City Council Minutes

Thursday, February 23,2012

FEBRUARY 23, 2012, 4:00 P.M.

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

Councilmember Jon Pike - present by teleconference

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by Marlon Stratton and the invocation as offered by Mayor McArthur. Mayor McArthur announced that anyone wishing to offer an invocation at a City Council meeting should contact the City Recorder.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised in 2009 the City set a fee schedule for field preparation because it had been receiving so many requests for use of the fields. Last year Dixie Little League paid the City $1800 for the season to use the fields.

Todd Searle, representing the Dixie Little League, advised that the $1800 represented 4% of their gross revenues. He inquired about other ways to pay this seasonal fee, perhaps by a donation of chalk, or allowing the Dixie Little League to provide man hours for field prep, as a way of reducing their fees.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised that the Citys costs are going up while revenue and budgets are going down, and that is why a fee was instituted.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that if fees for the Dixie Little League are reduced, the City will receive similar requests from every other sports organization.

Steve Bingham inquired of Mr. Searle if the Dixie Little League was willing to have volunteers stripe the fields to save money.

Mr. Searle replied that they were willing to do this. He also inquired about having access to the concessions as a form of revenue.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised that there are three chartered little leagues within the City of St. George, and they are all paying to play.

Steve Bingham advised the Citys hard costs, just for the Dixie Little League, are $4,356 per season. This does not include fuel costs.

Councilmember Hughes inquired how much would be saved if the City were to drag the fields but let the Dixie Little League chalk the lines.
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Mr. Bingham replied this savings would amount to $1 a day per field. He advised the City is currently passing on less than 50% of its costs to the Dixie Little League. Dixie Little League provides a valuable service and is a great organization, but the question is how to create consistency among the many groups who use the Citys fields including USA football, Washington County football, Red Rock football, youth soccer, the AYSO, Lacrosse, rubgy, Southern Utah baseball, etc.

Mr. Searle commented that many of these groups are for-profit groups. He stated the Dixie Little League is not looking for a free handout and is willing to put their time into the field. He suggested that the many teams who come from outside the area could help pay for the locals who use the fields, because the out- of- towners are not part of the Citys tax base.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that it is costing the City $4,356 per season and the City is charging the Dixie Little League only $1,800. The City is already making a contribution and is simply trying to cover its hard costs. He stated the City has not seen any proposal from the Dixie Little League to wash the $1,800.

Mr. Searle advised the Dixie Little League previously offered to put batting cages at the Bloomington Fields but were told no.

Councilmember Almquist commented there are fees and expense for every sport played, and the City should not take this responsibility away from the participant or his or her parents. Government should not be relied upon to provide everything for everyone. Fully half of all requests for waivers are for things the taxpayers have paid to build and maintain with tax dollars. He suggested the Dixie Little League come back with a list of things it can do to teach character and fiscal responsibility to its players and present it to the City Council for consideration.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that with regard to the concession stand issue, the City provides the facility and pays the cost of maintaining it, along with its debt service, and if the City were to allow the Dixie Little League to profit from the concession stand, it would also have to allow the same for every other sports program.

Steve Bingham inquired if he would have to return to the City Council if the Dixie Little League donated $800 in chalk.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied no, not if the donation takes the place of something the City is already doing.

Councilmember Bunker urged caution as some of the donations may be something that can be used, while others may not be of benefit to the City.

Mr. Searle advised that batting cages would make the Bloomington facility more valuable.

Mr. Searle was asked to work with Steve Bingham and Kent Perkins.

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Christina Schulz introduced Loni Pururi and John Anderson and advised they are now working on the 3rd annual documentary film festival. She advised the City has supported the film festival in the past with a sponsorship of $30,000. She requested this same sponsorship again this year, along with use of the Citys projector, screen and stage, totaling an additional sponsorship of $13,350. They would like to use the Citys equipment at the Encampment Mall for a big screening event.

The Mayor and City Council took the matter under advisement.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained this item is more of a community vision exercise with regard to 90' and 66' wide streets, and who will install and maintain the required landscaping. Staff does not want to continue with the current ordinance which allows developers to plat lots all the way to the street, then build a fence and landscape outside of that fence with no access to that landscaping from the lot. Staff also does not recommend formation of HOAs simply for the purpose of maintaining the landscape strips. He then presented a GIS map of potential roads with landscaping the City would be maintaining. The bottom line is what to do, how much will it cost, and should funds from the general fund be used to maintain landscaping along 66' and 90' streets. He suggested that developers donate 20' along the roadways to the City for landscaping maintenance, still allowing them to count this square footage for purposes of platting lots, and allowing them a tax write-off. He stated, however, the City is at a point where it cannot do any more with its current staff and budget.

Austin Anderson commented he liked the idea of not having to have an HOA. He suggested that the landscape buffer could be removed, creating a wider sidewalk, then a masonry fence with wrought iron, with landscaping in each yard behind the fence installed by the homeowner.

Mr. Esplin advised that wider areas along the roads will provide trails and thus lessen the need for landscaping. Maintaining landscaping along 66' wide roads is a deviation from what has been done in the past.

Mayor McArthur suggested that staff look at the way 66' wide roads are used, and the City could maintain landscaping along the ones that are more traveled.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that some of the 66' roads should really be only 60' wide but were built wider than needed. He suggested that the City could contract with the private sector for maintenance of the landscaping strips.

It was the consensus of the City Council to proceed.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that in trying to accommodate developers by reducing the planter areas to 4' along sidewalks, a problem has been created with the roots of trees in these planter areas. The roots are raising the sidewalks and cracking adjacent walls. One solution might be to place the planter area next to the street curb, or allow the developer a reduced setback from 25' to 20', allowing a

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larger area for landscaping and trees next to the sidewalk. However, this will create a possible problem of vehicles parked in the driveways encroaching onto the sidewalk area. The City could ask for two more feet for the planter areas, but give five more feet on the setback.

Austin Anderson commented the tongue of boats and trailers would stick out into the sidewalk area.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised there are many ways to configure garages.

Meandering sidewalks were discussed.

Laura Taylor commented that serpentine sidewalks would work better on 66' wide streets than on 90' streets. Serpentine sidewalks in residential subdivisions would also not work well..

Councilmember Almquist commented that tree varieties also need to be looked at. He inquired if an option is possible to say that homes must come with trees, and a certain number of trees. Other cities require it, and if the City values trees and sidewalks and shade, then it would be restricting to say trees are only required in the 10' planter area.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised Larry Shane has been asked to have the Shade Tree Board come up with a list of suitable trees for planter areas. It does not make sense to put shade trees in a four foot strip, and the City needs to do a better job of suggesting suitable trees.

Councilmember Almquist suggested that someone be made responsible to carry through on shade tree issues when a new plat is being reviewed.

Wes Jenkins advised he would do this, and also bring it to the attention of Larry Shane if there are large trees that look like they should be saved.

Bob Nicholson advised that the City can only mandate preserving trees within the right-of-way.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that if the property is commercial, the City can hold them to the landscaping approved in the site plan.

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

Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Councilmember Pike - aye (by teleconference)
Councilmember Hughes - aye

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The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

MOTION: A motion to reconvene was made by Councilmember Nickle.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Almquist.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Councilmember Pike - aye (by teleconference)
Councilmember Hughes - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

City Manager Gary briefly discussed Project November and the possibility of a new company locating in the Ft. Pierce Business Park.

Councilmember Gail Bunker inquired if the City is interested in waiving the special event and permit fees for a Week of the Young Child festival. The festival is free to the public and will feature those who work with children in any capacity and they will come together for workshops, booths, etc. It will be held the last Saturday in April at the Town Square. They would also like the Mayor to issue a proclamation.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that Maryann Horlacher owns less than an acre of property next to Basilas on 700 South which used to be a car sales lot. It has not been used for years and has lost its non-conforming use. Ms. Horlacher would again like to locate a car lot on this property, but 700 South is not one the streets designated for such.

After discussion, it was the consensus of the City Council to allow car lots on 700 South Street from the I-15 freeway to River Road, and to advise Ms. Horlacher that she may proceed with her request.

The meeting then adjourned.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder