City Council Minutes

Wednesday, April 25,2001



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES WORK MEETING APRIL 25, 2001, 4:00 P.M. CONFERENCE ROOM/CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS PRESENT: Mayor Daniel McArthur Council Member Sharon Isom Council Member Suzanne Allen Council Member Bob Whatcott Council Member Larry Gardner Council Member Rod Orton City Manager Gary Esplin City Attorney Jonathan Wright City Recorder Gay Cragun ALSO PRESENT: Washington County Commissioner Gayle Aldred Washington County Commissioner Jim Eardley Washington County Planner John Willie WELCOME: Mayor McArthur welcomed all in attendance. Council Member Whatcott offered the invocation. SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT: Mayor McArthur advised he was contacted by Scout Commissioner Brent Hofheins who did not know a permit from the City was needed to sell hot dogs at the luge event on Friday and Saturday. City Manager Gary Esplin advised he asked Marc Mortensen to contact Mr. Hofheins and advise his request had not been approved by the City, but the City will not shut them down. MPO DISCUSSION: Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised that the City anticipated the eventual designation of the area as an MPO and three years ago began meeting with all affected entities to develop a memorandum of understanding to begin functioning as an MPO. One of the main discussions centered on how many votes each city should have, as St. George represented 2/3 of the County’s population. UDOT advised it was not wise to have one entity dominate the MPO as the idea of an MPO is to jointly plan and work by consensus. At that time it was proposed the City of St. George have three vote out of seven, and an agreement was signed to this effect. Since then it has been suggested that the County join the MPO as a voting member. The County, however, advises it would be willing to be a voting member but will not be able to contribute financially to the MPO. Washington County Commission Chair Gayle Aldred advised that there will never be an MPO project in the unincorporated area of the County, and therefore there is no advantage to the County for it to pay into a fund it will never benefit from. Councilmember Whatcott and Mayor McArthur disagreed with Commissioner Aldred and commented that citizens in the MPO pay taxes to the County as well, and they would receive benefit. Commissioner Aldred commented the County did not have any funds to contribute to the MPO at the present time, and if it did so, it would have to raise taxes. Commissioner Jim Eardley commented he felt the County could make a meaningful contribution in kind. City Manager Gary Esplin commented that if the County did not want to participate financially, it would not be fair for them to have a vote. Commissioner Eardley reiterated the County would put value into the MPO and the process would benefit. City Manager Gary Esplin advised the Committee would have to be contacted to see if it would be willing to accept an in-kind contribution. Another issue needing discussion is the balance of power on the MPO committee, as the City of St. George comprises 2/3 of the population, but only has three votes out of seven. Public Works Director Larry Bulloch explained the goal of the MPO committee is to make decisions without having to take a vote, and hopefully everyone can work together for the good of the entire County. Commissioner Eardley explained he saw the County’s role on the MPO Committee as a peacemaker in the process, as it is not prejudiced in favor of any community. It is willing to participate on the Committee, but only if it can have a vote. City Manager Gary Esplin commented the City could not compromise its position on the Committee any further by relinquishing votes. He expressed support of the County’s proposal that it make an in-kind contribution to the committee rather than financial. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss a litigation issue was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Isom. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows: Council Member Whatcott - aye Council Member Isom - aye Council Member Gardner - aye Council Member Allen - aye Council Member Orton - aye The vote was unanimous and the motion carried. Council Members Gardner and Orton arrived. RECONVENE/DISCUSSION RE INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT FOR SHOOTING PARK: Mayor McArthur explained the County owes the City $115,000 for dispatching services. They would like the City to participate in an interlocal agreement to construct a world-class shooting range and assist in obtaining grants. Two boards will need to be created, one to oversee policy and operation of the park, and the other to obtain funds. Participation by each community will be based upon population. The item will be placed on a work meeting agenda for further discussion. TELECOMMUNICATIONS PRESENTATION: Water and Power Board Chairman Ross Hurst introduced Mary Day Lamar Schaefer from Provo City. He explained that many cities today are involved in telecommunications, and the City recently had a telecommunications study done by Uptown Communications. Fibre optics has had a dramatic impact on economic development in Provo, and provides a competitive environment for services. Provo’s core mission is build an open, long term, equal access infrastructure because it is not in the best interests of private companies to do so. However, Provo is looking to partner with private companies to provide retail service. Provo would own the lines and the private companies would pay to lease them. Ms. Schaefer explained that Provo City staff toured many different communities who have their own telecommunications companies. Provo originally decided it would be a provider of last resort, meaning it would build the infrastructure and maintain control of it to assure its upkeep, and if it could not find a retail provider, it would be the provider of last resort. Provo decided it would ask for proposals from private providers to share the risks and rewards of the proposed $30,000,000-$35,000,000 investment. However, recent legislation took away a municipality’s option of being a retail last resort provider, but a municipality can be a wholesale provider. Provo has met with many companies interested in being a provider and is currently interviewing five. She explained that Provo is purchasing a small family-owned cable company, and if Provo does not get into the telecommunications business, it will sell the company to someone else. She explained that Provo has hired a company to manage the cable company on its behalf, and is expecting to bring a private partner on with the goal of preserving competition. The system will also have the capability of reading meters. She explained that Provo’s funding system is a loan from their power department reserves and through a bond. At the current time it is not known what the system will cost as various proposals are being considered, and some companies are providing their own funding options. She explained that the fibre optic line is expected to have a life of 20 years. Mayor McArthur explained that follow-up meetings will be held. ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss litigation was made by Council Member Isom and seconded by Council Member Allen. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows: Council Member Isom - aye Council Member Allen - aye Council Member Orton - aye Council Member Whatcott - aye Council Member Gardner - aye The vote was unanimous and the motion carried. RECONVENE/PERSONNEL RECLASSIFICATIONS: City Manager Gary Esplin advised that as part of the personnel program, occasionally changes are made to classifications. Water Department employees feel they are misclassified and should be separated into categories with opportunities to move up when certifications are obtained. It was the consensus of the Mayor and City Council to approve this change in classifications. Mr. Esplin recommended that wastewater employees be classified according to state-wide classifications and be benchmarked the same as those employed by special districts. It was the consensus of the Mayor and City Council to approve this change in classifications. Mayor McArthur advised he attended a Highway Patrol section meeting in Cedar City, and the legislature has set the beginning salary for Highway Patrol officers at $30,000, which is more than the beginning salary for City police officers. He expressed concern that the City might lose some trained officers to the Highway Patrol because of salary. City Manager Gary Esplin explained the City might lose some in entry-level positions, but the City has several classifications of officers and they have the opportunity to advance. The salary of the advanced classifications is more than the Highway Patrol salary, so it would be doubtful any of these trained officers would leave for employment with the Highway Patrol. REQUEST TO USE RECREATION CENTER: City Manager Gary Esplin advised he received requests from the Highway Patrol and Immigration Department to allow their officers to use the Recreation Center at no charge. SPONSOR PIONEERZZ: City Manager Gary Esplin advised he received a request from the Pioneerzz for sponsorship of a sign on their wall. It was suggested the City could advertise its golf courses. He advised this would be their last year if they did not break even. It was the consensus of the Mayor and City Council to approve this sponsorship. ADJOURN: A motion to adjourn was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Isom. All voted aye and the meeting adjourned. __________________________________ Gay Cragun, City Recorder