City Council

Thursday, January 20,2011
Minutes



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
JANUARY 20, 2011, 4:00 P.M.
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS

PRESENT:
Mayor Pro Tem Gail Bunker
Councilmember Gloria Shakespeare
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jon Pike
Councilmember Ben Nickle
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun

EXCUSED:
Mayor Daniel McArthur

OPENING:
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by Councilmember Almquist and the invocation was offered by Gary Esplin.

Jordan Mathis of the Healthy Dixie Council explained part of their purpose is to recognize those who have gone above and beyond to increase the health and well-being of the community. He presented a Healthy Dixie Award to the Safe Kids of Washington County organization for car seat check program. Members of the Safe Kids organization then introduced themselves.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker advised it has been a memorable week with the Economic Summit, dedication of the new airport, Heritage Week, and the Historic Home Tour.

Bob Nicholson presented slides of the Historic Home Tour.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker announced that a Valentines Day dance will be held February 12. A reception for a new exhibit at the Art Museum will be held tomorrow evening from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Dino Days will be held February 7-12 and a new exhibit will be unveiled at the dinosaur museum.

Councilmember Almquist advised that Fossil Ridge Principal Don Sonju was named Principal of the Year in the State of Utah.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker invited several Scouts in the audience to introduce themselves.

CONSENT CALENDAR: Consider approval of the financial statement for December, 2010.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that property tax receipts are higher than last year as far as collection rates, sales tax came in as projected and franchise fees are a little higher than last year. With regard to expenditures, personnel services are going to show higher because there were 14 pay periods. Expenses are being monitored closely. Weather has impacted the golf course fund. The General Fund is basically okay.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to approve the financial statement.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Almquist.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of bid for two International chassis for the Energy Services Department.
Purchasing Manager Connie Hood explained this is a state bid with Rush Truck Center of Salt Lake City for two chassis cabs for the Energy Services Department. They will become two bucket trucks when outfitted. The amount is $171,204.
St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Two

City Manager Gary Esplin advised this expenditure was approved as part of the budget process.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Shakespeare to award the bid as recommended.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT:
Consider approval of a Project Services Agreement with TIC to perform a Combined Cycle Feasibility Study for the Millcreek Generation Facility.

Purchasing Manager Connie Hood advised the amount of the contract is $34,568.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained the Energy Services Department is looking at every possible way to reduce their costs and this is a great example. Exhaust heat from the two gas turbines can possibly be captured to fuel a steam boiler and secondary turbine/generator.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to approve the agreement.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Pike.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RESOLUTION:
Consider approval of a resolution terminating the Shooting Park interlocal agreement.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained the City has received a request from Washington County to terminate the Shooting Park interlocal agreement. Several years ago the interlocal agreement was created so that local communities could help to make the facility work. The County has decided it would like to create a special service district instead to run that operation. The interlocal agreement therefore needs to be terminated.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to approve the resolution.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Shakespeare.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RESOLUTION:
Consider approval of a resolution for grant funds for expansion of the Reuse Plant.
City Manager Gary Esplin clarified the expansion is at the Wastewater reuse plant, not the reuse plant on Brigham Road.

St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Three

Conservation Coordinator Ren Fleming explained the plant will be expanded to 13 million gallons. The facility was designed for full expansion, but there was only funding for the first two bays. If awarded, the grant will cover half the cost of completing the third bay for more reuse water capacity. This will allow the City to use more irrigation quality water. The total project is estimated to cost $1,258,000, and the grant request is for $629,000 from the Bureau of Reclamation.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained a resolution is needed to approve matching funds. He advised that right now reuse water is used to water City parks, golf courses, and cemeteries. The reuse line is also being extended to the new airport.

Ms. Fleming advised the award date is July 1. The entire project will come before the City Council again as part of the budgeting process next fiscal year.

Mr. Esplin advised the reuse line runs from the plant to the Ivins reservoir.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Nickle to approve the resolution.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Shakespeare.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

HANGAR AGREEMENT:
Consider approval of a private hangar agreement with TBM Aviation.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained this is a standard lease offered to all private hangar owners at the airport.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to approve the agreement.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

LEASE AGREEMENT:
Consider approval of a lease agreement with the Dixie Applied Technology Center for the lease of the Tonaquint Retail Center.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained it is proposed that economic development funds be used to purchase the Tonaquint Retail Center, and then lease it to the DXATC. DXATC is currently leasing space from Dixie College. Terms of the lease include the payment of $175,000 a year, they will pay the utilities and insurance, with the City having the right to approve any subleases. Staff feels it is a good investment and is a win-win for everyone.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised the initial term of the lease is for six years, with four one-year options for renewal thereafter. He requested that approval be made subject to legal review.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the actual purchase document will be brought to the City Council for approval.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to approve the agreement subject to legal review.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Pike.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:


St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Four

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

DEED EXCESS PROPERTY:
Consider approval to deed excess property from the Southgate Golf Course to UDOT for the Dixie Drive Interchange project.

City Manager Gary Esplin recommended deeding property to UDOT for the new roadway and interchange. This area is north of Dixie Drive from the old bridge to the interchange, and is property adjacent to the St. George Ford area and office buildings. In exchange, the City received property for new Southgate golf holes.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Shakespeare to approve deeding the property.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

SET PUBLIC HEARING:
Bob Nicholson advised the Planning Commission, at its meeting held January 11, 2011, recommended that a public hearing be scheduled for February 3 to consider an amendment to the Hidden Valley Fossil Hills PD zone to allow the use of 1.033 acres of Open Space adjacent to Lot 140 of Phase 6 for a private garden, extension of the residential backyard with a swimming pool and golf chipping green. The applicant is Jeff Johansen.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to schedule the public hearing as recommended.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Shakespeare.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Mr. Nicholson explained the City received a zone change application from Russ Limb for 52 acres on the north end of the Ft. Pierce Industrial Park where his mining operations are. This is a significant zone change and the Planning Commission tabled it to schedule a site visit on February 1 at 4:00 p.m., and they would like to invite the City Council to attend. Meet in the SunRoc block plant parking lot.

FINAL PLAT:
Todd Jacobsen advised that the Planning Commission, at its meeting held January 11, 2011, recommended approval of the final plat for Anasazi Ridge at Entrada Phase 3. The plat was approved by the City Council on May 18, 2006 as a 16 lot subdivision, but since then the applicant decided to break down the project into several phases. This phase has four lots. Infrastructure is in place.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Shakespeare to approve the final plat.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Pike.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Five

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

APPEAL OF SHADE TREE BOARD DECISION:
Shade Tree Board decision appeal. Allene Meeks, appellant.

Allene Meeks requested permission to remove a pine tree in her front yard due to safety and financial issues. She stated that due to health restrictions she has had to hire a professional to keep her yard looking nice. The tree is messy and a serious safety problem and she has been advised to take it down. There is also a power line running through the middle of it. It will cost between $1250 and $1500 to take the tree down, but it is worth it to her because of the worry about it causing problems. She stated she would plant a Mediterranean palm tree in its place.

City Forester Doug Wulfenstein advised the property line runs down the center of the tree. The Shade Tree Board is aware of Ms. Meeks beautiful yard and the pine tree is a beautiful tree. They do not take lightly granting permission to remove a tree.

Councilmember Almquist advised the line running through a tree is a phone line.

Mr. Wulfenstein advised that the Shade Tree Board voted not to remove the tree and felt the matter should come to the City Council for decision because of the property line issue.
Councilmember Nickle inquired if the City Council approved removal, if this would set a legal precedent.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman replied that it would not because of the uniqueness of the property line running through the middle of the tree. The tree could very well have been planted on Ms. Meeks side of the property line.

Councilmember Pike inquired if the City had any liability if the tree were to fall the wrong way.

Mr. Guzman replied that would depend on what caused the tree to fall. However, the tree appears to be healthy.

Mr. Wulfenstein advised the tree is 20+ years old. The tree is a City asset but the owner obviously has a vested interest in and concern with the tree. He advised the matter was brought to the Shade Tree Board by Mark Hodges, who abstained from voting, but otherwise the Shade Tree Boards vote was unanimous.

Councilmember Almquist advised that he has looked at the tree several times and one of his concerns is that it provides significant shade for the home. Behind this tree is a mulberry which could eventually occupy this space, but its removal will have a definite impact on the temperature of the home.

Councilmember Shakespeare commented that the owner is the one who has to live with what happens in her yard. She advised the Schmutzs were allowed to remove two street trees and it looks so much nicer now. She advised that while the subject tree is beautiful, it is messy and that should be taken into consideration.

Councilmember Pike commented the City has a Shade Tree Board for a reason and caution should be used in case a precedent is set.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman replied that caution should be used because many people may think their trees are messy and request removal for that purpose. The issue here is that the tree is on the property line and it may have been originally planted on the homeowners property.

Mr. Wulfenstein inquired if City crews were going to assist in its removal, if approved.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired if Mondale pines were on the shade tree list.



St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Six

Mr. Wulfenstein replied that they were not, but many of the Citys street trees were not on the list.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to approve the request to remove the tree, at the applicants expense, for the reason that the tree may lie on her property and fall outside the City right-of-way.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Shakespeare.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

APPEAL OF SIGN PERMIT DENIAL:
Consider an appeal of a sign permit denial. Sandpoint LLC, David Jeffs, representative.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised this is an appeal for a denial for a sign to be relocated that was on a hillside along I-15 south of the Dixie Center. The sign was removed because of the freeway widening for the Dixie Drive Interchange. The applicant is also requesting the sign be in excess of the height restrictions.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised it is the recommendation of the City Attorney and staff that no action be taken tonight. The Council should hear and discuss the appeal and the matter will be put on another agenda for action.

David Jeffs, Attorney for Sandpoint LLC, distributed maps of the site. He advised there are two signs on the property and others in the vicinity. Two signs have been impacted by the construction. The upper sign potentially might need to be moved. The lower sign is the subject of the appeal. It has been removed and is sitting further to the east on the ground. It is anticipated the sign structure would be removed on the top of the hill and the upper sign replaced. The lower sign is where the widening needs to occur. When Sandpoint bought the property they paid an additional amount of money to acquire the sign. The Citys ordinance prohibits a sign from being closer than 500 feet to another. In early discussions there was an attempt to see if the power pole could be moved to a different location in order to accommodate the sign, but there wasnt a lot that could be done. As a result of efforts with an engineering company, it was determined that the billboard could be placed in another location and it appears to work, however, the sign will be less than 500' from the upper sign. The sign has to have some height in order to be seen. There are some major difficulties based on the sign location such as the hillside blocks the view of the sign coming from the south. The sign needs to be tall to clear the potential overpass. The major problem is visibility from the south. In the past the sign sat close to the freeway and was in a decent line of sight but if the sign is moved further back it cant be seen from the freeway.

Councilmember Pike commented that he drives that road every day and cant remember being able to see the sign from the south.

Mr. Jeffs replied that it could not be seen from a long ways back, but it could be seen close in.

Councilmember Almquist commented that it appears that with the amount of material being removed from the hill that the new taller billboard location would be more visible heading north than it was before.

Mr. Jeffs replied that there may be more visibility at the new location with the taller billboard than with the hillside as it existed, but it is hard to see and he did not know where the cutback would impact sign visibility.

Ray Draper, Young Electric Sign Company, distributed a handout. He advised that a survey was done to find out how high the sign would have to be to be visible heading northbound. The new sign will be placed another 100' further away from the freeway than the old sign. The height of the existing sign was 50' from the ground level and 115' from the ground level is needed for the new sign.


St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Seven

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker commented it appeared the applicant wants to be put in a better position than what they previously had.

Mr. Draper replied it would be a trade-off. The new sign will be seen further away but will lose its visibility closer up due to the hill.

Kim Heath, property manager for Sandpoint LLC, advised that income from both signs are needed to pay their taxes. The main issue is the sign needs to be replaced somewhere.

Mr. Jeffs advised there is a state statute that gives a city the ability to override the requirements of its own ordinance if the view of a sign is obstructed due to highway construction or widening. The owner can then adjust the height of the sign or relocate it and the municipality shall, if necessary, provide for the height adjustment. This is called a special exception. He advised the applicant is not asking for a new sign - just to relocate it at a taller height, moving it further east from where it was previously located.

Councilmember Almquist inquired of Mr. Jeffs that if the hill were taken down, if they would consider signing an agreement that the sign would be lowered.

Mr. Jeffs replied that one of the reasons Sandpoint acquired the property was because they liked the height of the property. It provides a good view of the City, and they anticipated they would build some sort of hotel or restaurant on top of the hill. With the freeway widening, the applicant has lost a fair amount of property toward the river that was flat and easy to develop. If the hill were lowered, it would be appropriate to lower the sign.

Councilmember Almquist commented that the new sign would be 100% more visible from the south heading north than it ever was.

Mr. Jeffs commented that the sign would be seen sooner but not as well because of the height.

Councilmember Almquist inquired if the sign was always two-sided.

Mr. Jeffs replied that it was.

Councilmember Almquist advised that the City has an obligation to put the applicant in the same position as before, but according to state statute, probably not in a better position.

Mr. Jeffs replied that this was probably correct.

Councilmember Almquist commented that while he relied on billboards while he is traveling, some could be designed better or the advertising could be more pleasing. However, he still feels that the positioning of the sign is adequate where the applicant is proposing it, but the proposed height makes it at least 100 times more visible for southbound traffic than it was before.

Mr. Jeffs replied that southbound visibility will be improved.

Ray Draper advised he was not sure the sign would be in that much of a better position because of its distance from the freeway. There is give and take on both sides. Going south there is a power pole so the sign has to be at least 75' to the bottom of the sign.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired if anyone had ever seen a sign 125' high from the freeway in the state of Utah.

Mr. Draper replied there are probably a few in Salt Lake where the freeways are elevated.

Mr. Esplin commented that the signs are not 115' from the elevation of the freeway. If approved, St. George would have the highest sign in the State.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that this clarification is important. The signs are taller along elevated freeways. However, they are not 115' high when along a normal freeway level.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker inquired where the elevation is taken.

Mr. Draper replied the sign is 115' from the ground level, not the freeway level.

St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Eight

Mr. Guzman advised there are two components - one from the freeway and one from ground level. He advised that the existing sign was blocked by the hillside and was not clearly visible from I-15 headed northbound until someone was right to the side of it.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston presented a video showing the signs visibility traveling northbound and southbound along the freeway.

Bob Nicholson commented the sign was not visible except at the very last instant as the hill is passed and has extremely limited visibility going northbound.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised the sign was blocked by the hill and the new taller sign is 100% more visible heading northbound.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston explained that the City ordinance allows a sign to be 50' or 70' above ground or 50' above freeway grade. State law allows a sign to be 65' above ground or 25' above freeway grade, whichever is greater. 50' is the maximum the City ordinance allows in this situation because the freeway sits below where the sign will sit. The applicant is asking for 125' above freeway grade. Our ordinance also requires the sign to be 500' from the intersection, which this sign will not be, and this provision will also have to be waived.

Councilmember Almquist commented that if the traffic projections over the new Dixie Drive bridge are considered, which will be huge, the sign will become more visible than ever before - to east and west bound traffic too.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that the current sign appears to have been 138' from where the new intersection is going in.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that under state law, there is a section that addresses relocation of a sign as a result of construction that blocks the visibility of a sign and another section that deals with relocation of a sign due to construction. There are two provisions, one for relocation and one for obstructions. The relocation section states that a sign can be raised to a height that is clearly visible but is limited to the same size and height as allowed by state statute, which is 25' and 65'. The section on relocation does not exempt it from these provisions. Under another provision there is a right under state law for a city to pass an ordinance to amend ordinances to allow these kinds of exceptions, called special provisions in the ordinance. For a relocation this would allow a city to waive the height or distance requirement. Under state law the City has the ability to make those changes, however, one other provision says that it shall not be construed to permit a person to violate city ordinance. A city is not required to change their laws in order to allow for a sign. It can, but it is not required to.

Councilmember Almquist commented that he could envision someone driving eastbound from Green Valley along Dixie Drive up over the freeway on the new bridge, making Sandpoints sign the most valuable billboard in the southern part of the City.

Mr. Jeffs replied that the biggest problem is the applicants do not have a sign at all until Council action is taken. He encouraged a decision as quickly as possible.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman replied that the City will act expeditiously, and reminded Mr. Jeffs that this item was on the last City Council agenda but was pulled off at the applicants request.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker advised that the City Council will take the matter under advisement.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the matter will be scheduled on the next City Council agenda in two weeks time.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston advised that the 500' from an intersection is measured from the gore.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Consider approval of the minutes of the January 6, 2011 City Council meeting.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Shakespeare to approve the minutes as presented.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Pike.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

St. George City Council Minutes
January 20, 2011
Page Nine

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

ADJOURN TO MUNICIPAL BUILDING AUTHORITY MEETING:
MOTION: A motion was made by Mayor Pro Tem Bunker to adjourn to a Municipal Building Authority meeting.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Pike.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayo Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RECONVENE:
MOTION: A motion to reconvene was made by Councilmember Pike.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Almquist.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to adjourn to an executive session to discuss litigation.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - 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.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Pike - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Bunker - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.


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Gay Cragun, City Recorder