City Council Minutes

Thursday, November 29,2012



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
NOVEMBER 29, 2012, 4:00 P.M.
OLD AIRPORT/ CITY OFFICE

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

EXCUSED:
Councilmember Ben Nickle

The meeting convened at the old airport for a public safety demonstration and presentation.
The meeting then reconvened at the City Office, Administration Conference Room, for the remainder of the meeting. Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by Councilmember Almquist and the invocation as offered by Mayor McArthur. Mayor McArthur acknowledged the donation of a bus from Dealer Collision for extraction certification.

RESOLUTION:
Consider approval of a resolution requesting matching funds from the Bureau of Reclamation.

Conservation Coordinator René Fleming explained that the City has had a toilet rebate program since 2007. She recommended continuation of the program, with an estimated start date of July 1 which will run for two years. The grant will offer 50% matching funds. The Washington County Water Conservancy District has agreed to put in $4,000, and the City’s portion of matching funds will be $29,500 from the Water Services portion of the next fiscal year budget. There is a good possibility of getting the grant. This program saves 7,000 gallons of water per year per toilet replaced, and over the 20 years life span for the toilet works out to 380 acre feet of water saved if 900 toilets are replaced.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Bunker to approve the resolution in the amount of $37,500.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Almquist.
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.

PRESENTATION FROM DESERT CANYONS:
Presentation from Desert Canyons regarding a bridge crossing the Ft. Pierce Wash.
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November 29, 2012
Page Two

City Manager Gary Esplin explained there are challenges with federal constraints with regard to permitting the bridge, especially since the last Corp of Engineers’ decision. Desert Canyons would like participation from the City.

Curt Gordon, representing Desert Canyons, explained the new bridge is proposed to be 375 feet long. He displayed maps of the site. He explained that in 2009 Desert Canyons applied for a stream alternation permit to construct this bridge and do other work in the Ft. Pierce Wash. The permit was granted, but expired before the bridge could be built. Desert Canyons applied for a second permit, but by then the Corp of Engineers took a different stance and denied the permit. This decision was appealed by the State and SITLA, and the Corp of Engineers remanded their decision. However, they have declared the Virgin River as a navigable water which makes it impossible to get a project permitted. The bottom line is the Corp has told them that they will not grant another permit for this bridge project. Desert Canyons now has a year to build the bridge before the second permit expires, and help is needed from the City to get it done. The bridge will benefit the City by providing a second access to the airport. It will cost $2.7 million to build the bridge, and Desert Canyons is asking the City to pay 40% of this cost. The permit expires in January, 2014.

Mayor McArthur commented there is justification for the City to participate as the bridge will provide a second access to the airport.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the City Council must set its priorities. Doug Buchi from SITLA is coming down to talk about this. SITLA owns property on the west side of the airport, and if a road could be made to their property, SITLA would have a nexus to share in the cost of the bridge. He stated that the City Council must decide if the City will receive 40% of the benefit of the new bridge.

Ed Burgess commented that he is confident the bridge can be built for $2.7 million.

Curt Gordon commented that Desert Canyons and the City have a long history of working together and are good neighbors. When the bridge is done Desert Canyons will pave two lanes of road up to the City’s property, and as development occurs, this road will be widened. Traffic models say it will be 30 years before all four lanes are needed.

Councilmember Bunker inquired about the Desert Canyons master plan.

Curt Gordon replied that this particular area is zoned Commercial and has the infrastructure in place.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that commercial development is contingent on the amount of traffic coming up the Southern Corridor.

Ed Burgess reported that his company received a notice to proceed on the next portion of the Southern Parkway to Washington Dam Road. The entire Southern Parkway will be completed by February of 2014. This bridge will facilitate

development of another area of economic and commercial development, and will be a great commercial center for St. George someday.

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November 29, 2012
Page Three

City Manager Gary Esplin commented there is no question the City will benefit, however he is not sure of the percentage of that benefit. A CDA could possibly be created in this area, or perhaps a loan from the Economic Development Fund could be used. However, he suggested waiting to make a decision until SITLA’s position can be determined. He commented he did not see SITLA participating unless they can get an access to their property.

Ed Burgess replied that this access is possible.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised Mr. Burgess that the City will have a decision by January.

PRESENTATION FROM SUNTRAN:
Presentation from SunTran regarding bus acquisitions.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the issue is equipment replacement, planning for the future, and maintenance costs. Bus service is not going to pay for itself and must be subsidized. Ivins and other areas want the City to extend its service, and without some infusion of funds service can’t continue as it is now.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch presented a power point presentation covering the following topics: operations, image, rides per year, benefits of public transit, current activities, transit fleet cost analysis, transit fleet replacement program, FY 2013 transit division budget, required transit division budget, and options.

After discussion about the rates, City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City has never raise the fares. He suggested that two new buses be ordered, but commented that the City has to figure out how to pay for the future operation of the program. The current fund balance should be used to purchase equipment that reduces maintenance costs and down time.

Councilmember Almquist commented there is not much room to raise rates for the one day pass and regular fare, but raising the rate for the monthly pass should be looked at. There are places in the entire structure that should be looked at in depth.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the person riding the bus many times every day should pay more than someone who rides it just once a day. If someone is using the service more, they should pay more.

Mr. Bulloch advised that a sensitivity analysis can be done.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the bottom line is the City is putting $350,000 a year into the program from the TIF fund. To do the plan proposed, an increase of $150,000 in revenue is needed. The only way to get this is with contribution from the general fund, an increase from the TIF fund, or a combination of both along with a fare increase, or possibly using impact fees. The City just did a review of its impact fees which was mandated by the State, and a portion of impact fees collected for transportation purposes could be used. However, the question is whether someone building a home should have to pay toward public transportation. He stated he was


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November 29, 2012
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not ready to make a recommendation until he had a chance to review the impact fee analysis.

Ed Baca inquired about the relationship with the School District with regard to public transportation.

Mr. Bulloch replied the City has a good relationship with the School District, as many high school students ride the bus, particularly Millcreek High School students.

Ryan Marshall advised that the Five County AOG and the MPO have a transportation coordination group which is required in order to receive FTA funding. The School District is included in this group.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented the City will proceed with the impact fee analysis and order two buses for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Bunker to adjourn to a closed session to discuss professional competency and litigation.
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.

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

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

PARK MAINTENANCE STANDARDS:
Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins presented a power point presentation covering the following topics: park maintenance standards, parks division landscape maintenance levels, current standards, acceptable standards, ideal standards, and equipment needs.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that acceptable standards be adopted immediately, gradually working up to ideal standards.


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November 29, 2012
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The meeting then adjourned.



________________________________
Gay Cragun, City Recorder