City Council Minutes

Thursday, March 11,2004



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
SPECIAL MEETING
MARCH 11, 2004, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Suzanne Allen
Council Member Rod Orton
Council Member Larry Gardner
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun

EXCUSED:
Council Member Bob Whatcott

OPENING:
Mayor McArthur called for a minute of silence in remembrance of Council Member Sharon Isom.

DISCUSSION CONCERNING CONSERVATION RATES FOR YEAR-ROUND USERS:
City Manager Gary Esplin explained that when the City instituted its conservation rates, it was done to encourage conservation through efficient use of water. However, the conservation rates do not address some problems, especially in PUD projects. The City also did not understand the effect of conservation rates on businesses who use water uniformly throughout the year. The intent was to bring down peak use and not to penalize the business consumer who uses water uniformly on a 12 month basis, such as American Linen. American Linen has met with the Water and Power Board to express their concern and the matter was scheduled then tabled from a City Council agenda in order to obtain answers with regard to implementation of a policy before the conservation rates being again April 15.

Finance Director Phil Peterson explained that based on three years of historical data, and looking at 1? inch and larger meters, usage was compared on a percentage basis. American Linen?s use, while consistent, increased by 10% in the summer. He inquired of the City Council if there was a threshold with regard to amount of usage, and if only big users should be considered. There is sufficient data to answer any questions the Council may have.

Council Member Gardner commented that the conservation rates were not an attempt to raise more money for the Water Department, but an attempt to motivate people to conserve. If the only way a business can conserve is to quit doing business, the City does not want this.

American Linen suggested that if they were using only 10% extra in the summer, they should be charged the conservation rate on that 10% only, and not on every gallon used.

Water Services Director Barry Barnum commented that a company which uses consistent amounts of water throughout the season is a valuable customer the City can count on, and big, consistent users should not be penalized.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that American Linen?s suggestion was a good one, similar to the California model. A yearly amount of usage could be established, and if more is used, they would pay the conservation rate on that overage.

David Winona, representing American Linen, commented that the company is growing yearly and will continue to use more water each year, but they are trying to conserve water and use as little as possible.

Council Member Gardner suggested that Water Services Director Barry Barnum come up with a formula for American Linen.

Carol Sapp commented that the City must continue to be business friendly in terms of not forcing businesses to go elsewhere.

Mr. Peterson commented that there were perhaps 50 companies who had uniform
water usage throughout the year and should be considered for some sort of modified conservation rate. He suggested that these business make application to the City so that each request can be evaluated to see if usage can be reduced. He advised that he


St. George City Council Minutes
March 11, 2004
Page Two

would send a letter to these businesses inviting them to make an application to the City for reduced conservation rates.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented he would schedule the matter on an upcoming City Council agenda.

Jerry Campbell asked Barry Barnum and Phil Solomon to speak to his organization and address water issues and policies.

REVIEW MASTER PLAN FOR NORTHWEST CORNER OF CITY:
Community Development Director Bob Nicholson explained that the purpose of the General Plan is to be a guide for growth, while zoning is an implementation tool for the goals and objectives of the General Plan. The General Plan is a fairly vague generalization of land use and does not necessarily match the zoning. Another issue that needs addressing is if there is zoning in place on vacant land of less than a quarter acre that could potentially allow something that the City does not want. He then pointed out several areas where this may be the case. He stated that there are a few slivers of odd remnants of property that need to be changed which the City should initiate, all less than a quarter acre of land.

Mayor McArthur suggested that staff talk with the affected property owners before any action is undertaken.

AMENDMENTS TO SIGN PROVISIONS OF CITY CODE:
City Manager Gary Esplin explained that this issue is an outgrowth of planning for St. George Blvd., and since federal funds are being used on this project, the State has enlisted the City?s help to deal with sign encroachments along the Blvd.

Marc Mortensen explained that there are hundreds of sign encroachments on St. George Blvd. consisting of air space encroachments which are permitted by the City Code. Sign provisions of the City Code were tightened in 1995 prohibiting signs from overhanging within 8' in back of the curb. The State has asked the City to amend its sign provisions to require that new signs not be constructed to encroach in air space (State right-of-way) in any form or manner. He then presented a draft ordinance of the proposed sign amendments to include all state rights-of-way with the exception of Main Street and Tabernacle Street because they are located within the Historic District. Existing signs will be considered non-conforming legal signs and would not be affected by the ordinance amendment. Awnings within the State right-of-way will also be excluded and will be permitted to be installed as long as they meet the minimum height requirements. UDOT has identified the Frostop sign as historic, and very few signs will be affected by the Blvd. reconstruction project.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that he would schedule the item on an agenda for public comment.

Mr. Nicholson advised that sign support poles have never been allowed to be within the right-of-way. Over time the overhang has been allowed to project into the air space, but UDOT is now saying that any new construction would have to be pulled back except within the old downtown historic district.

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss potential litigation was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Allen. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RECONVENE:
A motion to reconvene was made by Council Member Gardner and seconded by Council Member Orton. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.



St. George City Council Minutes
March 11, 2004
Page Three

AMEND PRAYER RESOLUTION:
City Attorney Shawn Guzman explained minor changes to the prayer resolution to better clarify what constitutes prayer and where it is given. A notice will be sent to civic and religious groups and a notice posted at the City Office. If anyone who has requested to say a prayer or give a reading does not show up for the Council meeting, the Mayor can invite anyone present on the list to offer the prayer, thought or reading.

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

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Council Member Gardner advised that a number of issues were raised in a recent Economic Development meeting. No one from the City was in attendance. The issues raised pertained to water and power rates, issues with the Building Department, and planning issues.
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Council Member Allen advised that the St. George Musical Theater would like to use the rest of the building for $1 a year. The School District told them to contact the City.

Mayor McArthur advised that there were other uses for the rooms, and the building?s use was not exclusive to the St. George Musical Theater.
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City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the applicants for a weekly street festival in downtown St. George would like to proceed with their plans. He expressed concern with closing the street on Thursdays due to the constant building activity that is currently taking place downtown. He suggested that the applicants wait a year until the parking structure is completed.

It was the consensus of the City Council to advise the applicant to wait until next year to hold the festival.
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City Manager Gary Esplin advised that there is now an opportunity to refund general obligation bonds of the City due to favorable interest rates. Savings on a bond issue could enable the City to repair the tear in the SHAC roof.
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City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that the public hearing on the zone change on the other side of the Black Hill be continued until City staff can meet with the property owners and see if they have an actual project in mind for the property.

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss a land purchase and sale was made by Council Member Orton and seconded by Council Member Gardner. Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RECONVENE AND ADJOURN:
A motion to reconvene and adjourn was made by Council Member Allen and seconded by Council Member Orton. Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.



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Gay Cragun, City Recorder