City Council Minutes

Thursday, June 10,2010



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
WORK MEETING
JUNE 10, 2010, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:

Mayor Daniel McArthur
Councilmember Gloria Shakespeare
Councilmember Ben Nickle
Councilmember Jon Pike
Councilmember Gail Bunker
Councilmember Gil Almquist
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
Deputy City Recorder Judith Mayfield

OPENING:

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

CEMETERY UPDATE:

Mayor McArthur said he asked Cody Schmitt, Cemetery Sexton, to attend the council meeting in order to present an update on the Citys cemeteries. Mayor McArthur stated that the cemeteries look beautiful and he has heard many positive comments from community members.

Cody Schmitt, Cemetery Sexton, explained that the cemetery is filling up very fast. He said this year they have sold an average of 25 plots per month. He stated there are about 252 burials per year which is average for the size of the community. He talked about a plot fee study that was done by Provo which in addition to Provo included Salt Lake City, Orem, American Fork, Bountiful, Springville and St. George. St. George had the lowest plot fee at $475. Other fees were: Bountiful $500; Provo - $700; Orem and American Fork - $800; Springville - $850; and, Salt Lake City - $1,100.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that it had been a long time since the plot fees were raised. He explained that a raise in fees could be justified but that it would be a decision that the City Council would make. He said that additional property had been purchased and Kent Perkins, Director of Leisure Services, was working on a master plan for the Tonaquint area.

Cody Schmitt stated there is enough space for another 25 years without including the community gardens area.

Mayor McArthur asked Mr. Schmitt if there were a lot of cremations and what it would take to have a columbarium at the Tonaquint Cemetery.

Mr. Schmitt said there are a lot of cremations and they currently have to use a half of a plot for the remains.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the master plan would include a place for cremations.

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Mr. Schmitt stated there are three annual cleanup days for the cemeteries which are the second Monday in January, the second Monday after Memorial Day and the first Monday after October. He said he has the discretion to cleanup at other times if there is a need for it. He explained that shepherds crooks are save and stored and flags are saved and put in the shed.

Several people in attendance made comments about how nice the cemeteries look and how much they appreciate what the City does to keep them that way.

Mayor McArthur asked what the cost was for opening a grave.

Mr. Schmitt stated the cost is $260 for a resident and $335 for a non-resident on a weekday and $355 for a resident and $425 for a non-resident on Saturday. He explained anything past 4 p.m. was an additional $100 per hour.

Councilmember Nickle asked if gates were allowed.

Mr. Schmitt stated neither gates nor fences were allowed.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained fences and gates presented difficulties with maintaining the grave sites. He stated there were certain sections for graves with upright markers and they probably have to provide more space for the uprights because more people wanted them. He said he thought Cody was doing a good job as the Sexton and there hadnt been any complaints that he was aware of.

TRAFFIC CENTER DEMONSTRATION:

Mayor McArthur stated he had been down to look at the Traffic Center last week and wanted the council members to see how it works. He asked Larry Bulloch, Public Works Director, to escort them down to the Traffic Center for a demonstration. The Mayor, council members and several people in attendance went for the demonstration.

The group returned from the Traffic Center Demonstration. Mayor McArthur said the Traffic Center looked great.

DISCUSSION CONCERNING ATVS ON CERTAIN PAVED STREETS AND NEAR THE RIVER:

City Manager Gary Esplin said there have been meetings with City staff members about concerns regarding how ATVs are using public streets, trails and private property to get to the areas where they can ride. He said Councilmember Pike had been involved in similar discussions. Many complaints are about the dust and noise associated with the ATVs. Mr. Esplin stated he had discussions with Police Chief Marlon Stratton and City Attorney Shawn Guzman about allowing ATVs on the city streets. He explained the recommendation from the staff was if ATVs were allowed on city streets it would create enforcement issues with regard to which streets would be designated, whether the ATVs were street legal, and the age of the drivers. He said they felt they shouldnt change the current ordinance that prohibits ATVs on city streets. Mr. Esplin stated there have also been ongoing issues about the ATVs having access to the rivers and concerns about their impact to endangered species and habitat. He said there is also a question about

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whether there are places that could be designated as accessing areas. He said Kent Perkins, Director of Leisure Services, contacted the BLM about access areas and the BLM told him they had all of the areas they wanted designated for ATV access. He said one area was west of Bloomington and another area was at the top of the hill.

Mayor McArthur said he wanted to hear from the Police Department; Barry Barnum, Water Services Director; and Steve Meismer, Manager of the Virgin River Program.

Lieutenant Kyle Whitehead explained there are two things that can be allowed in the ATV laws. The first is to allow street legal ATVs operated by a licensed driver is to designate certain streets to allow ATVs access to public lands. Lt. Whitehead said he spoke to a BLM representative and was told the BLM absolutely does not want the ATVs in the river. He said he believed if they allowed the ATVs on the streets it would cause problems with racing, accidents and having youth driving them.

Councilmember Bunker asked if Richfield was having problems with the ATVs on the streets.

Deputy Chief Peck said he didnt know if Richfield was having problems.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman said Chief Stratton had talked to the police in Hurricane and was told they were having problems keeping the ATVs on the designated streets.

Steve Meismer, Manager of the Virgin River Program, stated there would be certain issues with various species and environment. They would be concerned about damage to the land. He said the program is intended to work in harmony with wildlife and community. He explained a lot of time had been spent planting willows and cottonwoods in the areas where theres running water. He said they would also be concerned about impacting the mitigation bank.

Director of Water Services Barry Barnum said the Corps has jurisdiction over the river and realize that people who have ATVs need a place to ride but the Corps wants it upland. He said any area open for riding could not be included in the mitigation bank and the City would have responsibility to restore any areas that were damaged.

City Manager Gary Esplin asked Mr. Meismer if an area along the river could be designated for the ATVs.

Mr. Meismer said there are areas that are less sensitive along the river but that changes based on numerous factors. He said in addition to concerns about disturbing the habitat there were concerns about the impact of the oil and gas from the ATVs.

Councilmember Pike stated he had been contacted by a group from the West Bloomington area with a request for an area that would allow them to access to Navaho. He said he was also contacted about the Little Valley area and the Springs. He said a fourth issue was with language in the current ordinance which prohibits starting an ATV because of being within 600 ft. of the river. He asked for the ordinance to be changed to allow owners to start their ATVs on their own property.



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City Attorney Shawn Guzman stated from a legal standpoint there would be a lot of problems with the ATVs on the streets. He said there could be designated areas on either city land or private land.

There was a general discussion about the various concerns about allowing ATVs on the streets, designating streets or areas, handling complaints and restricting certain types of ATVs.

Mayor McArthur said he wanted the ordinance to stay the same.

City Manager Gary Esplin agreed and stated he would be concerned about safety and enforcement if the allowed ATVs on city streets.

Councilmember Pike asked if there could be a modification on the prohibition of starting an ATV within 600 ft. of the river.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman said they could do that.

Mayor McArthur stated that the City needs to follow the laws when they use their small 4 wheelers. He asked City Attorney Guzman to look into that and make sure we are complying.

DISCUSSION CONCERNING FEE STRUCTURES AND REQUESTS FOR WAIVERS.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated Councilmember Bunker asked to have a discussion about requests that are made for waiving fees for using City facilities and what criteria is used to approve the request. He explained there are many requests made by non-profit or charitable groups for fees to be waived. He said the City is also asked to co-sponsor events in order to have the fees waived and expressed concerns about what that meant with regard to the Citys liability.

Councilmember Bunker said the ordinance states the City Council can waive the fee and most of the requests come from groups raising funds for another charity.

City Manager Gary Esplin said they have the same situation with requests for using the parks, Town Square and the Sunbowl.

Parks & Facilities Manager Larry Shane passed out a handout showing rental fees and costs and stated the City hasnt made any money on Town Square because they only allow City sponsored events.

City Manager Gary Esplin said the issue has gone on for years as far as deciding when to waive the fee or not. He said the council looked at each request and then made a determination. He expressed a concern about the perception of discrimination if the fee was waived for one group but not another.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman stated the council considers how the event would benefit the community before making a decision to be co-sponsor.



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Councilmember Bunker said they should continue to handle the requests for fee waivers the way they have been doing it.

City Manager Gary Esplin said they would have an opportunity to waive part of the fee and still be able to cover the Citys costs associated with tech support, security and cleanup. He said they might waive the fee for a group that doesnt charge an admission cost but might reduce or not waive the fee for a group that does charge an admission cost. The council would have the final say by continuing to handle the requests as they have been.

There was discussion about the use of parks and when a fee can be charged.

Community Arts Administrator Gary Sanders stated groups need to understand that a waiver in the fees does not mean they are able to use other City property such as the stage or other resources.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that was correct. He said other City property like the tent or stage could only be used with the approval of the Mayor and council.

Councilmember Shakespeare asked Gary Sanders how costs were determined.

Mr. Sanders explained the costs were determined by fixed expenses such as on site personnel, utilities and facilities maintained.

Councilmember Bunker said she appreciated having the discussion and felt good about the process.

DISCUSSION CONCERNING ISSUES AT THE NEW TERMINAL BUILDING, I.E., ART, STONE:

City Manager Gary Esplin stated he wanted Gary Sanders, Community Arts Administrator, to talk about the art for the terminal building.

Community Arts Administrator Gary Sanders gave a presentation which described the process used to select the art for the terminal building, where the different pieces would be located and the costs associated with individual art pieces.

There was a discussion about the art pieces presented and about different ways to display current events at the new terminal building.

Mr. Sanders gave a breakdown of costs associated with the art they are recommending for the terminal building.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that some of the costs are already in the budget. He said the additional cost of $3,500 for the glass art and $2,250 for the tiles was for licensing and buying the rights to the glass art and decorative tiles is not in the budget nor are the costs for the other proposed art pieces. He stated they would need to prioritize the other items but would also need to consider what would need to be done before the terminal is completed. Mr. Esplin said the current budget for the terminal


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building has been spent. He asked Mr. Sanders to find out when a decision would need to be made in order for the art to be ready.

Mayor McArthur said they would go ahead with the glass art and the decorative tiles and when they find out the time frames for completing the other art they would discuss the issue again and see what funds are available.

City Manager Gary Esplin said the next item was the change order on the sandstone for the pillars at the terminal building. He passed out a handout from the architect along with pictures of the columns. He explained the current design would be square pieces of stone that would have to be cut because of the narrowing of the pillar. He said the stone had already been cut so they would have to purchase the new stone. With labor and Westlands expenses it would total $43,000.

Councilmember Almquist said they could use the old stone for other projects for the City. He asked why the architect didnt use the same design as the one used for Town Square which was what was requested by the City.

City Manager Gary Esplin said the architect stated they were not told to make it look just like Town Square. He said the square stones were in the bid when it was accepted by the City.

There was a discussion about using the old stone for various City projects and about wanting the pillars to look the same as Town Square by being horizontal.

City Manager Gary Esplin said the cost of making the rooms bigger in the upstairs of the terminal building is $38,000. He said they would look at the savings in other areas to cover the cost.

Mayor McArthur instructed City Manager Gary Esplin to go ahead with the changes.

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:

MOTION: A motion to adjourn to an executive session to discuss litigation was made by Councilmember Pike.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Bunker.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Almquist aye
Councilmember Pike aye
Councilmember Nickle aye
Councilmember Bunker aye
Councilmember Shakespeare aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RECONVENE AND ADJOURN:

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to reconvene and adjourn.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle
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June 10, 2010
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VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Almquist aye
Councilmember Pike aye
Councilmember Nickle aye
Councilmember Bunker aye
Councilmember Shakespeare aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.



______________________________ Judith Mayfield, Deputy City Recorder