City Council Minutes

Thursday, January 27,2005



St. George City Council Minutes
Work Meeting
January 27, 2005 4:00 P.M.
Administrative Conference Room

Present:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
City Council Member Gail Bunker
City Council Member Rod Orton
City Council Member Suzanne Allen
City Council Member Robert Whatcott
City Council Member Larry Gardner
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shaun Guzman
Deputy City Recorder Ren? Fleming
Assistant to the City Manager Mark Mortensen

Opening:
The pledge of allegiance was led by Council Member Bunker, the invocation was offered by Council Member Gardner.

Marc Mortensen updated the council regarding a meeting to assist those in the community who have lost a home or whose home has been condemned by the flood.

There was brief discussion concerning the activities being organized to raise funds for the flood victims.

Discussion on the availability of water service for future development in the Stone Cliff Subdivision

City Manager Esplin indicated phase 10 of the development at Stone Cliff approaches the level of the water tank. There are issues regarding fire service and water pressure that need to be resolved before the project can continue. This is the first time the City has had to look at using pumps to meet fire flow and water pressure requirements.

Mr. Wilson with Sunrise Engineering distributed a booklet regarding the proposed Stone Cliff booster pump station and made a power point presentation.

There was discussion concerning the water pressure in pounds per square inch (psi) and fire flow requirements mandated by the State.

Lowery Snow distributed a proposed covenant to be recorded against phase 10 lots. He indicates the document specifies that lot owners would pay an additional charge on a monthly basis to cover costs to the City for operation and maintenance (O&M) of the pump station.

City Manager Esplin asked if all of the 64 lots in phase 10 would pay the additional fee and if the developer will pay the fees for any unsold or vacant lots.

Mr. Snow commented that when a lot is sold the new owner would pay the fee, even though there may not be service to the lot, in the interim the developer would be responsible for the fee.

Mayor McArthur indicated the costs could change based on energy costs, pump replacement etc.

Mr. Wilson indicated the fees would be treated like any other fees, subject to rate changes.

City Attorney Guzman suggested an amount of money should be put in a sinking fund rather than collect the money over the long term.

There was discussion regarding setting up a Home Owners Association (HOA) for phase 10 to collect the funds, requiring the City to bill only one entity rather than individual lot owners. There was discussion regarding whether additional staff will be needed to deal with administrative issues.

City Manager Esplin commented that the administrative and billing issues can be handled. He asked if allowing a pumping station to provide pressure for culinary water would set a precedence for other areas in the City that don?t have the elevations needed to maintain required pressure and fire flow. He indicated another issue is the added maintenance for the Water Services Department which may require additional staff.

There was discussion concerning the three or four other areas of the City that are in a similar situation as phase 10 of Stone Cliff.

Mr. Snow indicated he didn?t think this would set precedence for other areas in the City as this development has already been approved and other areas have not gone through the development process.

City Attorney Guzman commented it would be difficult to distinguish this situation from other developments that may come into development process. The issue is can this pump system provide pressure and fire flows and is it safe. If the council approves this request, it will be approving the concept as safe, allowing other developments to ask for approval of similar systems.

Mr. Snow indicated the code allows for this type of system.

City Attorney Guzman stated that the City has the option to say that tax payers should not be burdened with the additional costs associated with a pump station and that the City philosophy is to provide pressure by gravity flow.

City Manager Esplin asked if the council wants to transition to a system that is different than gravity flow to provide service. Some issues to consider are the different cost/billing rates and additional O&M requirements.

Mayor McArthur asked if any of the lots can be built on without the pump station.

Gail Maxwell stated about 20 lots could be built on. However, even though it meets the 40 psi minimum, people may still complain about not having enough pressure.

Mayor McArthur asked if fire flow requirements can they be met on those 20 lots.

Mr. Wilson indicated he hasn?t run a model on the fire flow from the existing system. He estimated about 12 to 15 lots would be eligible to be built on with the existing pressure.

There was discussion regarding the design of the existing water tank. It was placed at the highest point possible.

Mr. Maxwell state issues isn?t a surprise to anyone within the council, it has been known and expected from the beginning.

City Attorney asked Mr. Maxwell who in the City staff has the developer spoken too regarding water pressure.

Mr. Maxwell indicated he doesn?t know who made the decision.

An unnamed person commented regarding a sinking fund. He indicated maybe increasing the sinking fund amount would make this option restrictive to other developers.

Council Member Gardner asked Water Services Director Barnum if he has any concerns with the technical side of the presentation.

Water Services Director Barnum indicated that technically it can be done. He stated one concern involves the original booster pump at the bottom of the hill. It is maxed out with the current size of the development and would have to upsized to meet the needs of additional users. He also explained that there is no additional water storage with the proposed pump station. So water service and fire flow would be totally dependent on the pump. Because of storage, the original pump could go down for a short time where as the proposed pump would have to run constantly to maintain pressure.

There was discussion regarding the amount growth that would happen at higher elevations if this system is approved.

Deputy Fire Chief Taylor indicated the City has an exceptionally good fire rating partly based on the water system. Gravity fed systems get a better rating. If the council allows this it should be framed in such a way that a pump station is a last resort in order to maintain the high rating the fire rating.
City Manager Esplin stated if this is allowed, the policy will have to state that regardless of the costs a tank has to be the first choice and use of a pump station is a last resort.

Mayor McArthur asked if approval of this system would affect the rating in general.

Deputy Fire Chief Taylor indicated that if it is small isolated sites it shouldn?t affect the rating, but it does come into play in other areas of the country. He is more comfortable relying on gravity fed system.

Council Member Orton indicated the council needs more information such as what other areas would be affected before making a decision.

Discussion concerning private vs. public streets in the Pine Brook development

City Manager Esplin explained previously the council decided to create access through the development and for the City to take responsibility for maintenance of the streets. He sent a letter and met with the property owners to explain the costs for side walks, street lights etc. The HOA voted on the proposal, the vote being an overwhelming no. The council now has to make a decision on what type of street to develop for the proposed seven unit subdivision. Any proposal would need the approval of the Pine Brook HOA.

There was discussion regarding the possible options. There is an option of a cul-de-sac or requiring the developer to follow the original plan.

The number of accesses was discussed, the development was approved with two accesses, the developer is now asking for a single access.

The council discussed the need for through access and the history of the project with regard to zone changes and planned development changes.

City Attorney Guzman commented that he doesn?t think the City can force an approved Planned Development to make a connection to a public access street unless it is justified as an emergency access.

City Manager Esplin suggested tabling the item and requiring the developer to find a way to connect to the public street or go back to the original plan.

New Business ? Main Street Plaza, Water Walk

City Manager Esplin displayed a map of the Main Street Plaza area and indicated the new plaza has to be built taking into account the location and size of the parade grounds. The concept from the beginning was to be able to see the plaza when looking down Main Street. Staff needs direction from the council regarding the design that has been developed or considering other options.

Leisure Services Director Perkins commented that coordination with the LDS Church and the Washington County School District (WCSD) is needed to determine how both entities will be affected.

The group discussed the concept of the development so that a Request for Proposal (RFP) is written that accurately to reflect the expectations of the City.

The size and location of parade ground area was discussed. The possibility of moving it to another area that is designated a parade ground was discussed.

Mayor McArthur commented that the parade ground is a historical area that needs to be preserved and should be a formal open space.

James Dotson displayed a plan for the area. He explained the submitted plan doesn?t follow anything that staff had envisioned. He expressed concern that it may be approved by the WCSD without input from the council or City staff.

The group discussed issues associated with the plan such as the increased size of the theater from 12,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet, encroachment into the sidewalk and the parade grounds. The location of the theater was discussed as was the theater?s impact will on foot traffic to the plaza.

Leisure Services Director Perkins asked if the council supports the concept that the plaza should drive the design rather than allowing the library to drive the design.

There was discussion concerning the length of the library building, book drop off access, parking issues and the need for green space within the plaza.

City Manager Esplin summarized the group?s conclusion that the library has to be moved back to the street, access the parking has to flow better, the theater can stay in its proposed location.

The group indicated that the plaza will drive the design, rather than the buildings driving the design of the plaza.

Discuss a change order submitted for bridge construction at the Fort Pearce crossing on River Road.

City Manager Esplin explained staff needs direction on what to do about the change order submitted due to a delay in work done on the bridge.

Public Works Director Bulloch explained the bridge work had to be interrupted because of a fiber optic line that needed to be moved. The road work continued but the work on the bridge was delayed about three months. The change order is due to the increased construction management fees.

Council Member Whatcott asked who is responsible for there the delay in moving the fiber optic line.

City Manager Esplin indicated it was the contractor?s decision to move the line, which was located before construction started.

Public Works Director Bulloch indicated the contractor, the utility and the City decided to move the line rather than risk loosing service. Quest moved the line at their cost which was about $100,000. The contractor is incurring some costs. The contractor made the decision to have the line moved because he didn?t feel he could guarantee he could drill without possibly cutting the line. He is asking the City to bear the increase in engineering costs.

Council Member Whatcott asked what costs the contractor bears.

Council Member Orton stated it?s hard to accept that concept that the City should bear the $90,000 cost because the contractor can?t handle the job.

There was discussion regarding if the bid specs specified that the line would have to be moved or if the line was only located on the drawings. There was discussion regarding the reason the contractor?s bid did not include the contingency of increased expenses if the decision was made to move the line.

Council Member Allen suggested sharing the costs.

Council Member Orton asked staff to determine where the City went wrong in the process so it doesn?t happen again.

Aaron Baker indicated the job was divided into two phases. A letter was sent in the year 2001 asking Quest to move the line. Quest did not get back with staff, so staff indicated a buried telephone line on the plan knowing the contractor would have to coordinate with Quest.

City Manager Esplin commented he is having a tough time seeing where the City?s responsibility is to pay the cost overruns.

Public Works Director Bulloch commented this is a project that staff wanted to move ahead.

Council Member Gardner commented that it sounds like staff was part of the decision.

The group discussed who made the decision once the contractor said he couldn?t guarantee not to interrupt service unless the line was moved. Quest made the decision that the line had to be moved and they were the reason for the delay. The $90,000 cost overrun is for expenses related to inspection of the bridge, soil tests etc.

There was discussion regarding the possibility of hiring a contractor for a specific time frame rather than for a specific project.

The group discussed if there was a lag time during which the engineering firm and contractor were not working on City projects while waiting for Quest to move the line.

Council Member Orton commented that he thinks the City will have to cover the $90,000 cost overrun; however, future contracts need to be written so this type of situation doesn?t happen again.

There was discussion concerning negotiating with the contractor to reduce the amount of the change order. There was discussion regarding Quest covering some of the cost due to the length of time it took to move the line.

There was discussion as to whether the contractor worked on other City projects during the delayed bridge work or if the contractor was free to move to other than City projects.

CONVENE EXECUTIVE SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Orton to adjourn regular City Council meeting and convene an executive session for the purpose of discussing property purchases and litigation.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Allen.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote and all voted aye the motion carried.

ADJOURN EXECUTIVE SESSION AND RECONVENE THE REGULAR MEETING:
MOTION: A motion to adjourn from executive session and reconvene the regular meeting was made by Council Member Whatcott.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Gardner.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

New Business ? East City Springs

City Manager Esplin explained the State is requiring the East City Springs water to be piped as it crosses St. George Boulevard. The City?s share of the cost is expected to be about $93,000. The water is used for City projects as well as by a few individuals. A decision needs to be made regarding how to cover those costs related to the few individual users. Should the cost be passed on to the irrigators or covered by the general fund?

There was discussion regarding the cost to run the pipe to individual irrigators versus the amount of user fees collected annually. The cost to run the pipe will be approximately $8,000, user fees are a couple of hundred dollars annually.

The group discussed whether the water users own or rent the water.

There was discussion regarding offering the users culinary water rather than incur the cost of the piping it to their sites.

The group discussed giving the users the option of covering the costs of piping the water.

There was a discussion of offering to purchase the water use right for a certain amount of money versus allowing use of the culinary water for a specific amount of time.

ADJOURN:
MOTION: A motion to adjourn was made by Council Member Whatcott.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Bunker.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.


Minutes recorded by:



Ren? Fleming, Deputy City Recorder