City Council Minutes

Thursday, October 31,2002



St. George City Council Minutes
Special Meeting
October 31, 2002 3:00 P.M.
Administrative Conference Room

Present:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
City Council Member Sharon Isom
City Council Member Rod Orton
City Council Member Suzanne Allen
City Council Member Robert Whatcott
City Council Member Larry Gardner
City Manager Gary Esplin
Acting City Attorney Ronald Read
Deputy City Recorder Ren? Fleming
Assistant to the City Manager Mark Mortensen

Opening:
Jay Sandberg offered the opening prayer. Acting City Attorney Ron Read led the pledge of allegiance.

Appointments to various City positions, boards and commissions

Mayor McArthur made a recommendation to appoint Shawn Guzman as the City Attorney and to appoint Phillip Solomon the Interim Water and Power Director.

Council Member Isom made a motion, seconded by Council Member Orton to appoint Shawn Guzman the City Attorney and Phillip Solomon Interim Water and Power Director.
The vote was as follows:
Council Member Allen, aye
Council Member Isom, aye
Council Member Whatcott, aye
Council Member Gardner, aye
Council Member Orton, aye
Motion carried

Consider adoption of a resolution of intent to authorize the issuance of approximately $15,000,000 water revenue refunding bonds and approximately $5,000,000 sewer revenue refunding bonds; and related matters

City Manager Esplin explained that due to favorable interest rates, the refinancing will allow the City to save money. The resolution will allow staff to get the process in motion so that negotiations can begin. The refinancing will not affect the length of time of the bonds.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton, seconded by Council Member Isom to adopt the resolution of intent to authorize the issuance of approximately $15,000,000 water revenue refunding bonds and approximately $5,000,000 sewer revenue refunding bonds; and related matters.

The Mayor called for a roll call vote as follows:
Council Member Isom, aye
Council Member Allen, aye
Council Member Gardner, aye
Council Member Orton, aye
Council Member Whatcott, aye
All in favor, motion carried.

The group discussed the manner of refinancing, whether it will be done conventionally or through the State.

Discussion concerning the subdivision ordinance

Present for this discussion: City of St. George staff: Bob Nicholson, Jay Sandberg, Dave Demas, Mark Bradley.

Others: Developer Milo McCowan, SUBHA President Carol Sapp, and Engineer Rick Rosenberg

Bob Nicholson explained the issues involved with the subdivision ordinance. He indicated developers were concerned with the time it took to go through the process. The staffs concern was correctly completed paperwork as well as accurate record keeping. He reviewed a memo distributed to City Council. He explained the staff felt building permits should not be issued until plats had been recorded. This is due to liability and ease of record keeping. The builders concern was one of taxation, and wanted permission to draw permits in fall of the year subject to the plat being recorded to avoid the tax assessment on January 1. The staffs concern was that the subdivisions are underway when the plats are submitted to council for approval.

Council Member Orton asked if there is also a concern that a final plat would be approved and then changes made based on staff requests.

Bob Nicholson indicated that was addressed by having all departments sign off on the plat before the Mayor signs it. He read the proposed ordinance. He explained survey issues sometimes delay the platting process and recommended the developer meet with Larry Bundy early in the process.

Jay Sandberg indicated the staff is in the process of implementing this right now and would like to make it mandatory.

The group discussed the benefits of meeting with Larry Bundy early in the process to resolve any survey issues.

Bob Nicholson indicated the City departments will review plans concurrently. He reviewed the change requiring a hold harmless agreement and that the final plat will be brought in with construction drawings.

Carol Sapp indicated this will bring in some consistency and the developers agree it is needed.

Bob Nicholson reviewed the conditions when a building permit will be issued without the final plat being recorded.

The group discussed the exceptions and the safe guards that prevent anyone from moving in until the final plat is recorded. The group discussed the number of permits that can be issued without the final plat being recorded. It was noted that banks won't issue financing on more than a few spec homes in a development.

Bob Nicholson reviewed the improvements that are required to be done before the building permits will be issued.

Assistant to the City Manager Mark Mortensen arrived at 3:35 p.m.
The group discussed the Parade of Homes units and the exemptions allowed in the proposed ordinance. The group discussed the concern of SUBHA if the roads are not paved at the time of the Parade of Homes.

Carol Sapp indicted that if after a year SUBHA is burnt by the exceptions, she will be back to the council to ask for the situation to be addressed.

Dave Demas explained that staff was concerned that if this wasn't included in the ordinance there may be other exceptions requested.

The group discussed if the Parade of Home exemption should be in the ordinance or if the requests should come to the City Council on a case-by-case basis.

Carol Sapp advised the council that the developer can be fined $500 each time the home is mentioned in a public setting as being a "Parade Home". If they have to come to City Council, they will be subject to the fine for each time they mention the home is a "Parade Home".

There was discussion of making the exceptions a policy rather than stating them in the ordinance. There was discussion of tracking that will be done on the internet.

Mark Bradley suggested there should be clarification between 5 and 4. He asked if they are extra exceptions on private streets.
The exceptions were discussed. The statement requires private subdivisions streets meet almost the same conditions as public streets.

Jay Sandberg clarified that item 4 deals with building permits in relation to the final plat, item 5 deals with building permits in relation to improvements.

Carol Sapp suggested more clarification on what a builder/developer is defined as. She also reminded the council that the committee committed to an October 1, 2002 deadline to solve the problem. She commented the committee did have this worked out in 8 weeks, because we worked as a team. It was a good process.

Council Member Whatcott asked if it resolves the problem of approving a final plat and then a name change request.

Bob Nicholson explained that if the developer changes the name or something else minor, if the Mayor is the last one to sign before it's recorded, it will solve those issues.

Council Member Orton asked if the plat will come to the council when it's ready for the Mayor's signature?

Dave Demas explained when it's ready for the Mayor to see it, all the staff signatures will be on the plat.

Acting City Attorney Read reviewed the legality of issuing a building permit before the plat is recorded. He explained there is no State law that prohibits it, but the Utah League of Cities and Towns recommended not doing it. He asked how to enforce the 120-day period to get plats recorded. He suggested building some language into the indemnity clause that the City will record the plat at the end of the 120-day period if the developer hasn't done it. He indicated he is assuming the bonding language will stay in place. Regarding the exception for the Parade of Homes, he suggested making a general exception without specifying the Parade of Homes. The ordinance has to say there can be an exception if the council plans to allow them at all.

Jay Sandberg asked if there is a problem with issuing a building permit before the plat is recorded if a bond isn't issued?

There was discussion of the City's liability if there is no bond and the developer runs in to problems. There was discussion of the problems if the developer goes bankrupt, construction is underway and the improvements are not completed.

Mayor McArthur directed the staff to prepare the ordinance for council review with the indemnity agreement by the December regular meeting.

Mayor McArthur scheduled a field trip on November 14, 2002 at 3:00PM to review some projects. The council will meet at the Royal Oaks Park 1400 West next to Snow Canyon Parkway.
Discussion with the Washington County School District concerning issues

Present for the discussion: City of St. George staff: Kent Perkins, Bob Nicholson,

Others: Members of the School District and School Board, Superintendent Colleen Granger

Mayor McArthur welcomed the school board members and those from the Washington County School District (WCSD) and expressed appreciation for the cooperation between the City and the WCSD.

City Manager Esplin explained he has met with several members of the school board and the WCSD to discuss several issues. One issue is the Dixie High School Campus. He explained the issue involves making a trade with the WCSD for the land next to Dixie High School (DHS) where the 4 ball fields are located. He explained both entities have agreed to have an appraisal done to determine the value of the land and also a value to replace the fields. Those numbers have to be worked on to come to an agreed dollar value.

Ms. Granger explained the LDS seminary wants to relocate to the area where the ball fields are and also the need to meet some deadlines so the LDS Church will fund the move of the seminary. The existing seminary could be used to address some adult special education programs.

Council Member Gardner noted one issue to be aware of is the sensitivity to the softball tournaments that may be scheduled for the fields.

City Manager Esplin advised there won't be a problem because the fields aren't used as often as they were before the Canyon ball fields were built. The Little League games would be primarily affected. The biggest problem is getting the federal government to sign off on the agreement, allowing the trade to go forward.

There was discussion of possible sites to relocate the ball fields. An area of Little Valley is being considered.

Council Member Whatcott indicated Little Valley is in the Washington City district of Little League.

City Manager Esplin commented that the most difficult issue to be resolved is how to value the improvements that are existing such as the fences, lights etc.

There was discussion about the value of replacement costs. The group discussed cost estimates on building a replacement fields and what amount the City should be paid for the existing fields.

Council Member Gardner asked if all of the fields have to be taken, or can this be accomplished if only one field is taken.
City Manager Esplin explained the DHS campus is cramped and the WCSD would like more space to expand or make changes. We have told the WCSD that the land up to the pond is available for trade. But the pond will remain City property.

Ms. Granger indicated the WCSD board is putting a lot of money into virtually a new high school. There needs to be enough space for the campus.

The school district asked if the City was willing to pay to upgrade the replacement fields. The council decided the issue needs continued discussion.

Kent Perkins indicated the City wants to be able to prorate its involvement in the watering system based on the amount acres being watered. Also the time line is a concern as the LDS Church has said they want it completed before April 1st, 2003 and the Federal Government needs 60 to 90 days to review the request. He explained staff has begun writing the letter that will be presented to the council regarding the federal issues. The council has to schedule a public hearing for this process. The minutes of the meeting have to be included in the letter that will be sent to the Federal Government. He explained that as early as the end of next week all of the necessary documents will be completed that are needed to proceed. He explained staff would need an agreement between the City and WCSD as to a time line.

Ms. Granger commented one of the things that can be resolved right away is the equipment cost.

City Manager Esplin asked if the council thought there was anything the staff needs to address. He will get the public hearing scheduled.

Ms. Granger indicated a second issue the WCSD would like to discuss with the council is locating a school on Riverside Drive. She explained the district is moving to a system that includes elementary schools, 6th grade centers, 8 and 9th grade centers and high schools. She explained that if the next high school goes into the south, the current 6th/7th grade center on Brigham Road will become an 8th/9th center. This will leave the district without a 6th/7th grade center for the Dixie feeder system. So the district is considering 15 to 16 acres on Riverside Drive for an intermediate school. There is another open space on Tonaquint Drive near a Methodist church. The high-density area would need to be rezoned. If the school is located on Tonaquint Drive the property would need to be almost free to the district so it can afford to build on this land.

Mayor McArthur explained the council has committed to open space on Riverside Dive and would prefer not to put a school there.

The group discussed the property referred to the old Taylor Farm and property by the Dixie Center, which is about 45 to 60 acres behind the Newby Buick dealership. There would be some access issues, but they could be resolved.

Ms. Granger commented this is a school district problem, but it is also a community problem. The far west end of Riverside Drive is logical for the Dixie feeder system. She advised the other item is a discussion of the Dixie Musical Theater.

City Manager Esplin explained there has been tentative approval for it, but the theater group needed to take care of liability insurance and landscape maintenance.

The group discussed moving the library to West Elementary and a permanent location for a theater in the round. Also discussed was how well the round about on Tabernacle and Main is working and that the building is designed well.

City Manager Esplin commented the City would like to try to work with the WCSD so that the west side of town is upgraded. He explained the City would like to acquire the old Twin Oaks hotel.

Ms. Granger commented that the school board isn't of one mind yet. The kids currently bused into West Elementary could be bused somewhere else. The building is good for another 10 to 20 years. It would be a good location to build office and open areas. She indicated the district would have to have replacement value for the building.

The group discussed coordinating the landscaping of the building being used as a theater between the City and the district. Constructing a fountain in that area designed as a usable fountain was discussed. The district is ready to move with the gazebo project and closing 100 West. The council would like to see the plans for the street and the gazebo to see if the City and district can work together to make the project better.

The use of the gym being used as a theater was discussed. The council had been told the group using it leased it from the district. The district does not have a lease with the group. The City doesn't intend to tear the building down until a decision has been made about what to do with the property.
City Manager Esplin suggested the council and WCSD should get together more regularly to discuss issues of concern, perhaps a quarterly or semi-annually.

New Business

Larry Bullock updated the Council on the progress of the transportation system. The proposed logo was distributed. Three options for the color of paint on the buses and the logo were distributed. A citizens committee developed the options. The name of the transportation system will be SUNTRAN.

Council Members Isom and Allen liked logo number 3.
Mark Mortensen advised the motto will be "SUNTRAN here comes the sun".

Larry Bullock explained the routes have been refined and the passenger guide is ready to go to print. He explained the routes. Five of the seven buses will be refurbished.

Motion by Council Member Whatcott, seconded by Council Member Allen to move into executive session to discuss a property purchase.

The vote was as follows:
Council Member Allen, aye
Council Member Isom, aye
Council Member Whatcott, aye
Council Member Gardner, aye
Council Member Orton, aye
Motion carried

Motion by Council Member Orton seconded by Council Member Allen to move out of executive session.

The vote was as follows:
Council Member Allen, aye
Council Member Isom, aye
Council Member Whatcott, aye
Council Member Gardner, aye
Council Member Orton, aye
Motion carried

Meeting adjourned at 5:30

Minutes recorded by:


Ren? Fleming Deputy City Recorder