City Council Minutes

Thursday, January 10,2013



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
REGULAR MEETING
JANUARY 10, 2013, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Councilmember Jon Pike
Councilmember Gail Bunker
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Ben Nickle
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
City Manager Gary Esplin
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
City Recorder Gay Cragun

OPENING:
Mayor Pro Tem Gail Bunker called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.

ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to adjourn to a closed session to take a site visit to view a potential property purchase.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Bunker called for a roll call vote, as follows:

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

RECONVENE:
The meeting then reconvened at the City Office.

Mayor McArthur again called the meeting to order and led the pledge of allegiance to the flag. The invocation was offered by Reverend Alex Wilkie.

Jerry Campbell, representing the AOPC, expressed appreciation to the Mayor, City Council and Water Services Director Barry Barnum for taking care of the water lines under the streets within HOAs and allowing 3/4" water meter billing.

PRESENTATION FROM DOCUTAH:
Christina Schulz and Lani Puriri distributed a handout entitled 2012 DocUtah Diary and reviewed highlights of the program.

AWARD OF BIDS:
Consider award of bid for purchase of a 2013 Freightliner truck for the Energy Services Department.

and


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January 10, 2013
Page Two

Consider award of bid for purchase of a Terex Hi-Ranger Bucket Truck lift for the Energy Services Department.

Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen explained that staff recommends replacing the bucket truck which was purchased in 1987. One of these purchases will be off the national contract and the other off the state contract. The price of the truck is $78,645 and the lift is $99,710.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that if the equipment is ordered now they will be received before the end of the budget year.

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

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

DISCUSSION CONCERNING RATES CHARGED FOR USE OF CITY BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES:
City Manager Gary Esplin explained that this discussion becomes more timely as there have been more and more requests to use the old airport, but there is not a schedule of fees to charge. There has also been a lot of interest in holding weddings, birthday parties, etc. on the third floor of the Arts Center, as well as at the Opera House and Social Hall. The City remodeled the third floor of the Arts Center with the philosophy that its use should be higher than for use by the private sector. He expressed concern that the City is competing with the private sector, as well as concern with the damage that has been caused to the third floor as a result of heavy use by the public. He inquired of the City Council what uses they would like to allow.

Councilmember Almquist commented that the City is not restoring historic buildings to see them worn out.

Mayor McArthur commented that they are public buildings owned by the public.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised that the third floor of the Arts Center was used for 82 events last year. The opera house complex had 361 events. With regard to the community center located in the parking lot of the Senior Citizens Center, the main thrust of this building was to provide a low cost facility for non-profit groups such as the American Legion, Color Country Chorus, elections, etc. Because the third floor can accommodate two times as many people as the social hall or opera house, it has been attracting groups of 250-300 people. City staff has had to call the Fire Department because the occupancy numbers were being exceeded. These kinds of uses have been difficult to manage because of the crowd size and

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January 10, 2013
Page Three

there has been abuse of the building and police calls. Renters have also expanded their half-day rentals by spending longer in the building than they have rented it for. As a result, a moratorium was put on the building for private rentals. There are now 15-20 requests for private rentals which the City has not honored. The City was able to respond to some of the uses and problems by increasing the presence of staff and roping off areas of the building, but this also led to increased costs for the City and shrinking profit margins. There have been times when the breakers would blow due to people cooking in the kitchen, when it is just a warming kitchen. There have been no private rentals since October.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented he did not think the City should be in the rental business and it is not worth the revenue the City is receiving from those rentals. He suggested use of the third floor of the Arts Center should be for government use and use by the City’s partners in the Town Square, and should be a higher use than the current use.

Councilmember Almquist commented that the owner of the Bell Tower suggested to him that their number of rentals was down because of the other rentals available, and the private sector will applaud the action now being contemplated by the City.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins advised the charges for the third floor are $600 for a half day rental and $900 for a full day rental. The City provides tables and chairs and AV equipment. There have not been a lot of problems at the Social Hall or Opera House because they are small venues; it is the large groups that the City struggles with.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the City should not be competing with the private sector.

Councilmember Bunker commented that while the City should not compete with the private sector, almost every city has a facility which they rent out. She suggested that restrictions be placed instead of banning its use by the public.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied that staff has tried this, but has no control over an event when 300-400 people show up. He stated he has the same concern with competition at the Opera House and Social Hall, and the City should be sure it is charging enough for those facilities. He stated he was not sure government should be in the facilities rental business. He recommended that City rates for rental of the Social Hall and other facilities should be 25% higher than the private sector. He advised that staff will do a study of rates charged by private facilities. He advised that the City will no longer allow private parties at the Arts Center and will provide the City Council with proposed rates to be charged for other facilities at a future meeting. He advised that rates to be charged at the old airport is a different discussion, and Marc Mortensen will look at rates being charged by other cities for similar facilities.

Councilmember Nickle commented he did not like to see the City compete with the private sector.



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January 10, 2013
Page Four

PRESENTATION ON CITY MONUMENT SIGNS:
Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen presented a power point presentation on entry monument signs covering the following topics: obelisk shape monument signs, horizontal signs, ball park estimates, proposed monument locations: Red Hills Parkway, State Route 18, Snow Canyon Parkway, Sunset Blvd., and Red Cliffs Drive.
He advised that the faux sandstone is several thousand dollars less than the real sandstone and would wear just as well.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that staff will refine the proposal and bring it back for City Council approval.

PRESENTATION ON “RIGHT TO FARM” SIGN LOCATIONS:
Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen distributed a handout of several proposed designs for the “right to farm” signs. Proposed locations for their placement include: 3000 East 1580 South, 2450 South Little Valley Road, Horseman Park Drive and Ledge Rock Drive, Horseman Park Drive and 2150 East, and Horseman Park Drive and Little Valley Road. The cost per sign is $1,250. He advised he will present the exact wording for the signs at a future date. He will also speak to several residents in the Little Valley area about their preference and to get their suggestions.

MISCELLANEOUS DISCUSSIONS:
Mayor McArthur advised he was contacted by the principal of Millcreek High School about the SunTran bus stop which was removed when the road was widened. She suggested that the buses drive into the school parking lot to let students off.

Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised that when the City receives these types of requests, staff wants to make sure that the real problem can be solved. Staff did a study on November 18 from 9:30 a.m. t0 2:00 p.m. and observed the situation for four hours. During that four hours 61 people crossed the street, and of that 61, 50 were kids going to the park during the lunch hour. Two were getting off the bus and going to school. If the City Council wants the bus to drive into the school parking lot, it can be done, but then there will be a bigger problem to address.

Mayor McArthur suggested that the timing of the study was wrong, and it should be done for the entire day, beginning at 7:00 a.m.

Mr. Bulloch explained that a signal would be ideal, but the problem is putting it mid-block by the school. If a signal is going to be put in, it should be at 2450 where it would serve both vehicles and students. Staff is doing a warrant study at this location.

Ed Baca commented that students at Millcreek circulated a petition to get a crosswalk to the park.

Mr. Bulloch advised that there will also be a signal eventually at Mall Drive which will create gaps in the traffic for those crossing the street to the park.

Councilmember Pike suggested that the SunTran buses temporarily stop in the parking lot of Millcreek High School if it is found that a lot of kids need it.


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January 10, 2013
Page Five

ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to adjourn to a closed session to discuss a personnel matter.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Bunker.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Bunker - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Nickle - 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 Bunker.
VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, as follows:

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

MISCELLANEOUS DISCUSSIONS:
City Manager Gary Esplin explained a recent bond rating change. The City’s bond rating was downgraded due to its philosophy of not raising electric rates for its customers until necessary. The bond rating agency felt the City did not raise its rates quickly enough when it had only $1.5 million in reserves. The City is protesting this rating as it has the ability to raise its rates upon 24 hours notice, and is in the process of transferring funds to the electric utility fund to satisfy the bond rating agency. The City’s status can be re-rated every year.

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Mayor McArthur inquired of the City Council if it was their understanding that they would have a chance to make input into the Dixie Ambulance/Gold Cross decision. The Council replied that it was their understanding that they would be able to submit their input before a final decision was made.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that the City will receive a report, at which time they can review it and make their comments to be submitted to the final decision maker.

***



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January 10, 2013
Page Six

Mayor McArthur advised that a CAT Team meeting addressing school and community safety will be held January 29, 2013 at 6:00 p.m. at the Dixie Center.

***

Support Services Manager Marc Mortensen explained the new calendar program developed by the City’s IT staff.

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Councilmember Bunker reported on a recent CEC meeting, advising that all Dixie College inventory has now been identified and properly marked.

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

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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.


______________________________
Gay Cragun, City Recorder