City Council Minutes

Thursday, December 8,2011

DECEMBER 8, 2011, 5:00 P.M.

Mayor Daniel McArthur
Councilmember Gloria Shakespeare
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jon Pike
Councilmember Gail Bunker
City Manager Gary Esplin
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
Budget and Financial Planning Manager Deanna Brklacich
Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen
Deputy City Recorder Christina Fernandez

Councilmember Ben Nickle

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 Reverend Alex Wilkie.

Mayor McArthur asked the City Councilmembers to report their feelings regarding the employee meeting that they attended this afternoon.

City Councilmember Jon Pike explained that he and City Councilmember Gloria Shakespeare attended the meeting held at the Water and Power Building. He stated that there was a great turnout and that the employees were genuinely pleased and some were very emotional.

City Councilmember Gloria Shakespeare shared that since things are so tough right now that this Christmas bonus meant that some employees can actually have a Christmas this year.

City Councilmember Gil Almquist, who attended the employee meeting with the Leisure Services Department stated that he could feel the sincerity of those employees.

City Councilmember Gail Bunker who also attended the employee meeting with the Leisure Services Department stated that she was so impressed with how appreciative the employees are for their jobs.

Mayor McArthur explained that he, City Manager Gary Esplin and City Councilmember Ben Nickle attended the employee meeting at City Hall. Mayor McArthur stated that the employees were very appreciative.

Consider award of bid for Santa Clara River Erosion Protection Repair Project Phase 2.

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Page Two

City Manager Gary Esplin explained this bid included items that were extras beyond the amount that the FEMA program was going to allow. The area to be repaired is located near the Sunbrook Golf Course Maintenance Building and involves building a maintenance access road as well as rip rap along the Twin Creeks which is outside the scope of FEMA work.

Budget and Financial Planning Manager Deanna Brklacich provided a reconciliation of the Capital Projects and Fund Balance spreadsheet which shows monies that the City is committing to the flood projects that are not in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained the figures contained in the spreadsheet. See Exhibit A attached. The City submitted a grant application to FEMA for mitigation money to cover the cost of additional work to be done along the Sunbrook Golf Course as well as near the Mill Creek turbines. Funds needed to pay for this project will come from the Drainage Utility Fund and Energy Services Fund.

City Manager Gary Esplin recommended award of the bid to Feller Enterprises in the amount of $768,779.91.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to approve the bid as recommended.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Almquist.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.


City Manager Gary Esplin introduced Nicki Pace-Richards.

Nicki Pace-Richards distributed a handout regarding the topics she would like to discuss, see Exhibit B attached, as well as a sample flier that she would like to team up with the City for use to promote the downtown area. Ms. Pace expressed her appreciation to the Mayor, City Council and City Manager for putting so much energy into the downtown area including the Town Square and St. George Carousel. With regard to the Downtown Farmers Market, Ms. Pace-Richards
explained that because they have so many applicants each year, they do have to limit vendors by the type of items being sold and the number of applicants. Currently, the Downtown Alliance includes only those businesses at Ancestor Square; however, Ms. Pace-Richards explained that they have plans to expand to include the entire downtown area.

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Councilmember Gail Bunker and Mayor Dan McArthur expressed that they would like to revive events that the City had in the past such as the holiday walk and having Santa Clause come to turn on the Christmas lights.

City Manager Gary Esplin said that with regard to the variety of merchants we have downtown we are in good shape; however, these businesses tend to shut down at 5:00 p.m.

Aimee Bonham commented that she noticed that for the first time in quite a long time that every store on the west side is full with merchants.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that if we can get a group of businesses together to create and advertise on the proposed flyer, the City can match the funds using Economic Development funds to protect the downtown investments.
Councilmember Gail Bunker stated that she would like to see this go a step further by making a master plan of what types of businesses the City would like to see in the downtown area and coming up with incentives to bring those businesses to the area and making it cohesive for tourists as well.

Mayor Dan McArthur commented that if you do not have a vibrant, growing downtown you have a dying town. Downtown is the heart of the City.

Nicki Pace-Richards stated that she and her husband have owned the Painted Pony for approximately 8 years. They have always wanted to create a more affordable, vibran center of town and are working with Lynne Clark to create a historic restaurant that showcases old photos and stories of St. George. Ms. Pace- Richards advised that they have a location in mind at Ancestor Square that is currently under contract. They are hoping to have a parking variance approved.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that there are parking issues in that area. Mr. Esplin stated that the applicants have taken part of their own property for parking and that they should be granted the parking variance.

Councilmember Gil Almquist reminded all about the downtown dollars which gives consumers incentives to visit downtown businesses.

Community Arts Director Gary Sanders expressed that he would like to see more parking for tourist buses downtown.


City Manager Gary Esplin introduced Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins, Cemetery Sexton Cody Schmitt and Landscape Architects Laura Taylor and Mark Goble.

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Leisure Service Director Kent Perkins explained that the intent of his staff is to present a long range master plan to finish the development of Tonaquint Park.

Parks and Facilities Manager Larry Shane stated that he met with the Shade Tree Board to discuss updating some of the tree species located in the Downtown area as trees need to be replaced. Mr. Shane provided a handout titled Tree for the Blvd which illustrates the tree species they would like to use. He explained that all of these tree species have done well in this area and that some are already being used in several locations throughout the City.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the plan is to plant different sized and colored trees. The City would grow them at the tree farm and replace struggling trees in the area.

Mayor McArthur expressed that he would like the trees to look like a tree and not a bush as some did in the photos.

Mr. Shane explained that these species of trees do not drip sap; however they do go through cycles and will drop leaves.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the Shade Tree Board agrees with the Citys plan and may have other trees that they would like to plant.

Councilmember Gil Almquist said that the Shade Tree Board is currently working on beautification awards and would like to attend a work meeting in January.

Leisure Service Director Kent Perkins explained that when the City originally built the Tonaquint Cemetery, the goal was to have enough room for burials to last 25 years.
City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the City has an ordinance that allows for remains to be stacked.

Cemetery Sexton Cody Schmitt explained that the City does not encourage families to do so for safety reasons and it does not offer a less expensive option either.

After discussion, the Mayor and Councilmembers decided to inform Dale Ure that if he can provide studies that show other cemeteries which offer the use of pvc burials, they will consider his proposal.

Mr. Schmitt stated that currently there are 8,100 remains buried at the St. George Cemetery and 1,700 at the Tonaquint Cemetery. He explained that at this time the Tonaquint Cemetery has 2,000 available plots. By the summer of 2012 there will be an additional 3,000 plots available for sale when section 6 is done. Roughly about one sixth of these available plots will accommodate upright headstones which tend to sell faster than plots that allow flat headstones.

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Mayor McArthur commented the City has not looked at raising the plot fees in roughly fifteen years.

Mr. Schmitt stated that current plot fees for residents are $475.00 for a plot that allows for a flat headstone and $575.00 for one that allows an upright headstone.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City has done a survey and is not interested in raising them at this time.
Mr. Schmitt commented once the Tonaquint Cemetery is developed to its capacity, there will be room for a total of 7,000 available plots. At this time, the City is selling about 300 plots per year which will last 25 years into the future.

Mayor McArthur said that he would like to discuss cremations.

Mr. Schmitt stated that right now, if a family would like to bury the cremated remains of a loved one, the City will sell them half a plot rather than a full plot. The City will then have to split the plot and sell the other half. Currently, the City has about 50 plots that have been split up. The family would have to buy an urn vault to seal the remains.

Mr. Schmitt presented a power point presentation titled Cemetery Cremation and Niche Wall Study covering the following topics: Information Mayor received on Cremations, Of the approximately 400 cremations a year in Washington County, 3.5% are buried in the St. George Cemeteries, Why we would want it, Conceptual Niche Wall and Garden Plan, Can begin with any size, Phase Development and Phase Costs and Revenue. He explained that locally, cremations are at approximately 43%.

Mr. Schmitt explained that the walls are precast and purchased in sections. The construction cost per niche is roughly $375.00 and it is anticipated that this area can house approximately 900 niches. The center area will contain grass and trees and can accommodate space for a memorial service and will provide areas for burials. The internal space can be either a water feature to provide a serene area or additional area to house niches.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that he asked Mr. Schmitt to phase this project.

Mr. Schmitt explained that Phase I(A) includes the lawn area, center structure and 5-6 walls; Phase I(B) will be for additional walls and Phase II will include some landscaping, foundation and additional walls.

Mayor McArthur asked if there were funds available in the current budget.
Budget and Financial Planning Manager Deanna Brklacich replied that there are some funds in the Perpetual account but that some funds may be available in the Capital Projects fund.

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Mr. Perkins stated that since there will be a higher fee required, they will return with a fee recommendation.

Mayor McArthur thanked Mr. Schmitt for his research and presentation.

Parks Planning Manager Laura Taylor stated that she and her staff have been working on the overall Tonaquint Park master plan and she believes there are some changes that need to be made due to the widening of Dixie Drive. Ms. Taylor said that she and her staff have been in contact with the Public Works Department to coordinate how the widening project will impact Tonaquint Park.

Currently, there is an approved budget of $253,500 to upgrade the unimproved area of the park; however they are requesting more funds to make the additional improvements that will be needed due to the changes to Dixie Drive.

Parks Planner Mark Goble presented a power point presentation that included the following: Original Tonaquint Park Expansion Design Current Budget: $253,500, Proposed Changes Cost Estimate: $503,000, Additional Money Requested and All-Abilities Park.

City Manager expressed that the roads should connect as much as they possibly can to provide better access.

Mr. Goble explained that with regard to the Tonaquint Nature Center, during the 2005 flood a lot of the vegetation was damaged and much of the area was wiped out. He said that the intent is to revegetate and clean up the area as well as expand the pond to make room for more wildlife.

Mr. Goble stated that because of the high volume of traffic on Dixie Drive, they would like to move the entrance to the stop light which would provide a safer way of accessing the park.

Ms. Taylor asked Mr. Goble to address the parking for the Community Garden. Mr. Goble explained that the County is hoping to be partially finished with the paved parking lot by the Spring of 2012. In the future, the City will be adding additional parking areas.

Councilmember Gil Almquist inquired if the City could require shade trees in the parking areas.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that there will be a need for more parking areas as the park sees more use. He stated that he would look at the Capital Project Fund and make this a priority.

Leisure Service Director Kent Perkins stated that the All-Abilities Park would provide persons of all abilities has an equal opportunity to have a quality experience. Mr. Perkins explained that this park would be a great opportunity to get the community

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involved in a project. He stated that he has been in contact with the Exchange Club and that they have committed to some funding. He would also like to get other groups involved to make this happen.

Councilmember Gil Almquist asked if there were grants that the City may able to apply for.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that although grants are great; however, for this type of project the community participation would be preferable.

Mayor McArthur stated that while attending the Pearl Harbor Memorial, he noticed how small the Thompson Gazebo at Vernon Worthen park was. Mayor McArthur asked in there were Capital Funds available so that the City can design something that is more usable.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that in the future there will be a Master Plan that will include this area.


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

Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Shakespeare - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Christina Fernandez, Deputy City Recorder