City Council Minutes

Thursday, February 9,2012

FEBRUARY 9, 2012, 4:00 P.M.

Mayor Daniel McArthur
Councilmember Gail Bunker
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
Councilmember Jon Pike
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun

Councilmember Ben Nickle

The meeting convened at the Washington County Water Conservancy District Office, 533 E. Waterworks Dr., St. George, Utah. Present from the Washington County Water Conservancy District were Ron Thompson, Barbara Hjelle and Roberta McMullin.

Ron Thompson explained when the regional agreement was entered into, the Water District assumed and has been paying $26 million of the bond issue for expansion of the water treatment plant at a 5% interest rate. There is now an opportunity to refinance those bonds and realize a net savings of approximately $2 million. It is a win-win for the City and Water District to each refinance their portion of the bonds.
He then reviewed adjustments made to the water treatment plant to save energy and cut chemical costs. He also mentioned the mussel issue at the Quail Creek Reservoir and the potential for significant increases in operating costs if a mussel problem is found. He explained the Water District has been able to hold water prices level since 2006, but there has been an upward trend in chemical prices, as well as discussions by power providers about increasing their rates. The maximum capacity at the treatment plan currently is 48,000,000 gallons a day, and by next year that capacity will be expanded to 60,000,000 gallons a day. Last year peaked at 33,000,000 gallons a day. He explained that this year the snowpack is projected at 50% of normal, and no significant runoff is expected. Sand Hollow is completely full and Quail Creek is being filled. He then explained how the Water District is blending water from various areas to deal with the arsenic issue. He advised the Districts next major project will be to take water from the Ash Creek Reservoir and pipe it to tie into the regional network. He discussed the need for water conservation and implementation of a time-of-day watering ordinance. He commented that water conservation is not free, as there is a cost to do it.

Councilmember Almquist commented he is pro Lake Powell pipeline for two reasons: conserving water will not get the City to where it needs to be, and he does not want someone else taking water that belongs to Utah because Utah is not using it.

Ron Thompson updated the City Council on the Lake Powell pipeline project, stating that studies are now done and FERC will start doing the environmental work.

Councilmember Pike inquired about the true cost of the Lake Powell pipeline.

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February 9, 2012
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Mr. Thompson replied the big issue is the cost benefit ratio. He stated he could not see how the pipeline could be built without a large partner willing to share most of the capital risk. The District cannot get all the water it needs for growth from water conservation. A decision will have to be made to either put the skids on growth or bring in another water source, but that is a decision to be made by the cities.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that if a community is not allowed to grow, it dies, and this is not a viable option.

The meeting then adjourned to the St. George City Office, Administrative Conference Room.

Councilmember Pike led the pledge of allegiance to the flag. The invocation was offered by Mayor McArthur.

Consider approval of a resolution authorizing issuance of up to $8 million of water revenue refunding bonds; and related matters.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained when $34 million in bonds were issued in 2004, 17% of the bonds were for things other than the water treatment plant, such as water tanks, infrastructure, and other things directly related to the City and its water distribution system and storage. This refunding will allow a savings of $575,000 or allow a reduction in debt service of $30,000 annually. He recommended taking the net present value savings as cash up front, keeping the debt service the same, and use the money for projects that have not been funded. The $575,000 takes into account any negative arbitrage.

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

Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Pike - aye
Councilmember Hughes - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman reviewed highlights of a proposed ordinance concerning where it is appropriate to locate car lots and car lot customer parking requirements. He stated that requiring a car lot to be an acre or half-acre is too arbitrary. He stated that requirements for customer parking, along with landscaping requirements and requirements for a permanent building will tell a potential business owner if the lot is large enough for a car lot. He also suggested that certain streets be identified as approved for car lots: Sunset Blvd., Bluff Street, Hilton Drive,

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Blackridge Drive, Red Hills Parkway between 1000 East and 1400 East, Convention Center Drive, Sunland Drive, and Main Street between 800 South and Bluff Street.

After discussion, the City Council stated they would like to include the former Stephen Wade site on 1100 South, and exclude Main Street. They also want to exclude the Historic District from 100 West to 200 East along St. George Blvd.

Carol Sapp suggested the ordinance be made more broad to include motorcycle sales lots, ATV sales lots, trailer sales lots, etc., especially in the downtown area between St. George Blvd. and Bluff Street.

Dallas Highland suggested that car lots also be required to post signs stating that they have complied with the non-predatory lender act.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that staff will review the issue of ATVS, trailers, etc. and present a recommendation to the Mayor and Council at a later date.

Police Chief Marlon Stratton demonstrated a new website application linked to the police website named Crime Reports. Information available on this application is dumped from police records management into this crime report 24 hours after it is reported.

The meeting then adjourned.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder