City Council Minutes

Thursday, May 2,2002



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
MAY 2, 2002, 4:00 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

PRESENT:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Rod Orton
Council Member Larry Gardner
Council Member Bob Whatcott
Council Member Suzanne Allen
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Jonathan Wright
City Recorder Gay Cragun

EXCUSED:
Council Member Sharon Isom

OPENING:
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance was led by Stacie McGinnis, and the invocation was offered by Mayor McArthur.

1ST ANNUAL INTERACTIVE DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION COMMUNITY SUMMIT:
Stacie McGinnis invited the Mayor and Council to attend the 1st Annual Interactive Drug Abuse Prevention Community Summit. She stated that Southern Utah has a serious drug problem and is the largest producer of crystal meth in the country. She advised the summit will be held at Dixie High School on May 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Council Member Orton inquired of Ms. McGinnis where she obtained her statistics.

Ms. McGinnis replied she obtained them from the Southwest Prevention Center.

Council Member Gardner commented that the St. George Police Department has made an aggressive and successful attack on drugs through the creation of a Drug Task Force. He suggested that if the area is known as the meth capitol, it is because the Drug Task Force is so aggressive in getting rid of drug labs.

Chief of Police Marlon Stratton commented that Southern Utah is not the crystal meth capitol of the country, and the City has a very pro-active and effective Drug Enforcement Task Force, as well as gang enforcement officers. The Drug Task Force has taken down several meth labs in the area during the last two to three years, but there have not been nearly as many recently because of the pro-active enforcement.

Council Member Whatcott commented that St. George is not exempt from drugs, but to say that Southern Utah is the largest producer of crystal meth in the country is a flippant statement.

DEDICATION OF DOCTORS FREE CLINIC:
Mayor McArthur announced that dedication of the Doctors Free Clinic would take place May 18 on site.

PROCLAMATION:
Mayor McArthur read a proclamation provided by the Elks Lodge proclaiming the week beginning May 5 as Youth Week. Margaret Manazer was present representing the Elks Lodge.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of a blanket purchase order for residential single phase meters for the Power Department.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen recommended award of the sole source blanket purchase from the ABB rep, CED/Royal Utility Supply, in the amount of $60,000 for the year.


St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Two

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to award the blanket purchase to the ABB rep, CED/Royal Utility Supply, in the amount of $60,000 for the year. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Ms. Swensen advised the amount of meters needed for the year is estimated to be 2,000, and the blanket purchase order would cover both single phase non-demand and single phase Itron-ready meters.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of a blanket purchase order for residential three phase meters for the Power Department.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen recommended award of the sole source blanket purchase from the ABB rep, CED/Royal Utility Supply, in the amount of $30,000 for the year. The blanket purchase order would cover approximately 330 meters.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to award the blanket purchase to the ABB rep, CED/Royal

Utility Supply, in the amount of $30,000 for the year. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of a contract for purchase of a Millcreek breaker for the Power Department.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen advised that bid packages were mailed to four vendors but only two responded, as follows:

CED dba Royal Utility $31,321.36
Riter Engineering $44,683.65

She recommended award of the bid to the low bidder, CED/Royal, in the amount of $31,321.36.

A motion was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Orton to award the bid to CED/Royal Utility in the amount of $31,321.36. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

CHANGE ORDER TO BLANKET PURCHASE ORDER:
Consider approval of a change order to the blanket purchase order for crushing services at the Reuse Center.



St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Three

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen advised that in May, 2002 a blanket contract was established for $69,000 to cover the estimated 20,000 tons of product at the Reuse Center. However, more product was brought in than expected and staff is requesting approval of a change order to Snowfield Rock for an additional $42,000 to cover the additional crushing.

Mayor McArthur inquired if the departments were made aware of the limits contained in blanket purchase orders.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that apparently some did not understand the limits of a blanket purchase order, but have now learned this lesson very well.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Gardner to approve the change order for an additional $42,000 to Snowfield Rock. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Council Member Gardner advised that there is still some confusion among City departments who do not realize that a purchase order has been awarded to GO Bundy.

Purchasing Agent Sue Swensen replied that GO Bundy was awarded the bid for road base only.

Council Member Gardner expressed concern that the City was not utilizing GO Bundy and road base was still being hauled out of other sites.

Ms. Swensen replied that GO Bundy also contacted her, and she investigated the matter and reported back to him that the material being hauled from other sites was gravel, not road base.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that Ms. Swensen is responsible for approving purchase requisitions, and she would first authorize a purchase of road base from the low bidder.

Council Member Gardner commented he thought GO Bundy was awarded the bid for gravel.

Ms. Swensen replied that GO Bundy was awarded the bid for road base only, not gravel.

ORDINANCE:
Consider an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance regarding variances.

City Attorney Jonathan Wright explained that the City's current variance ordinance needed to be fine-tuned to comply with state requirements. The proposed ordinance will bring the City into compliance with the State statute.

A motion to approve the ordinance as presented was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Whatcott. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.


St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Four

PRELIMINARY PLAT:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley advised that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held April 23, 2002, recommended approval of the preliminary plat for Huntington at Stonebridge Phase III. This is an amendment to the preliminary plat which was approved by the City Council on March 7, 2002 for 16 units. The purpose of the amendment is to include 28 additional units to this phase. Several of the units are within the flood plain which requires a higher building elevation, plus there will be a golf hazard note on the plat. Alan Hall is the agent.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to approve the preliminary plat. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

FINAL PLAT:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley advised that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held April 23, 2002, recommended approval of the final plat for Oak Creek Phase II. Clayton Leavitt is the applicant.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Gardner to approve the final plat and authorize the Mayor to sign it. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

ROAD DEDICATION PLAT:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley advised that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held April 23, 2002, recommended approval of the final road dedication plat for the east portion of Commerce Drive located south of Ft. Pearce Industrial Park east of River Road. State School and Institutional Trust Lands is the applicant.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to approve the final road dedication plat and authorize the Mayor to sign it. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

ROAD DEDICATION PLAT:
Associate Planner Mark Bradley advised that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held April 23, 2002, recommended approval of the final road dedication plat for an extension of River Road from the intersection of Commerce Drive and River Road south for approximately 1170+ feet. State School and Institutional Trust Lands is the applicant.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Orton to approve the plat and authorize the Mayor to sign it. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:



St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Five

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT:
Consider a request for approval of a conditional use permit for a home daycare center at 1091 North 2000 West. Debra Riddle, applicant.

Associate Planner Mark Bradley advised that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held April 23, 2002, recommended approval of a conditional use permit for a day care in a home at 1901 North 2000 West for up to 16 children. The applicant and her adult daughter will be the two staff persons required any time there are more than eight children. The Fire Department inspected the home and determined that 16 children would be acceptable. The operating hours will be between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The ages of the children will be from infant to kindergarten. Debra Riddle is the applicant.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Orton to approve the conditional use permit as recommended by the Planning Commission. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING:
Report from the Affordable Housing Committee meeting and discussion regarding eligibility requirements for that program.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson advised that the Affordable Housing Committee met a week ago and proposes a criteria be added to the impact fee deferral program. He then read the program intent, as follows, with the proposed new criteria in italics:

Assist first time home buyers with the purchase of an affordable home. An affordable home includes homes with an appraised value (including lot) not to exceed the average sales price for a single family home in Washington County ($154,106 in 2001). The home shall be owner-occupied and a Trust Deed shall be recorded to secure the payment of the impact fees if the home does not remain occupied by an income-eligible owner for at least 15 years.

He advised that the intent of the City Council in establishing this program was to assist low and moderate income persons with purchase of entry level and affordable homes. There is also an income criteria which must be met and cannot exceed 100% of the AMI based on HUD income criteria. This changes year to year based on household size. The home price cap would be adjusted annually, based on the selling prices of homes in the previous year.

A motion was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Whatcott to approve the additional criteria as recommended by the Affordable Housing Committee. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.


St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Six

SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT/FEE WAIVER:
Consider a request for approval of a special event permit and fee waiver for use of the Bluff Street Park for soccer events.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City has been experiencing problems with unauthorized use of City parks by organized soccer groups from Nevada and the Southern Utah area on a regular basis. This use requires a special event permit in order to control the hours of use and length of time used. A clean-up fee is normally required. The City has finally received an application and request for a fee waiver. However, several concerns have been expressed to Parks Department personnel about parking problems, inappropriate language, and alcohol in the park. The police are monitoring the situation. The Hispanic community is sponsoring this event. The City has no problem with use of the facility, but the group must abide by the rules. Mr. Esplin commented that the events are usually held on Saturdays and Sundays when Parks Department personnel are not on duty.

Mayor McArthur inquired of Chief Stratton if problems had been experienced from use of the park by this group.

Chief Stratton reported that nothing of significance has been noted.

Council Member Whatcott expressed concern that a league is using the facility yet not paying for maintenance of the facility.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that use by this group is similar to use by the AYSO, and on occasion the City has allowed a fee waiver for non-profit groups such as organized leagues.

Council Member Gardner stated he felt this group should be treated the same as any others, such as the AYSO. He made a motion to approve the request to use the park for the season and approve the fee waiver conditioned upon meeting all requirements and guidelines of park usage, and perform clean-up of the park. If there are any violations, the matter will be reheard by the City Council. The motion was seconded by Council Member Whatcott, who commented that if this league is taking the overflow from the City leagues, then a fee waiver makes sense, however, if they are using the facilities without payment of a fee of any kind, then this is unfair. The fee to AYSO is equal to or greater than the City league fees, and if the fees do not cover maintenance of the facilities, then there is an imbalance.

Mayor McArthur commented that additionally, the league does not consist of residents.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that two teams are from St. George, but the majority are from outside the area.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised he would ask the Recreation Department to review the applicability of fees and how they are used, and also review fee waivers granted in the past.

Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

REPORT ON WATER SUPPLY:
Status report regarding the water supply situation for the City of St. George.



St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Seven

City Manager Gary Esplin advised this is a critical issue which needs to be addressed each meeting. The State of Utah is in a drought, and Washington County has officially declared a drought in the County. This year by May 1 the City used 23,860,000 gallons of culinary water, and at the same time last year 22,217,760 gallons were used. On April 1 this year the City used 22,255,000 gallons of culinary water, and on April 1 of last year the City used only 16,932,000 gallons. This is a 34% increase over last year because last year was wet and cool and this year has been drier and warmer than normal. The City has a policy that requires mandatory conservation when a certain level is reached, and the City is not at that level yet. However, it does not appear that people are conserving water, and at this stage the City needs to continue to stress the need to conserve water and change watering patterns and not water in the daytime. Even though the City is still under what can be produced, its citizens should get into the habit of conservation, or there will be no question that this summer the City will have to impose mandatory restrictions.

Mayor McArthur commented that unofficially the City has been at Stage One of its Water Conservation Plan, which is voluntary conservation, but he would like to go on record as officially declaring Stage One, and ask for voluntary conservation as the area is in the fourth year of a drought.

Council Member Allen arrived.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented it is anticipated that irrigation water in the Santa Clara River will be gone by the first of July, and right now there is an inflow of two second feet of water into Gunlock, and normally this is 20-30 second feet. There is no snow pack on the west side of the County.

Council Member Gardner commented he felt that culinary and irrigation concerns were being mixed, and the City has been blessed with the foresight of staff and others who have been aggressive in trying to resolve water problems. He commented this area is used to dealing with little water, and he hated to cry wolf just to cry wolf because, in fact, the City has two years supply of culinary water in Quail Creek and should be fine this year. He suggested it be used wisely, but the City should not sit back and declare stages. It should be aggressive in continuing to supply water and underground water rights will continue to supply the City's needs. If the City waves the flag too fervently and quits using water, then a serious economic problem will occur in the Water Department.

Mayor McArthur commented that because the Governor and staff are encouraging conservation, and because the City has a conservation plan, then that plan should be implemented. The first stage is voluntary conservation, and the City should always be in Stage One.

Council Member Gardner commented that by declaring Stage One, the City is then saying not to fill swimming pools. There should not be paranoia if someone wants to do some landscaping, and he did not want to create bickering and undue concern in neighborhoods.

Mayor McArthur commented that if the City did not declare anything, it would be saying not to conserve.

Council Member Gardner commented that for that reason he supported conservation, but the real effort of Stage One is to be wise with our resources, not to say that we don't have water.

Council Member Orton stated that as a City and City Council, unification and a statement was needed to let the citizens of St. George know that this is a tough year and they should learn to conserve. The City hired a Conservation Officer to teach the citizens how to do this. The City is in the fourth year of a drought and there is a need to conserve water.



St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Eight

City Manager Gary Esplin commented it was important to say that from the standpoint of drinking water and fire protection, the City is fine. However, wise use of outside watering could save water for next year, as we don't know what next year will bring. Citizens should get in the habit of conserving.

Council Member Orton commented that the City is built on the golfing community, and there is a critical need to keep the golf courses green and the economy rolling in St. George. The City is doing its best to conserve whatever water it can.

A motion was made by Council Member Orton to declare Stage One of City Policy 10.88 Culinary Water Supply/Shortage and Drought Management Conservation Plan.

Council Member Gardner asked that it be defined.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that Stage One is voluntary, even though some of the criteria has not been met.

Council Member Orton suggested that the policy be made available to members of the public.

The motion was seconded by Council Member Whatcott. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Council Member Whatcott commented that the key is that the City is asking its citizens to conserve in their use of water, and it does not matter what their neighbor or the City is doing - everyone should make a personal effort and accept responsibility to conserve water.

2002-2003 FISCAL BUDGET:
Presentation of the 2002-2003 fiscal budget.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that as State law requires, the budget is being submitted at the first City Council meeting in May. It is balanced and does not propose any tax increase or increase in fees. The General Fund balance went down because the airport fund was transferred out of the General Fund into its own fund. The budget will be discussed in future public hearings, and will be scheduled for adoption at the first meeting in June.

APPROVE MINUTES:
Consider approval of the minutes of the regular City Council meeting held April 4, 2002.

A motion to approve the minutes as presented was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Orton. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Allen - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Consider approval of the minutes of the special City Council meeting held April 10, 2002.
St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Nine

A motion to approve the minutes as presented was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Orton. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Consider approval of the minutes of the City Council work meeting held April 24, 2002.

A motion to approve the minutes as presented was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Orton. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

AMEND MINUTES:
A motion to amend the minutes of the March 21, 2002 City Council meeting was made by Council Member Whatcott and seconded by Council Member Gardner. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Orton - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

ADJOURN:
A motion to adjourn was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Allen. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Council Member Orton - aye
Council Member Allen - aye
Council Member Whatcott - aye
Council Member Gardner - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

COMMENT FROM MEMBERS OF AUDIENCE:
Mr. S. R. Beeching inquired why his request involving a traffic problem was not scheduled on the City Council agenda.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the request was not received in time, and would be scheduled on the next City Council agenda.

Jerry Campbell, representing the AOPC, commented that the City's affordable housing program should include used housing.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that impact fees are charged on new homes only, and this fee is not waived, but simply deferred.

Mr. Campbell commented a way should be found to include used housing.



St. George City Council Minutes
May 2, 2002
Page Ten

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the City was trying to do just that with its Economic Development Block Grant Program with funds for low income housing in the downtown area.

Mr. Campbell suggested that when one qualified low income family sells the home, the impact fee deferral should be available to another qualified low income family. He commented that an impact fee deferral was a dis-incentive to increase income.

City Attorney Jonathan Wright advised that the impact fee deferral is good for 15 years, or until the owner betters himself and moves out of the home.

Mr. Campbell suggested that instead of deferring impact fees and waiting 15 years to see if the program works, the City consider a vested program where for every five years of maintaining the home, 10% per year be given back.

Mr. Esplin advised that impact fees will be scheduled on the City Council agenda of May 16.



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Gay Cragun, City Recorder