dedication ceremony at the 2450 East Park. OPENING: Upon returning to the City Office, Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and offered the invocation. Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised the dedication of Tonaquint Cemetery is scheduled for April 27 at 4:00 p.m. DISCUSSION RE DINOSAUR TRACKS: Public Information Officer Marc Mortensen displayed a drawing of the fence plan for the dinosaur tracks area and advised the fencing would be installed next week. Sheldon Johnson requested the fence be installed all the way to the road. He thanked the City for its assistance. Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised that through Recreation and the Nature Center, a volunteer corp has been formed. Volunteers will attend an orientation and be available to assist at the dinosaur tracks. Mr. Johnson advised the dinosaur tracks are considered to be a world-class find and are 200-206 million years old. He would like to donate the tracks to an entity, whether it be Dixie College or the City, in exchange for a long term commitment to care for them. Councilmember Gardner inquired if Mr. Johnson would prefer the tracks be kept together in one collection or scattered among several different sites. Mr. Johnson replied he preferred they be kept in one site. Mrs. Johnson suggested the idea of a dinosaur exploratorium be pursued with an opportunity for hands-on learning. Mayor McArthur commented the City was committed to protecting the dinosaur site as well as being interested in long term management of the tracks. City Manager Gary Esplin suggested the tracks be displayed in the new museum at the Dixie Center, however, the amount of space needed for the exhibit would have to be determined. Mr. Johnson advised his most pressing need at this time was for volunteers and to have the tracks fenced so that they could be managed. Shade would then be needed. Mayor McArthur advised that the City did want to take ownership of the tracks, and it was committed to protect them and would assist in locating a protected place for their display. Mr. Johnson requested a few directional signs for the site, and a portable restroom. He suggested the City and College form a non-profit organization to accept donations to assist in the long term display of the tracks. DISCUSSION RE STANDARD SPECIFICATIONS FOR DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: City Engineer Dave Demas distributed materials summarizing the history of the Design Specifications, proposed significant changes, a letter from the Southern Utah Homebuilder?s Association, and street cross-section configurations. He reviewed the significant changes with the Mayor and City Council. Carol Sapp, representing Southern Utah Homebuilders Association, advised this was the first work meeting at which the Association had been invited to attend and address their concerns with the proposed Design Specs. Councilmember Isom commented there had to be a way to calculate extra costs associated with the proposed Design Specs and determine the impact upon a new home. Carol Sapp advised the Homebuilders Association is supportive of blending the City?s policies into one document, however the individuals who put together the specs and plans are not in the homebuilding business. The Homebuilders Association is charged with the responsibility of eliminating unnecessary costs where possible so they are not borne by the home buyer. She advised the Association could not support the document as some of the proposed changes will unnecessarily increase the cost of housing. She advised the Association was strongly opposed to the requirement for 5' sidewalks and minimum depth of asphalt as no one knew the costs associated with them. Linda Kirkpatrick distributed a chart showing increases per the proposed specs which she calculated. She reviewed the figures with the Mayor and City Council. Carol Sapp advised the increased cost per home would amount to approximately $1,000, minus the warranty bond cost. Paul Jensen advised that while the proposed specs would not result in a significant increase for an expensive lot, it would be a significant increase for a lot in the price range of $20,000-$30,000. He advised the proposed specs do not accommodate a drive-over curb, and the addition of this provision would go a long way in recovering development costs due to curbs that must be torn up and disposed of to accommodate driveways. Vince Clayton advised the development industry has an obligation to keep all housing as affordable as possible, and any change to the cost of housing should be precipitated by need only. Rick Rosenberg commented the Homebuilders Association should be made a part of the design spec review process, as the developers are the ones who have to pay for the changes. Changes should be made carefully and with input from all affected parties. He advised that many contractors will not know of new requirements in the specs and will bid a job and then have to find extra money when they become aware of them. This will increase his bid in the future and the increased cost will trickle down to the consumer. Carol Sapp stated that while the Homebuilders Association could support a majority of the proposed design specs, it would not support the document in its entirety as costs have not been determined for many proposed requirements. She requested the Task Force be kept open for a period of time to enable it to address issues of concern. City Manager Gary Esplin advised the issue is who should pay, and staff?s suggestions are to protect the public at large. He inquired if there were no guarantee or bond, should be City be responsible to pay for things the contractor or developer did not perform. While the City did not want to increase costs, many factors come into play when establishing the price of a lot. If the developer does not want to pay for costs up front, they will usually be required at the end and of someone else. The City?s intent is simply to take the current process and improve upon it and keep costs from being deferred to the consumer. Mayor McArthur said quality of life needs to be considered, and the City will have to take a stand and adopt some new specs at some time. Carol Sapp advised she would like to see the new spec requiring the addition of lime to asphalt be required immediately. City Manager Gary Esplin expressed concern about making a change that certain contractors would be unaware of until they are in the middle of a project. Carol Sapp advised that a cost benefit analysis of the new specs needed to be performed, and inquired whose responsibility it was to perform one. Assistant City Engineer Jay Sandberg replied that City staff feels it has resolved all significant issues, and the proposed specs were reviewed thoroughly section by section while trying to identify costs. City Engineer Dave Demas suggested adoption of the specifications without the controversial sections dealing with cross sections, widths, etc. He advised that some costs may not be known until the work is actually performed. Jack Voris concurred with Mr. Demas? recommendation that the specs be adopted without inclusion of the controversial sections. Vince Clayton commented that while he knew the City had to move forward on adoption of the specs, he asked for an assurance that as problems arose in implementation of the new specs, the problems could be solved quickly rather than in a long, drawn-out manner. Councilmember Isom advised she would like to set a time frame to determine costs and implement the specs without the sections in question. City Manager Gary Esplin advised if that were the case, it would have to fall on someone else?s shoulders and not staff?s, as staff has already evaluated the specifications section by section and cannot guarantee anything more than they already have. Councilmember Gardner commented there will always be some disagreement, but he hoped City staff would look at logical solutions to solve problems. Mayor McArthur suggested the issue be tabled for one month for further study. Carol Sapp again suggested the implementation of the specification requiring lime in asphalt be implemented immediately. Mayor McArthur advised it would be scheduled on the next City Council agenda. Rick Rosenberg commented the advantage of implementing a new policy is that it puts everyone on alert and it is their duty to study it. He expressed concern about City policies that were not being enforced, and he advised it was better to implement an entire policy and anything alarming will surface quickly. City Manager Gary Esplin stated if the City Council felt good about the specification requiring the addition of lime to asphalt, it could be implemented by memo or policy. REPORT ON DISCUSSION WITH POSTAL SERVICE: Mayor McArthur advised he and City Manager Gary Esplin met with a representative from the Postal Service about placement of mailboxes and sidewalk issues. The matter will be discussed again at a later date. DISCUSSION RE PROPOSED ZONE CHANGE: Mayor McArthur displayed a map of an area in Bloomington for which Sun River will be requesting a zone change in order to build storage units. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss litigation was made by Councilmember Gardner. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Allen, and all voted aye. RECONVENE AND ADJOURN: A motion to reconvene and adjourn was made by Councilmember Isom. The motion was seconded by Councilmember Orton, and all voted aye. The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m. ________________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder