City Council Minutes

Thursday, October 11,2007

OCTOBER 11, 2007, 4:00 P.M.

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

Council Member Bob Whatcott

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance was led by Mayor McArthur and the invocation was offered by Alex Wilkie.

Public hearing regarding the issuance and sale of not more than $27,000,000 aggregate principal amount of sales tax revenue bonds, series 2007 of the City of St. George, Utah, for the purpose of financing the construction of certain roadway and related improvements.

Mayor McArthur explained that the City wants to bond for the Mall Drive bridge and other projects in order to get them done as soon as possible. He opened the public hearing. There being no public comment, he closed the public hearing.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch explained that the sales tax revenue bonds are being issued for the Mall Drive bridge, the roadway to the airport, Southern Parkway and Dixie Center road.

Police Department: Police Chief Marlon Stratton advised the Police Department?s major project has been maintaining the quality of life in neighborhoods and throughout the community through CAT teams. Drugs is also an ongoing project. The Police Department continues its commitment to fight gangs and drugs. The Police Department is working closely with hotels and motels on compliance checks and rental ordinance enforcement. Graffiti is becoming a problem. He reviewed crime statistics. He advised that improvements are being anticipated to the communications center but there is a shortage of staffing. He anticipated the arrival of more ICE officers in the area and advised that once someone is arrested for immigration violations, they are turned over to Detention and Removal, and they are responsible for deportation. Morale in the department is good even though the department is a little short staffed as eight officers are in the Academy right now. Yesterday the department hired the final two officers to fill authorized positions, and while staff is adequate to answer
calls, more officers can always be used. Officers have been asked to step up traffic enforcement.

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Fire Department: Fire Chief Robert Stoker advised that new fire stations will be built at Sun River and the Ledges. The Sun River station should be built within two years. Morale in the department is good. There were over 3400 calls for service this year to date, with a four to six minute response time, as always. 60%-70% of the firefighters are EMTs.

City Manager Gary Esplin arrived.

Chief Stoker advised there is a big increase in fire alarm calls. Ivins is getting their own ambulance and Washington is also looking at pursuing their own service, but Dixie Ambulance will continue to supply advanced life support and paramedics. The Department?s volunteers are well trained and attend a 16 week academy. 20 are certified instructors through the Fire Academy. The entire Department attended Wildland training this summer. Six firefighters are certified on the ARFF vehicle. He advised that the City is also looking at a fire station in the Little Valley area. The Department has 22 full time firefighters.

Water Department: Water Services Engineering Manager Scott Taylor advised that the department is working on repair and replacement of infrastructure and sewer and water lines. A new water tank is being built for the Sun River and Atkinville Interchange/South Block area. The City is working with the WCWCD and Ivins on the new arsenic standards for drinking water and is doing a project with them to build a large tank to mix the water to bring it into compliance. The City is in the design phase of extending water and sewer to the airport area and has teamed with UDOT and SITLA to pool resources and extend a reuse water line to that area for construction water.

Council Member Gardner commented that Sunroc and others are willing to participate in the cost to use shallow well water in the area, even drilling the wells if they can access the water rights.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the ultimate goal is to get the reuse line to the industrial park and tie it to WCWCD irrigation water so irrigation water can be wheeled all around town. He advised he would have Barry Barnum look at the proposal again.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that proposed legislation is being drafted to require cities to file its plans with the State Engineer. He advised that the City experienced problems with its new camera truck but the manufacturer has agreed to replace it with another new truck and it has been working great.

Finance Department: Finance Director Phil Peterson advised there are 37,227 utility accounts. Employees are doing 50 disconnects a day and 62 connects. There are 200-280 shut-offs a month. 78% of the accounts are current and 93% are within 60 days. 4,166 accounts have signed up for autopay. He advised he is working on going to four cycles and re-evaluating staff positions to have one employee responsible for a cycle. A majority of meter reading is done by a remote read. He stated he is looking at recommending an increase in dog licenses because the cost of mailing them has tripled. The City audit will be presented in December.

Budget and Financial Planning: Budget and Financial Planning Manager Deanna Brklacich explained that the Purchasing Department has been proactive in training and has put together a packet for vendors on how to purchase from the City. Staff is looking

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at putting purchase orders on the internet, and is updating its policies and procedures for purchasing and working on a vendor critique form.

Water Department (continued): Cameron Cutler advised that the 100 West storm drain project is on schedule and sewer laterals are being done now so as not to slow the contractor. The contractor is currently putting in stubs for future storm drains and will complete pavement for the full width of the street. A storm drain on 200 South has been upsized to a 36" line.

Public Works: Mike Smith advised that half of Tonaquint Drive has been paved from Escalante Drive to 600 West. A lot of utility issues have held up the project, and the contractor is doing the best he can. He stated he hoped to pave the remainder in early November.

Mayor McArthur advised that screening of the maintenance building was needed.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that a parking lot is going to be built and there are no funds in the current budget for screening.

Mayor McArthur requested that Mr. Esplin take a look at screening the maintenance building.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch explained there are 30 projects in the budget this year: $43,000,000 for miscellaneous projects, $25,000,000 for the northern parkway, $70,000,000 for the split interchange at Bluff, $70,000,000 for the road from the I-15 to the airport, and $182,000,000 for the airport. UDOT is ready to award the contract for construction of the Southern Parkway and it should be complete by 2009 all the way to the airport. Soils drilling and the preliminary alignment has been established for the Mall Drive bridge. Snow Canyon Parkway earthwork is nearing completion and the weather will control paving. Landscaping is included and it will look like the rest of the Parkway. Brigham Road is 80% designed but there is an issue of trying to build the road within the existing fences. With regard to the Bryce Christensen entrance into Flying J, he stated he thought an alignment had been agreed to between the
parties. Staff is trying to get Bryce to let the City acquire three acres in the habitat that Fish and Wildlife and the BLM want, and if the City can obtain it, everything will be able to move forward. Bryce has indicating a willingness to cooperate with earth work and right-of-way. A 1:1 trade has been agreed to for the Red Hills environmental assessment and by spring the environmental process should be complete and construction can begin in 2009. Milepost 6 is a State project and they will bid it in the spring to rebuild the interchange and widen Bluff Street, with construction complete in 2009. Staff is working hard to get a trail under Bluff Street.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City will have to make a decision whether to require UDOT to put the landscaping back in or put the tunnel in and do the landscaping later as the project will wipe out both landscaping panels.

Mr. Bulloch commented that three traffic signals have been awarded and two more are being designed. Staff is also watching three other intersections. The signals should be under construction, but there is a shortage statewide of materials.

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City Manager Gary Esplin advised that he asked Mr. Bulloch to prioritize the projects over the next ten years.

Mr. Bulloch advised that the next five traffic signals will be located at Foremaster Drive, two on Dixie Drive, one at Valley View, and one at Snow Canyon Parkway.
There is also a plan to connect 400 East to the Fiesta Fun Center. A signal is also anticipated there. Mall Drive and Riverside Drive is a huge problem. Staff is monitoring a lot of intersections. The connection between the post office and the intersection with Riverside Drive is in the budget this year and is under design, but it will probably take the rest of the year to get it negotiated. There is only 200 feet missing for a connection between 400 and 500 East, and this property is owned by Klein Adams.

Leisure Services: Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised that 5,263 runners started the marathon which is 300-400 more than last year. Next year the race will be expanded to 7000 runners. Special activities have been planned to celebrate the Leisure Services Department?s 25 year anniversary. Zion National Park selected the St. George Art Museum to host a national art show in 2009, and there is a grant to work with the Zionl Park and the Department of Interior to host the exhibit. The Art Festival will move to the new Town Square. The City is ready to go to bid on renovation of the third floor of the Arts Building. New projects include Historic District guidelines, Shadow Mountain Park splashpad, Middleton Park redo, the next phase of the Canyons Complex, the first building is up at Seegmiller Farm, a grant has been received for the South Bloomington/Sun River trail, and a connection from Cox Park to the new elementary school as well as building restrooms and installing a splash pad and swings. He advised that when the Temple Quarry Trail was built by the Scouts, the back side was built on private land. The trail has to be realigned and a trailhead will be built. Dedication will be November 9. The City received approval to put back two of three bridges on the Santa Clara River. Staff is also working on Cox Pond, Brooks Canyon, Forest Nature Park, Mathis Park rebuild, Virgin River 3 rebuild, Willow Run Park, a redesign of Crosby Park to accommodate future plans for the Dixie Center, redoing the back part of the Nature Center which was destroyed by the flood as well as Tonaquint Park, and Hidden Valley Park. All the landscaping around the Art Center has been redone to tie into the Town Square. Bank repair and stabilization has been done on the pond, new deck shades have been installed around the City pool, and staff is building greenhouses at Worthen Park. Staff is doing all the trees along trails and hopes to be able to pull 1000 trees from the City?s tree farm yearly. Staff is working with SITLA to see if it is possible to acquire open spaces around town in unique places. The Montezuma Wash in Bloomington goes out to bid tomorrow. The City made an offer to purchase it a few years ago and was turned down. The owners are now saying it is worth $500,000.

Mayor McArthur instructed Mr. Perkins to place a bid on the Montezuma Wash.

Development Services: Development Services Director Matt Loo distributed a handout identifying the department project summary, golf division projects, development and building division projects, and a golf division customer survey, and
reviewed it with those present. He advised that project tracking can now be done on the City?s web page, a public relations training seminar will be held for the Golf Division, and the Red Hills clubhouse will soon be bid out, with the old clubhouse demolished.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the new clubhouse will be moved closer to the green.

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Community Development: Community Development Director Bob Nicholson distributed a handout listing current projects: CDBG, density bonus program for Little Valley, IHC/City housing project, and zoning code amendments and reviewed it with those present.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that Linda Kirkpatrick has changed her plan for The Flats to allow a narrowing of the setbacks so she can have an alleyway. The homes will be offset with an elevation change and the garages will be in the back of the homes and accessed via an alleyway entry. 10' between the homes is proposed. He advised that if the City approves the reduced setback it should be in exchange for the detached units and alleyway entries into the garages.

Linda Kirkpatrick advised that she is trying to address housing for working families. The homes are between 1400 sq. ft. up to 2300 sq. ft. for under $250,000. The project will have its own private park. The garages are 450 sq. ft. A minimal HOA will be created to maintain the front yards and park.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised he spoke with Ms. Kirkpatrick?s attorney and the 450 North issue still has to be resolved. He advised he would meet with Ms. Kirkpatrick?s attorney to work out an agreement. Some concessions on the part of the developer must be made in order to receive the reduced setbacks.

The meeting adjourned to the Town Square to view the improvements.

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

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Upon conclusion of the executive session, the meeting adjourned.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder