City Council Minutes

Tuesday, May 20,2008



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
BUDGET WORK MEETING
MAY 20, 2008, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Council Member Suzanne Allen
Council Member Gil Almquist
Council Member Gail Bunker
Council Member Jon Pike
Council Member Gloria Shakespeare
City Manager Gary Esplin
Deputy City Recorder Judith Mayfield

OPENING: The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Council Member Almquist and an opening prayer was given by Council Member Bunker.

BUDGET PRESENTATION:

Community Development Director, Bob Nicholson stated that they had met the 10% reduction in the department budget for the 2008-09 fiscal year. He explained that there was a significant reduction in the account that covered consulting services. He said that in the past they had done some long range master planning by area and that in the coming year they would be concentrating on the Tonaquint area General Plan. He said that they had also reduced budget amounts for the Chamber of Commerce and for the Washington County Economic Development Council. Mr. Nicholson went through a list of tasks that are planned for the upcoming fiscal year which included Zoning Code updates; Tonaquint Area General plan update; Sign Code amendments; IHC/City Housing Project; Subdivision Ordinance amendments; CLG (Historic Preservation) program; CDGB projects; public assistance and zoning administration; and other important tasks/projects.

Council Member Allen requested that Mr. Nicholson look at the standards in the Industrial Park zones with respect to landscape and fencing.

Council Member Shakespeare stated that she felt C-2, C-3 and C-4 need to be distinctively different.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that they have wanted to do that for several years.

Mayor McArthur said that they had too many zones and that they needed to be consolidated.

Mr. Nicholson stated that they currently have 6 zones and that they could be consolidated.

City Manager Gary Esplin said that should be the number one assignment.

Mayor McArthur suggested that they have some meetings with the property owners to get their input before making changes.

City Council Member Bunker asked Mr. Nicholson why the salary budget was less. She wanted to know if he was eliminating a position.

Mr. Nicholson explained that they were not eliminating a position but they were reducing the overtime budget amount.
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May 20, 2008
Page Two

Development Services Director, Matt Loo discussed the budget for Building Inspections. He said that they had two open Building Inspector positions that were not going to be filled at this time. He explained that two of the remaining seven Building Inspectors are going to be reassigned to Code Enforcement to help in that area.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that they were going to have some of the Building Inspectors work on rental inspections and landscape requirements.

Mr. Loo explained that in the Development Services division there was a Project Manager position that was vacant and it would not be filled. He stated that the average number of plats in the last several years had been 100 per year but now they were down to approximately 45. He said that he had been spending time meeting with the developers and they are working on an out the door in one hour concept for them.

Mr. Loo stated that due to a shortfall in revenues they are requesting a fee increase for the Golf Courses.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that there has been a decrease in the number of rounds that are being played. He said that if they don?t increase the golf fees, the $200,000 difference between revenues and expenses would have to come from another area or source.

There was a general discussion about customer service at the various courses and about having different rates for seniors and for residents.

Mr. Loo replied that they have a secret shopper program that had been implemented and he would be getting feedback from them.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that he felt the golf rates, with the recommended increases, would be comparable to other courses in the area.

There was discussion about the cash cards and looking at ways to reward the golfers who golf more frequently or for people who are property owners in St. George. He stated that they would continue to explore ways to address the concerns about customer service and golf rates.

Mr. Loo handed out a concept for the Red Hills Club House. He stated that they are going to try to save money on the project by having a lot of the design work done by staff members.

Water Services Director, Barry Barnum discussed the source of supply items. Mr. Barnum explained how water conditions and equipment durability impact the department expenditures for the various wells. He talked about the rising cost of water and said that with the relationship with the Water Conservancy District they are currently paying $.84 per 1,000 gallons. The costs on water since 2006 have gone up 40% and said that he is requesting a 10% rate increase. Mr. Barnum reviewed the capital outlays that were being requested. He provided some details about the West Side Improvement Project and explained that the state would be providing a 20 year bond at an interest rate of 1.77%.




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May 20, 2008
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He stated that the Water Department?s expenses exceeded the revenues by $3.7 million and they would be borrowing that from Wastewater. He explained they currently have a lot going on but they are reaching the limits of the City and in a few years they would have the major projects completed. Mr. Barnum reviewed the budget requests for Wastewater Collection.

City Manager Gary Esplin discussed how the Wastewater Collection division and the Water Treatment Plant division work together.

Mr. Barnum reviewed the budget for the Water Treatment Plant. He explained that they have a good contract with the landfill and are currently paying $3.00 per ton for dumping fees. He stated that the new owner of the landfill wanted to increase the fee to $22 per ton but they would be negotiating with the new owner.

There was general discussion about the cost of making compost.

Mr. Barnum explained that they had been talking to the Streets Department about putting a drying bed out at the treatment plant. He stated that would help to reduce the costs for dumping.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the Water Treatment Plant is the best in the state.

Mr. Barnum explained that the lab does testing for the entire region. He said that the lab also does testing for approximately 20 communities outside of the region and charges a nominal fee. He said that the lab has a national certification and has done testing for Mesquite, Littlefield and Beaver Dam.

Public Services Director, Larry Bulloch stated that the airport would be the critical project for the upcoming year. He explained that it is a mega multi-tasking effort with several funding sources designated for specific uses with various time frames. He said that the project involves approximately 15 different consulting firms. He said that the Project Manager is working on a master schedule and updated cost estimates that should be available within a few weeks. He discussed what was happening with the land acquisitions and said they wanted to have everything resolved within 30 days. He said phase one was well under way and phase two would be starting. He explained they would be using a design/build concept and gave examples of how it would be accomplished.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the budget would show $177 million for the replacement airport because it would be a multiyear project.

Mr. Bulloch said that he would like to give the Council an update on June 12, 2008. He said that representatives from the FAA would be there as well as the Project Manager. He asked the Council if they wanted to visit some other airports that are similar to the new airport with respect to size and number of deplanements. He suggested June 30th through July 2nd as a possible time.

City Manager Gary Esplin said that they were continuing to work with issues regarding getting water to the area and land acquisitions.



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May 20, 2008
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Mr. Bulloch stated that in spite of the budget cuts the Streets Division would still be providing the same level of service. He said they would be taking money out of the pavement management account and fixing Blackridge Drive. Mr. Bulloch discussed issues concerning the construction on Brigham Road and explained that there were problems with mitigation. He said they would also be addressing flood problems on the Boulevard and 100 South. Another project would be completion of a storm drain from the Virgin River to I-15, at a cost of $1.5 million. Mr. Bulloch stated that the design for the Mall Drive Bridge would be done by the summer and they were still trying to negotiate rights of way.

Mayor McArthur called for a break.

Chief of Police, Marlon Stratton went through a Power Point presentation which included information on each division in the Police Department including the Emergency Medical Dispatch division. He gave details and background on all of the teams within the department and discussed various projects the department is involved in. He said that he was requesting two additional school resource officers for Desert Hills High School and Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School. Chief Stratton explained that he had also requested a second K-9 unit. He stated that he would also like to have two additional officers on the Gang and Drug Task Force.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that he recommended the two additional officers, the K-9 unit and additional vehicles in the Police Department budget. He said that another meeting would need to be scheduled for Fire Chief Stoker and Phil Solomon, Energy Services Director, to discuss their department budgets. Mr. Esplin asked if any of the council members had agenda items for the work meeting on the 22nd.

The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.



________________________
Judith Mayfield, Deputy City Recorder