Wednesday, September 30,2009
ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
SEPTEMBER 30, 2009, 5:00 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Councilmember Jon Pike
Councilmember Gloria Shakespeare
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Suzanne Allen
Councilmember Gail Bunker
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
City Recorder Gay Cragun
Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. He then led the pledge of allegiance to the flag. The invocation was offered by Councilmember Almquist.
COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC:
John Bunderson inquired why there was no handicap accessibility at the southeast corner of 700 South and 400 East, yet the other three corners have new ramps. He inquired if this corner was overlooked when the storm drainage project was completed.
Public Works Director Larry Bulloch replied his department has a list of 600 things to do and anything that is a safety hazard is at the top of the list. He advised he would look at this corner and make it a priority.
John Bunderson advised that the use of chip seal on inclines that face south or west tend to result in buckling. He inquired if the City had a guideline for use of asphalt on inclines rather than chip seal.
Public Works Director Larry Bulloch replied that chip seal is used because of the current economy. Overlay is four times more expensive. It is purely a matter of money and there are no other options.
Jenny Larson advised that the old Campbell home at the corner of 600 East and 600 South is deteriorating and City would not let the owner raze it and rebuild it because of the size of the lot. She stated the entire neighborhood is deteriorating.
Mayor McArthur advised that staff would check into this.
Jerry Campbell suggested that this public forum be held once a month at a regular City Council meetings in order to provide better citizen access to the City Council.
Councilmember Allen replied that all of the contact information for the City Council is on the City?s website and they have a lot of citizen interaction through phone calls and emails.
Greg Aldred suggested that those who haul trailers with pick-up trucks be allowed to drop their trailers at the City?s Truck-N-Go lot and drive their pick-up trucks home since they are not classified as ?commercial? by DOT.
St. George City Council Minutes
September 30, 2009
Mayor McArthur commented this was a good suggestion and would be considered.
Larry Morrison commented that the City?s prohibition on possession of firearms in City parks and on trails is in violation of 2nd Amendment rights and in violation of the State Code.
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised she will look into it.
Joe Hagen inquired about the sources of revenue at the new airport, what services will be provided, what steps are being taken to attract air and cargo carriers, and how the new airport will be marketed.
Mayor McArthur replied the City has spoken with companies who want to locate at the airport. A marketing study has also been done. He advised the runway at opening will be 9,300 feet but can be expanded to 11,000 feet. The terminal is also being built to accommodate another airline and can be expanded. The goal is to build a jetway or two. The FAA will decide when additional runway thickness is needed to accommodate larger jets.
Councilmember Shakespeare advised the City is hoping to attract cargo carriers as well.
Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen advised the City conducted a market assessment study on the catchment area and the data is still being analyzed. Which airlines choose to locate at the new airport will be a decision made by the airline industry, not the City. A lot of work behind the scenes is being conducted. The new airport is being built for 20-40 years into the future.
Councilmember Almquist commented that without FAA funds and commitment, the City would have to limp along with its current airport, without any capability for expansion. FAA funds are making the new airport possible.
Robert Sears, a resident of Ivins, expressed concern about the safety of citizens in St. George due to murders being committed by illegal aliens and the number of gang members and illegal drug activity here. He said it seems someone is protecting the City from word getting out about the crime in St. George. He stated he wanted to see this information in the newspaper.
Police Chief Marlon Stratton replied the City participated in Operation Community Shield where gang task force members worked with the bike patrol in identifying criminal aliens and those with gang affiliations. 21 were arrested in St. George and are now in the custody of Immigration and will be deported. There is drug activity in St. George and the City contributed eight officers to the Drug Task Force. The Washington County Sheriff?s Office contributed four officers. No other nearby bedroom community contributes any officers. The biggest concern with drugs is prescription drug abuse and the City has one detective who works solely on prescription drug violations. The City also has eight bike patrol officers who patrol the parks, trails, and apartments buildings and work closely with the Drug and Gang Task Force and have been very successful. By adding six officers to traffic enforcement the number of accidents has been reduced by about 20%. The City also
St. George City Council Minutes
September 30, 2009
has 12 officers in the schools. All of the City?s crime statistics are listed on the City website. He advised the Department also has a Public Information Officer who deals with the press, but the City is not responsible for what the newspaper decides to print.
Jim Flor, a resident of Ivins, commented that the invasion of illegal alien invaders steal identities, are bankrupting hospitals, packing the schools and pay little or no taxes. He stated that local governments provide sanctuaries for illegal aliens and that big business and the demand for cheap labor encourages elected officials to do nothing. He stated he wanted elected officials to do what they are supposed to do and abide by the law.
Mayor McArthur replied that the City of St. George has done all it can do.
Business License Officer Laura Woolsey advised that everyone who has a business license must complete and sign the application stating that they will not contract with a company who hires anyone not eligible to work in the United States in violation of federal law.
Councilmember Bunker commented that all the large employers in the City use the e-verify and I-9 programs, as well as a few small companies like the Mayor?s and Councilmember Almquist?s.
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that the City also put requirements on all City contracts. Companies hired to do projects for the City have to sign an agreement that they will enforce these provisions with all their employees and subcontractors and will use the e-verify program. Additionally, if damage is caused to the City as a result of not having the proper papers in place, the contractor is responsible for the damages. She advised that so far no violations have been substantiated. She advised that probable cause that a crime is being committed is needed, not just the color of someone?s skin.
Larry Swensen, an employee of Westland Construction, advised the City has a great staff and he looked forward to working with the City on future projects.
Bob Amoroso expressed concern about the unreasonably slow speed limit on Airport Road and St. George Blvd. He suggested the speed limits be raised. He stated he felt the City should hold public forums once a month as suggested by Jerry Campbell.
Mayor McArthur commented that St. George Blvd. is a state highway.
Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised that state law says a speed study must be done. He advised one will be performed for Airport Road and he will ask UDOT to do a study for St. George Blvd.
The meeting then adjourned.
Gay Cragun, City Recorder