City Council Minutes

Thursday, April 12,2001



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES WORK MEETING APRIL 12, 2001, 4:00 P.M. ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur CouncilmemberLarry Gardner Councilmember Sharon Isom Councilmember Suzanne Allen Councilmember Bob Whatcott City Manager Gary Esplin City Attorney Jonathan Wright City Recorder Gay Cragun EXCUSED: Councilmember Rod Orton WELCOME: Mayor McArthur welcomed all present. The invocation was offered by Marc Mortensen. COMPLAINTS RE ATVs IN BLOOMINGTON AREA: Mayor McArthur invited Police Chief Marlon Stratton to update the City Council on ATV enforcement in the Bloomington area. Chief Stratton reported that property used by ATVs has recently been posted against trespassing and enforcement will be stepped up and citations issued for violations. UPDATE ON SPRING BREAK: Mayor McArthur invited Police Chief Marlon Stratton to update the City Council on spring break. Chief Stratton reported that the Police Department is prepared for Spring Break and all officers are working overtime. Many agencies are here to help, including the Utah Highway Patrol, Salt Lake County Gang Task Force, and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Traffic will be prohibited from exiting or accessing the Boulevard from 500 East, 600 East, 700 East, 800 East, and 900 East, and two officers will be stationed on each block on both sides of the Blvd. Transport vans will also be available to transport arrestees to the detention center. Councilmember Whatcott arrived. MINI GRAND PRIX: Mr. Wilkinson from Skywest advised that last year the City participated in a mini grand prix event sponsored by Skywest and the Arthritis Foundation which was very successful. Total intake was $120,000, with a net of $65,000 which was given to the Arthritis Foundation. Mr. Wilkinson proposed the event now be sponsored by the City and turned into a local, annual event, with any money raised given to local programs. There are 50 vendors interested in participating this year, and Skywest would help coordinate the event. It is projected the event will gross $200,000 this year. Skywest will donate its 13 cars to the City, and the City could then resell those cars to other teams at a rate of $3,500 to $3,800 each. The cost of a new car is $4,500. He advised that many of the interested vendors are in the aerospace industry, and this would also be a good opportunity to make contacts for the new airport as rents paid by these industries are typically $3,000-$4,000 monthly to store their aircraft. Mr. Wilkinson advised that a CD promoting the event has been prepared, and all that is needed are the volunteers and approval from the City. He suggested a scoring system be purchased at a cost of $5,000 which could then be used each year. It was the consensus of the Mayor and City Council to proceed with the event. Mr. Wilkinson advised the tentative date for the event is currently November 8-10, 2001. City Manager Gary Esplin advised he and Public Information Officer Marc Mortensen will coordinate the program and present the plans to the Mayor and Council at a later date. DISCUSSION WITH THE ASSOCIATION OF PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENTS AND CONDOS: City Manager Gary Esplin advised the Association would like to address three issues: water rates, sewer inspection and repair, and road replacement. With regard to water rates, Mr. Esplin advised that the City has made a commitment to address the issue as soon as new water rates have been approved. This issue has been addressed in the water rate study and will be dealt with in an equitable manner. With regard to road replacement, Mr. Esplin agreed that the City’s policy should be modified because in recent years the City has required private streets to be constructed to the City’s specification and be certified by an engineer that they conform to the City’s public street standard. These new streets, although private, could be repaired by the City since they meet City standards. He recommended the City’s current policy be changed to take over repair of private streets caused by breaks in sewer or water lines. Routine maintenance, however, would be the responsibility of the association. Because of the exclusivity in not allowing public traffic to access these private streets in PUDs, the City is not prepared to go further than make repairs caused by water, sewer, or power line breaks to the streets at this time. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised that private streets do not meet geometric design standards, are narrow, and there are liability issues the City is not prepared to take on at this time. Mr. Esplin advised that with regard to sewer inspection and repair, it is difficult to define what is a public sewer line, and the City’s policy is that it only maintains public sewer lines. When a sewer lateral leaves the main line, the lateral is maintained by the owner of the property it serves, and not the City. Ms. Tyler Nelson, President of the AOPC, advised that 47 PUDs, representing 5,000 homes, belong to the Association. She introduced the board members. She explained the Board feels PUDs have not been treated in a manner consistent with the taxes and fees they pay. Since the City does not inspect or repair private sewer lines, the fees should not be the same as those for non-PUDs. City Manager Gary Esplin advised that staff met to discuss the requests of the AOPC. He suggested a committee be formed to address their concerns. The City currently has a program to inspect public sewer lines on a regular basis, and if the Council is inclined to approve inspection of private sewer lines, staff is happy to oblige, but this will reduce service levels throughout the community. Mr. Gil Nicola advised in his opinion the problem was simple. A main sewer line running down a main street, public or private, should be repaired by the City because the same fees have been paid. However, he did not understand the complexity of the problem of determining the definition of a public or private line until Mr. Esplin’s explanation of the problem. Mr. Esplin advised all public sewer lines should be maintained by the City if a distinction can be made between private and public. If a lateral dead-ends on private property, it should not be maintained by the City. He explained the City’s program of sewer inspection and cleaning, and advised if a lateral is determined to be public, it will be put on the list for inspection and cleaning. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch commented if a sewer lateral serves only an isolated area, it is not serving the public need. However, if it serves multiple neighborhoods, it should be considered public. Mayor McArthur commented he favored the idea of forming a committee to examine the issues. Mr. Nicola suggested the City base its policy on pipe size. Mr. Esplin stated an inventory of all laterals was needed. He suggested the AOPC designate two members to serve on the proposed committee. Mr. Bulloch advised staff would lay out the entire system and put together options for discussion by the committee. This will take a few weeks. With regard to water rates, Ms. Nelson advised that the Legacy has five water meters for 179 homes which is more homes on one meter than allowed by the City. Because there are so many homes on one meter, assessment of water conservation is difficult. Additionally, water pressure problems are being experienced, and there is no way to regulate which meter the water passes through. Jack Rose commented there is an economic solution to the water problem, and that is to charge more to those who use the most water. In his project, the Ridge, there are 30 homes on one meter. 20 of these homes are empty and only used occasionally on weekends, while the other ten try to conserve, yet the City’s current program does not take this into account. A fairer approach is needed to the economic aspect of water conservation. Councilmember Gardner asked why individual meters were not supplied for each unit. He was advised that developers prefer not to do this because of the required impact fees. Mr. Esplin advised that the City’s new conservation program would take into account the number of units on each water meter. He advised if developers had to pay impact fees for installation of meters for each unit, this cost would be passed along to the buyers. Mr. Nicola commented that water in a PUD is controlled by the association, and therefore sharing meters makes sense. Mr. Esplin advised the Meadowcreek PUD clubhouse is being charged a commercial sewer rate according to the City’s policy and is tied to outside water usage. The problem arises that the clubhouse has only two restrooms which are seldom used, yet they are being billed $216 a month for sewer service. He suggested a solution to this problem would be install a separate meter for outside watering, and another for the clubhouse. Mr. Bulloch stated staff could do an average calculation and if there were a dramatic difference, the Association would be credited. Mr. Esplin commented the only problem with requiring another meter would be the resulting impact fee. He suggested the City could waive the impact fee for those associations who have experienced this problem with their clubhouses. However, the City’s policy needed to be changed so the issue could be resolved permanently. Adjustments will be made for those who have been overcharged and Mr. Bulloch will get the necessary numbers and come back to the Council with suggestions. SCHEDULE WORK MEETING: Mr. Esplin advised a work meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 25, 2001 at 4:00 p.m. to hear presentations regarding the MPO and telecommunications. There will not be a work meeting on Thursday, April 26. CONTINUE DISCUSSION WITH AOPC: Paul Carter, representing Crystal Lakes, advised they had a break in a water line to a fire hydrant and had to pay for repair of the street. Mr. Esplin replied that henceforth the City would repair the street, but this policy could not be retroactive. City Attorney Jonathan Wright advised that PUD plats and CC&Rs contain a provision or note that the association is responsible for repair of streets due to activities of the City. WASTEWATER AWARD: Regional Wastewater Manager Barry Barnum advised that the City’s plant and collection division received the Water Environmental Association of Utah’s safety award, and the lab received the award for the best lab in the state. DISCUSSION WITH VETERANS ALLIANCE CONCERNING POLICIES AT TONAQUINT CEMETERY: City Manager Gary Esplin advised that City staff has concerns with the request of the Veterans Service Alliance for reservation of burial plots in the Tonaquint Cemetery. The City currently provides all bona fide veterans with a free plot at the time of their death, and is the only City in the state to do so. The veterans would like to reserve their free plot at the time a plot is purchased for their spouse. Mr. Clyde Nielsen, representing the veterans, advised that the City’s current policy makes it difficult for families of veterans to plan and make pre-burial arrangements. Mayor McArthur commented that perhaps the City’s policy of donating free plots to veterans should be re-evaluated if St. George is currently the only city in the State to do this. He advised there is also a State veterans’ cemetery which is free to veterans. City Attorney Jonathan Wright advised he recently addressed a cemetery sexton’s conference, and after the meeting several sextons from other cities told him they charge more for a veteran burial, and expressed surprise that the City of St. George donates a free burial plot to veterans. Councilmember Isom commented that the City’s current policy allows a veteran and his or her spouse to purchase a plot now at the regular price, or they can wait and the spouse can select the free plot at the time of the veteran’s death. Either method is available to the veteran and his or her family. Mayor McArthur suggested if the City were to change its policy and allow reservation of plots for veterans, the City would be inundated with requests. Councilmember Isom commented the City Council must make decisions in the best interests of the community at large. City Manager Gary Esplin commented the City, while trying to be respectful toward veterans, would not know how to deal with the possible inundation of requests for reservations of free plots and would have to expand the cemetery sooner than planned without the revenue to do so. However, under the current policy, there is plenty of space at the current cemetery, and veterans and their families need not fear there will not be a wide selection of plots available. Mr. Esplin suggested the City follow its current policy and if a veteran chooses to select his or her plots now, he or she may do so if the regular price is paid for the plots. It was the consensus of the City Council to keep the current policy in place. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss litigation was made by Councilmember Isom and seconded by Councilmember Allen. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote as follows: Councilmember Isom - aye Councilmember Allen - aye Councilmember Gardner - aye Councilmember Whatcott - aye The vote was unanimous and the motion carried. RECONVENE/DISCUSSION RE RATE STUDY: A brief discussion was held concerning a water/power rate study which is being commissioned by the Washington County Economic Development Council in response to the rate study commissioned by the City of St. George and performed by Alpha Engineering. The meeting then adjourned. __________________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder