City Council Minutes

Thursday, June 22,2006

JUNE 22, 2006, 4:00 P.M.

Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Larry Gardner
Council Member Suzanne Allen
Council Member Gail Bunker
Council Member Bob Whatcott
Council Member Rod Orton
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
City Recorder Gay Cragun

City Manager Gary Esplin

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all present. He then led the pledge of allegiance. The invocation was offered by Jeffrey Felsted of the Boy Scouts organization.

Mayor McArthur announced that a celebration to honor the Triple Deuce who recently returned from Iraq will be held June 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Dixie Center.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Gardner to adjourn to a Neighborhood Redevelopment Agency meeting.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Whatcott.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

MOTION: A motion to reconvene 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.

Consider approval of an amendment to the development agreement between the City of St. George, the Neighborhood Redevelopment Agency, and Wells Dairy.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Whatcott to approve the amendment.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Orton.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.

Discussion on a proposed ordinance restricting the planting of oleanders within the City.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman introduced Kyle Fielding who is employed by the City as a legal intern during the summer.

Deputy Paula Houston distributed a draft ordinance and reviewed it with those present.

Chad Drake commented that he will request the County to adopt a County-wide ordinance prohibiting oleanders, but first wanted to see what the City will do.

Dave Young commented that a provision to the ordinance should be added
prohibiting the disposal of oleanders in the areas discussed.

Connie Bundy distributed pictures of oleanders adjacent to her corrals which drop their leaves and flowers into her corrals.

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June 22, 2006
Page Two

Ed Baca advised that he recently read an article where the ingestion of oleanders led to two deaths in California. He suggested that they be banned in places accessible to small children. He inquired if the City had any liability due to oleanders located on City property.

Jeanette Rawlings commented that education was needed as some people do not know how dangerous oleanders are.

Jeannie Black commented that Connie Bundy?s daughter lost her show steer to oleanders, and a man in New Harmony fed his neighbor?s four horses grass clippings with oleander leaves and all the horses died. She advised that Charlie Welch owns property by 2800 South and one of the homes there planted oleanders which will blow into his hayfield.

Natalie Drake advised that a lot of people who don?t even own livestock signed the petition to ban oleanders.

Dave Young suggested that upon approval of the ordinance, it be distributed to landscapers and local nurseries.

Donald Rawlings advised that he lost several horses to oleanders. He urged adoption of the ordinance.

Council Member Bunker inquired how Norco City enforced its ordinance banning oleanders.

Kyle Fielding advised that a City-wide blanket banning oleanders in Norco was enacted in 2001, but the enforcement clause was repealed in 2005 because there was no way to enforce it.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that it would difficult to enforce the ordinance as people have made a financial investment in their oleander plants and the City would be dealing with personal property rights.

Natalie Drake commented that some horses are worth $45,000+ while oleander plants are worth $50.00 at the most.

Council Member Bunker inquired if the ordinance could be adopted as presented and re-evaluated at a later date to see if it should be amended to blanket the City, rather than be enforced by zones.

Enforcement Officer Brad Young commented that the ordinance could be enforced, but with difficulty, and there will be many angry people.

Community Development Director Bob Nicholson suggested that the ordinance be scaled back to include agricultural zones only.

Natalie Drake commented that while she was gathering signatures on the petition, she was told that some kids in Bloomington had sniffed oleander leaves trying to get high and were hospitalized for two and a half weeks.

Council Member Orton commented that requiring removal of existing oleanders will create another problem.

Council Member Whatcott suggested that the possibility of a grant be explored to provide a rebate for replacement of oleanders. That along with education might make a difference. The City should take a pro-active approach and provide dumpsters in strategic locations specifically for the dumping of oleander plants and leaves to make sure they are not dumped somewhere or burned. He stated this should be done before mandatory removal is required.

Council Member Orton commented that the City should make a commitment to replace any oleanders located on City property.

Council Member Allen suggested that the nurseries be advised to put warnings on the oleander plants they sell.

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June 22, 2006
Page Three

Council Member Gardner suggested that people be assigned to gather more information on the subject as it would not be good to pass an ordinance until related issues are dealt with.

Council Member Orton commented that a County-wide ordinance would be needed.

Council Member Whatcott commented he felt a lot of people would voluntarily remove the plants if they knew how toxic they were.

Jeannie Black suggested that the media be contacted to help get the word out.

Water Services Director Barry Barnum commented that it would be possible to make arrangements for an extra roll-off dumpster at the reuse center for disposal of oleanders.

Discussion concerning a Water and Energy Fair.

Water Services Director Barry Barnum explained that because it has been difficult to recruit employees in the Water and Energy Services Department it was felt that a water and energy fair to promote these careers would be a good idea. A committee of City employees and community leaders was formed to raise scholarship funds, with the goal being to finance $50,000 per year. Meeting were held and good ideas were presented, but all assignments fell to City employees which has been a burden on both departments. Staff feels that the project should be put on the back burner for a while.

Energy Services Director Phil Solomon explained that there is already a career day at the schools and perhaps staff should put more effort into that rather than trying to do their own thing.

Council Member Allen suggested that a signing bonus be considered, similar to Dixie REA?s program.

A gentlemen from Dixie REA explained that they offer a 20 year loan as an incentive, and the program is working well.

Water Services Director Barry Barnum suggested an intern program be implemented.

Discussion with Dixie REA concerning location of power lines in the South Block area.

A map of possible power line location routes was distributed.

Energy Services Director Phil Solomon explained that staff is trying to master plan transmission in the future and by working together with Dixie REA can reduce the number of big lines throughout the community.

Ladell Laub, Dixie Escalante REA, stated that a milestone was made when a major transmission line was jointly completed, and he appreciated the City and its attitude and cooperation.

Mr. Solomon advised that he would like the utility master plan officially adopted by the City Council.

Russ Condie, Dixie REA, explained that the plan for the southern corridor area will require a minimal amount of space along the I-15 to get to the existing power corridor while eliminating habitat crossing. They are working with the BLM and SITLA to minimize the impact. The main goal is to establish where the corridor can be located to tie back into the Bloomington intertie.

Mr. Solomon explained that the plan is to bring the 138 line around the west side by the wastewater facility which will provide a 138 loop all the way around the area.

Mayor McArthur inquired about the cost to locate the line underground.

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June 22, 2006
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Mr. Solomon replied that it would be four to five times the cost of overhead lines, and the ratepayers would have to pay for it.

Council Member Gardner commented that it may be desirable to have the line buried for a short distance, and he would hate to see this ruled out totally.

Ladell Laub advised that there is flexibility to move the crossing area closer to the port of entry. The lines will be located quite a ways from the interstate as the interstate has a large setback. The lines will be located behind the buildings which front Pioneer Road. They will also be located on the exit side of the City, not the entrance side.

Ms. Solomon advised that the plan presented is the long-term build-out plan.

Rick Hansen advised that the 138 line poles will be located 350-400 feet apart.

Russ Condie advised that all lines will be put on the same structure.

Rick Hansen advised that staff is working with Dixie REA on a line in the Green Valley area which follows Dixie Drive and will interconnect with Dixie REA. This works for both utilities.

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Gardner to adjourn to an executive session to discuss potential litigation.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Orton.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

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

Budget and Financial Planning Manager Deanna Brklacich updated those present on a recent FEMA visit.

Mayor McArthur advised that he recently met with representatives of SITLA to discuss an affordable housing plan.

Mayor McArthur advised that he was contacted by someone who would like to build a water park in the St. George area.

A brief discussion was held about a request from the Bowlers along River Road for a block wall. It was the consensus of those present that the City should build the block wall.

Council Member Allen presented examples of what other cities have done to inform their citizens about the budget and budgeting process.

Council Member Gardner advised that Qwest would like to be scheduled on a work meeting agenda. They will be scheduled on the June 29 work meeting agenda.

The meeting then adjourned.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder