City Council Minutes

Thursday, June 14,2012

JUNE 14, 2012, 4:00 P.M.

Mayor Pro Tem Gail Bunker
Councilmember BenNickle
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
Councilmember Jon Pike
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Gay Cragun

Mayor Daniel McArthur

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. She then led the pledge of allegiance to the flag. Pastor Greg Wright offered the invocation.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that State law requires that a public hearing be held before any city-owned property substantial in nature can be sold. The public hearing has been properly noticed. He displayed a map of the property. The property consists of 1.92 acres on the east side, 13 acres to the south, and 4.5 acres to the west. The City has obtained an appraisal on the property. The property can be bid as three separate parcels or as one, whichever generates the most money for the City. He advised he is aware of at least two parties who want to bid on the property. He advised that notices will be sent to adjacent property owners as well as advertised in the newspaper. The property is zoned R-1-10. The City will disclose that it has an appraisal on the property but not what the appraisal is. He stated he anticipated the City would receive bids of somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000 an acre although the appraisal is higher than that. The City does not have to accept any of the bids.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that the property cannot be sold for less than its appraised value unless the City is also receiving a benefit in some other way. The City would have to quantify the reason it took less than the appraised value.

Councilmember Pike suggested it might be best to set a minimum bid.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented the appraisal is about 20% higher than what the prospective bidders paid for their adjacent property.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker opened the public hearing. There being no public comments, Mayor Pro Tem Bunker closed the public hearing.

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Water Services Director Barry Barnum advised that the pretreatment program is doing well and it has received several awards. There is a concern with buildings that are not meant or designed to be for food service, and then a food service locates there, such as at the Dixie Center, Sunset Corner, and the Dicks shopping center. When developers build properties, they build shells and label them as retail space and make no provision for grease interceptors which are required for food services. Other pads earmarked for food service are plumbed correctly and grease traps are installed. It is normally not the large chains that the City has trouble with, but smaller businesses looking for a little place to open. For example, Wing Nutz wants to lease a small space in the Dicks shopping center, but there is no plumbing for a food service business. The Citys ordinance requires an outside grease trap of at least 750 gallons for food service operations. Anything that goes down the drain goes into the sewer lines. Pretreatment is EPA mandated.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired why the grease cannot be treated when it reaches the wastewater treatment facility.

Mr. Barnum explained that the main purpose of grease traps is to prevent oils and fats from getting in the sewer lines, where they solidify when cool, harden and cause a backflow. The State is taking the policy that no matter the reason for an overflow, there will be a fine. The City generally has two to three backflows a year due to storms or some other problem, but in the past has never received any violations because the City can show that it is keeping the lines clean and the backflows were not a result of any action on the Citys part. This has now gone away. There are three alternatives food service businesses can choose from when they move into a building that does not have a grease trap: (1) one is to cut the floor and redo the plumbing, dig a hole in the parking lot and install an interceptor, but this can be very onerous; (2) a grease trap can be installed under a sink, but it holds only 40 lbs. of grease and has to be cleaned every day; or (3) the floor can be cut under the sink and a grease trap installed that holds 100 lbs. of grease. The traps under the sink are just as effective as a 750 gallon interceptor, if maintained. The frequency of inspections will need to be increased so this would require the hiring of someone new. The price of a 40 lb. grease trap installed under the sink is a few hundred dollars. The larger one in the parking lot is $10,000 to $15,000. The latter would create a financial burden on a small business, and that is the last thing staff wants to do.

Councilmember Pike inquired what other cities were doing.

Mr. Barnum replied that everyone is struggling with this issue. Currently the City only inspects grease traps once a year or on an as-needed basis.

Mr. Barnum was asked what the consequence would be of finding a grease trap that was not cleaned.

Mr. Barnum replied that he would like to be liberal with violators - a warning for the first and second violations, then a fine added to the sewer bill to pay for the additional cleaning of the sewer line. The City currently does not have any fees for

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those who do not clean their grease traps. The City can also charge for inspections, but does not currently do so.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker inquired if there were different regulations for different kinds of food service businesses, such as a deli vs. a hamburger restaurant.

Mr. Barnum replied there is no differentiation in the federal regulations. The
plumbing code indicates that any facility with a three compartment sink has to have an interceptor. Another alternative is to keep doing what is currently being done which is encouraging food service businesses to install grease traps and inspect them as often as possible. However, this will require additional crew to keep the lines clean.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that it is the obligation of the business to take care of the problem. He suggested they be given three or four chances before a fee is charged. Another cleaning crew will require another expensive sewer line cleaning machine.

Councilmember Almquist inquired how a small grease trap under a sink would be cleaned and the grease disposed of.

Mr. Barnum replied that the grease is separated from the liquid and can be put in a dumpster. Some places have a grease bin and it is picked up by a professional company. He commented that maintenance and inspection is the key.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker inquired how small businesses would find out about this requirement.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that when the City issues a permit this can be addressed.

Councilmember Pike inquired about existing businesses who are not in compliance.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that grease interceptors are already required by federal and state law.

Mr. Barnum asked for direction from the City Council as to how to proceed.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker commented she favored a more lenient approach with several warnings before the imposition of a fine.

Councilmember Hughes commented he favored hiring another inspector as the City will see a return on its investment by having a cleaner system.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the cost to hire an additional employee can be absorbed and a rate increase will not be needed. He advised that staff will come back with an ordinance change or new policy for the City Councils review.

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Lt. Dave Moss, Commander of the Washington County Drug Task Force, introduced Matt Schuman and Matt Page, members of the Task Force. Lt. Moss presented a power point presentation which included the following topics: What is Spice, Common Spice Packaging, History of Spice, HU-210, JWH-018, Effects, How to Make Spice, Bath Salts, A Chemical Compound, Effect and Use, Where are Spice and Bath Salts Sold, Controlled Substance Modifications in HB23, HB 254, Local Spice and Bath Salts Purchased in St. George and Washington City, Manufacturing of Spice and Bath Salts, and Distribution via Fed Ex.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City currently has a temporary zoning hold
on smoke shops while the City Attorney revises the Citys ordinance. One of the recommendations may be to ban smokeshops inside City limits, or more clearly define what they can and cannot sell. It will be made as strong as possible under the law.

Lt. Moss commented that spice and bath salts are as addictive as meth, or even more so.

Chief Stratton suggested that a community panel be formed comprising representatives from the schools, parents, and officers to get the word out about these harmful products.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that the Business License Ordinance will need to be changed as currently it can only revoke a business license for six months and that is only after the person is actually convicted.

Councilmember Nickle was excused from the meeting.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City receives many requests to hold events at the old airport. All such requests are referred to Marc Mortensen who is trying to come up a procedure for what should be allowed and what shouldnt.

Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen presented a power point presentation titled Former Airport Facility and Special Events which included the following topics: photos of the site, old terminal building, hangars, photos of the buildings on site, asphalt, events held at the facility to date, requirements to use the facility, and things to consider such as a uniform fee structure, maintenance of the facility, additional uses to be allowed, future land use and planning, and requests for additional uses such as for a haunted house, flea market, amateur drag racing, film sound studio, and storage for City departments. He advised the City has a request to use the airport from a group which races stock and modified vehicles out of Utah County.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained this group has all the spectators at the start of the race, not at the end, for safety, and they propose a quarter mile course. He stated there is money to be made from groups such as this one.

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Councilmember Almquist suggested contacting hot air ballooning groups to see if they are interested in holding events at the old airport.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented there are unlimited opportunities at the old airport. The City is not interested in selling the property at this time and could put together a program for use of this space for the time being.

Councilmember Pike suggested employing a master planner for the site to talk concepts.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that first the City must know what to plan for.

A discussion then took place about current uses of the buildings and hangars on site.

Councilmember Pike advised that the State has cut funding for the Youth Crisis Center and they will have to close their doors two days a week. The Youth Crisis Center has developed a very successful Youth Safety Plan. They are asking local cities to help fund them for one year with a one time contribution. $100,000 is the total.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that there is no problem finding some money in a one time lump sum to help them as long as they do not think that the City will take care of it in the future.

Mayor Pro Tem Bunker advised that the Heritage Choir has asked for permanent office space and storage space at the Arts Building. She discussed this request with Kent Perkins who is hesitant as the space they are asking to use is valuable classroom space. Mayor Pro Tem Bunker suggested that space in the former courthouse could be used instead.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that the former courthouse is in no condition to be used.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman commented that another concern is that the former courthouse is not segregated, so anyone could have access to the entire building.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that this would set a precedent, and the City would be inundated with similar requests.

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

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

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June 14, 2012
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Councilmember Hughes - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder