City Council Minutes

Thursday, January 27,2011



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
JANUARY 27, 2011, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM

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

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

AWARD OF BID:
Consider award of bid for the outfall sewer line bank protection project.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained this is an emergency item. During the flood in December, the 48" sewer line that runs to the west of the I-15 through the cut north of Walmart was almost taken out by the flood. This line takes flow from Santa Clara, Ivins, Bloomington Hills, etc. to the wastewater treatment plant. The City had to hire a contractor during the flood to try and shore up and protect the line. The concern is that even though the weather is moderating, with the huge snow packs still on the Virgin River drainage, if there is a major meltdown this spring the line could be taken out. Under the Citys ordinance the City has the authority to declare an emergency and bid an item for a shortened length of time. The bid was posted on the Citys website and bid requests were sent to those on the Citys list of pre-qualified contractors. The intent is to rip-rap the area containing the sewer line for 1,800 feet on the north bank of the river to where it passes the turn. The bids were significantly less per foot for this type of structure than in 2005. He recommended award of the bid to the low bidder, JP Excavating, in the amount of $247,100. The JP Excavating bid is the lowest because they are already doing work for UDOT removing the hill by the freeway, and they will be able to use all the rock removed for the rip rap project and will not have to haul the rock very far.

Scott Taylor advised that the top of the rip rap will be 3' thick and will come to within 10' of the trail. Another sewer line may have to be added in this area in the future.

City Manager Gary Esplin clarified that while only four bids were received, 11 picked up plans, but obviously seven did not choose to bid.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to award the bid to JP Excavating in the amount of $247,100.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Bunker.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:



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January 27, 2011
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Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

REPORT FROM THE WASHINGTON COUNTY WATER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT:
Ron Thompson presented a power point presentation entitled Floods in Dixie 2010". Topics covered include floods of yesteryear, flooding around Washington County in 2010, District projects impaired by the flooding, repairs, flood damage, and WCWCD projects.

He explained how Quail Creek water is mixed with water from the Snow Canyon and Gunlock well fields to produce water with low arsenic levels. He advised that the water treatment plant is being expanded from 40 million gallons to 48 million gallons, and it is expected the plant will someday expand to 60 million gallons. The water treatment plant delivered 6.2 billion gallons of water in 2010. Santa Clara City has come into the regional system.

DISCUSSION CONCERNING PARKING ON TABERNACLE STREET AND TRANSPORTATION ISSUES IN THE DOWNTOWN AREA:
Mayor McArthur explained that parking has always been an issue in the downtown and staff has been working on redoing Tabernacle all the way to the courthouse through the Historic District. There is a parking structure in the downtown, but it is underused. He state he has noticed the same cars being parked all day in parking spaces on the street for that should be for customers. He encouraged business owners to tell their employees not to park where customers should be parking.

Cameron Cutler advised that Tabernacle will be re-striped from 200 West to the courthouse to accommodate through lanes and angled parking on the south side of Tabernacle, with parallel parking on the north side. There will be room to accommodate a median in the future. He then showed exhibits of the project.
He advised that the south side was selected for angled parking because it had fewer driveways.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that angled parking also provides the added benefit of slowing down traffic, and is part of the Citys plan to make the downtown area walkable and the focal point of the community.

Councilmember Shakespeare suggested that free public parking signs be installed near the parking structure.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the City does not own the parking structure. The City owns only one-fourth of the stalls in the structure for public parking, and these stalls are designated within the structure.

Mayor McArthur commented that if businesses would direct their employees to park in the parking structure, this would open up parking on the street.

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January 27, 2011
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Cameron Cutler displayed an exhibit of the proposed roundabout on Tabernacle at 400 East and inquired of the Mayor and Council if they preferred a single lane or double lane roundabout.

A member of the audience inquired about striping for angled parking on Tabernacle on the other side of the roundabout at Main Street.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that property owners would have to be contacted.

Michael Foote commented that downtown parking is limited but non-retail businesses in the area dominate the street parking. The business owners have been contacted about asking their employees to park the parking structure, but they do not care. He requested that the bottom level of the parking structure be designated for public parking.

Mayor McArthur replied that the owner of the parking structure would have to be contacted. Mayor McArthur advised that when plans were being made for the parking structure, the City contacted downtown business owners to help pay for the structure, but no one was interested. The City then worked with the owners of the Main Street Plaza to build the parking structure, without monetary help from local businesses, and at that time stalls for public parking were agreed to.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented the City spent $1.2 million on the parking structure, and begged local business owners to help by agreeing to form a special improvement district to fund it. Local business owners would not help. The City has provided 100 parking stalls at a million dollar cost for downtown businesses. He advised there are 15-20 public parking stalls on the main level of the parking structure.

Mr. Foote commented the issue is availability, not cost. The public parking sign cannot even be seen.

Councilmember Pike commented that no one can force people to park in the parking structure. He stated that more education was needed. He commented the City could not go back on the arrangement previously made with the owner of the parking structure about designated parking stalls.

A member of the audience suggested that businesses put a sign in their window that free public parking is available in the parking terrace.

A member of the audience advised that she faxed and e-mailed all businesses on Main Street and a few on Tabernacle about the problem with parking and provided them with a flyer to post in their windows about free parking in the parking terrace. Business owners were also asked to have their employees park in the parking structure and leave parking space on the street available for customers. Several businesses have refused to do so. She requested that the City enforce this.

Mayor McArthur replied the only way the City could enforce that is by installing one hour parking signs, but there is a cost to do so. Someone would have to patrol and enforce the one hour parking.

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January 27, 2011
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Mr. Foote suggested that the volunteers in public safety could be a presence on the streets.

A man in the audience advised he owns a building in the downtown area with unused parking located behind the building.

Mayor McArthur suggested a letter from the City could be issued to downtown businesses asking their employees to use the parking structure.

Councilmember Bunker suggested that the City Attorney write a letter to downtown businesses requesting their compliance with employee parking and have the Police Chief deliver the letters.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied the City does not have the legal basis to do this. All it can do is ask for cooperation.

Mr. Foote advised that he has counted seven to ten cars every day parking on Tabernacle from the same business, dominating from Main down Tabernacle, and every angle parking space is filled at 8:00 a.m. by the Prado business.

Mary Ann Horlacher advised that every other downtown business will say the same thing about the two businesses who refuse to cooperate.

A member of the audience, representing Judds Store, thanked the Mayor and Council for all the improvements in the downtown area that have benefitted her business as she has seen a huge increase in customer traffic. She commented that angle parking on the south side of Tabernacle is a positive move. She advised that she nicely asks those who park in front of her business to move, offering them a little treat, and that this works very well. She stated she did not think medians would work well for the parades.

Mayor McArthur suggested that the parades be moved to 100 South.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that he, the Mayor, and a Councilmember personally visit all the business on Main Street and Tabernacle, explaining to them the parking situation and asking for their help.

Mayor McArthur invited a student to introduce himself.

MISCELLANEOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Mayor McArthur advised that Robert Judd would like to move his auto sales business to the Avis lot on St. George Blvd., but the lot is less than one acre and prohibited as a car lot by ordinance. However, if the Avis lot has been abandoned for less than one year, Mr. Judds business could go in as a non-conforming use. He will comply with all other City requirements, including landscaping.

Councilmember Shakespeare expressed concern about another car sales lot on the Blvd.



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January 27, 2011
Page Five

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that if it hasnt been a year, the move can be made legally. The goal of the Citys ordinance was to make sure car sales lots were located on larger lots. If the City Council now feels differently, the ordinance should be changed.

Mayor McArthur commented he felt an exception could be made because Mr. Judd would be closing one location to move to another.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman suggested that the requirement for car dealers be based on the number of cars, and not on acreage.

Councilmember Bunker advised that the Arts Commission will be sponsoring a Sweethearts Dance on February 12 and Carl Palmer approached them about holding it at the Sun River Ballroom. He has enough sponsors to pay for the dance. He would like to hold a buffet dinner and dance, with an admission charge of $10. The dance is sponsored by the City.

Councilmember Bunker advised that the Childrens Museum Board now has a business plan, they have incorporated, and will hold an open house this Tuesday in the Social Hall from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Their goal is to raise $500,000 by July 15.

Councilmember Bunker suggested that since the City needs welcome signs, the Arts Commission could be assigned that responsibility.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the farmers market will be discussed at the next work meeting.

City Manager Gary Esplin provided an update on the Citys downtown housing project and a joint project with Jim Wilbur. It was the consensus of the City Council to proceed.

Mayor McArthur then adjourned the meeting.



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Gay Cragun, City Recorder