City Council Minutes

Tuesday, June 3,2008



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
WORK MEETING
JUNE 3, 2008, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Jon Pike
Council Member Gloria Shakespeare
Council Member Gail Bunker
Council Member Gil Almquist
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Recorder Gay Cragun

EXCUSED:
Council Member Suzanne Allen

OPENING:
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. He then led the pledge of allegiance. The invocation was offered by Council Member Almquist.

ENERGY SERVICES DEPARTMENT BUDGET PRESENTATION:
Energy Services Phil Solomon distributed a budget recap of this year?s proposed budget vs. last year?s budget and reviewed it with those present.

Ed Baca inquired of Mr. Solomon if he was still comfortable with canceling the second generator.

Mr. Solomon replied that he was.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the City?s rates are comparatively good and it needs to concentrate on transmission.

Mr. Solomon discussed three issues which will affect electric rates: the climate change issue and pending federal legislation, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which requires that utilities meet reliability standards, and the market. He explained that staff did the best they could to cut the budget where possible without sacrificing operational reliability or operations. No new positions are recommended in this year?s proposed budget. The City?s solar farm project will be launched in October.

FIRE DEPARTMENT BUDGET PRESENTATION:
Fire Chief Robert Stoker reviewed his proposed budget. He advised the City was not awarded a grant which would have allowed the hiring of more firefighters, but a few departments in Utah which were awarded the grant advise that they may turn it down, so grant funds may be reallocated. Without the additional nine firefighters, the budget drops to $2.8 million.

Ed Baca inquired about certification pay.

Chief Stoker replied that cities throughout Utah were surveyed, and of those who responded most do not pay for certifications. With regard to the proposed fire station in Sun River, issues with regard to finishing the road and extending utilities are being looked at. The project is moving forward.

St. George City Council Minutes
June 3, 2008
Page Two

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that with regard to the City?s budget in general, estimates on revenue were conservative, and he recommended that before the Mayor and Council make any changes to the budget, they wait a while to see if revenues come in as projected. He expressed concern with sales taxes.

MISCELLANEOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Mayor McArthur advised that this Saturday is the first Washington County Hazardous Waste Day.

Mayor McArthur invited member of the City Council to attend the upcoming hearing on the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Council Member Bunker advised that if the City does not purchase the ?Night Herdin? bronze by artist Grant Speed, he will remove it.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the State has set aside monies to provide art for its buildings and there might be funds for this purpose tied to the new Courthouse building.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the Town Square has been very successful and staff is working on a program to create some gardens and a gazebo at the end of the Town Square opposite from the splash pad so the entire area is used. The Church has prohibited use of its property because of issues with its tax exempt status. Parking is a problem and staff is working on signage to direct cars to the parking structure. He recommended that Tabernacle be striped for angled parking.

Council Member Almquist advised that a home across the street from the library on the south side of 100 South has a huge backyard which would be a wonderful place for parking.

Mayor McArthur advised that the church parking lot located a half block away from the Town Square is available for parking during the week.

Council Member Shakespeare expressed concern with raising prices for golf. She commented she did not think the courses were managed well enough to pay for themselves. She inquired if employees working under the pros had City insurance.

Mayor McArthur replied at one time the City looked at making them City employees and provide them with insurance but it was too expensive.

Council Member Shakespeare suggested the courses be kept open later and golf traded for employees.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the courses are open from dawn to dusk and golfers can play until dark.

Council Member Shakespeare replied that the courses were not staying open late and she has received complaints from golfers that they are not treated well at City courses.


St. George City Council Minutes
June 3, 2008
Page Three

The meeting then adjourned.



___________________________________
Gay Cragun, City Recorder