City Council Minutes

Thursday, October 23,2008

OCTOBER 23, 2008, 5:00 PM

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

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.

Bruce Bennett introduced Dr. Ron Snow, new President of the Board.

Dr. Snow commented that when the Saints arrived in Dixie, one of the first things they did was build the Social Hall and other gathering places because of their spirit and pride in the community and civic volunteerism. The St. George Musical Theater was built on volunteerism and has been around for 20 years. He read their mission statement. He stated that through the generosity of the College they have survived the past years, but without a permanent venue, their base of season ticketholders has evaporated. They are at a critical crossroads. There is an effort underway to complete a modest performing facility, and if not successful, the SGMT will be but a memory. A meeting is being held November 7 to elicit support. He requested that the City waive impact fees and allow fast-tracking of their building permit process.

Mayor McArthur inquired how much money the SGMT had.

Dr. Snow replied they had $750,000 but a good portion has been spent on demolition.

Bruce Bennett commented that $734,000 has been raised, with $120,000 spent on removing the roof and excavation and soil testing, and another $250,000 spent on design. Darcy Stewart has agreed to be the contractor on the project. The cost estimate is $1.1 million, half of which could be in-kind donated labor. The $1.1 million figure does not, however, include sound and lighting. He advised that as much lighting as possible was salvaged from the Woodward building.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that there are no impact fees because the SGMT is simply remodeling an existing building and the connection is already there.

Mayor McArthur commented that the City could perhaps waive some of its fees.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that if the City Council wanted to make a contribution, the request would have to go through the budgeting and public hearing process since SGMT is a non-profit organization.

St. George City Council Minutes
October 23, 2008
Page Two

Mayor McArthur commented that the City has recently cut its budget by 10%.

Mr. Bennett explained that the SGMT cannot schedule a season of shows because the College has to schedule the building for its own events, and without a season, the SGMT will lose its ticketholders. He stated he felt strongly that if the SGMT can get its own venue, everyone would come back and purchase season tickets. SGMT also has a last-dollar grant from the Eccles Foundation for $250,000, but these funds are not available until the building is built. He advised there are only two paid staff members now. He stated they have been looking diligently for a venue.

Mayor McArthur thanked Mr. Bennett and Dr. Snow for their presentation and advised the City Council would take their request under advisement.

WCWCD Manager Ron Thompson distributed copies of the recently completed Public Opinion Survey Report completed by Vanguard Media Group on how people feel about water and conservation. He then presented a power point presentation on the purpose of the research, research methods, public opinion survey results, focus group results, key findings, and a conclusion.

Mr. Thompson updated the City Council on operation of the water treatment plant, draining of the Gunlock Reservoir so a new outlet can be installed, their new office building currently under construction, and the Lake Powell pipeline. A brief discussion was held on a water dispute in the Snake Valley.

The meeting then adjourned at 6:55 p.m.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder