City Council Minutes

Thursday, February 28,2013

FEBRUARY 28, 2013, 4:00 P.M.

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

A site visit was taken to the St. George Arts Center and Electric Theater. The meeting then reconvened at the City Office, Administration Conference Room.

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The invocation was offered by Pastor Jimi Kestin. The pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by Katelyn Alexander.

Katelyn Alexander, Youth City Council Mayor, and members of the Youth City Council introduced themselves. They then presented a video of their activities throughout the year. She advised they are currently doing a prom dress service project, and would like to hold a dance on the water tank on May 4.

Mr. Fleckner complained that his neighbor’s cat comes into his yard, and he would like the City to adopt an ordinance prohibiting cats at large and imposing a fine for any violation. He advised that Ivins has such an ordinance.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that Salt Lake City and Ogden require cats to be licensed.

Councilmember Almquist commented that the City currently has a very successful feral cat program.

Councilmember Bunker expressed concern that such an ordinance would be very difficult to enforce.

Councilmember Hughes was excused from the meeting.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the Milepost 8 project is located at St. George Blvd. and River Road where traffic backs up. The State will provide $16 million to make the improvements.

Lee Cabel from Horrocks Engineering presented a power point presentation titled Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI) at St. George Blvd. which covered the following topics: design build, project schedule, and project features.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the City is concerned with two issues: landscaping, and how many cars can be forced through 1000 East, the back-up load factor, and can it be remedied within the scope of the project presented now. The

State’s position is that it will pay for stamped concrete or stone in the four triangles, depending on their size. The question is whether the City wants to do something

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February 28, 2013
Page Two

more within those triangles. The City has a great relationship with the State. The only issues are the betterment and relieving the traffic back-up on St. George Blvd. There is some question of real benefit with this design, although it works well in helping the freeway. The City’s concern is how far back traffic will be stacked on St. George Blvd. and the benefit to the City is not nearly as great as it would be if there could be one more lane east bound from 800 East to 900 East. However, there is a cost to this, and it is not included in the $16 million. The cost of this extra lane is roughly $1 million plus, and it would push the State past the window within which the project has to be completed. The City’s position is that this is a State problem too since St. George Blvd. is a State highway.

Dana Meier of UDOT explained that the goal of the project is to make the network work. The diverging diamond design will utilize existing infrastructure. The number one thing the State can do at the 1000 East intersection is improve efficiency by eliminating split phasing. An improvement will be seen in stacking because of the increase in efficiency of the intersection. Horrocks is analyzing the addition of a lane on St. George Blvd., but the cost may be so great it would not be worthwhile. The goal is to take the $16 million and make the project work as efficiently as possible.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the City is also investing some funds in the project, and must see a sufficient level of improvement for its investment. He suggested that an additional lane could perhaps be phase two of the project and could be done later.

Dana Meier commented that a baseline will be determined and then all the extras will be prioritized according to available funds.

Lee Cabel commented the cost of an additional lane on St. George Blvd. is $1 million to $1.2 million. The lane would not eliminate stacking on busy holidays and tournament weekends, but would for regular travel and at least keep the stacking to this side of 900 East without it going through the intersection and beyond.

Councilmember Almquist inquired how far back an effective left hand turn lane would have to extend.

Lee Cabel replied that the minimum is 100' with a 50' transition, depending on volumes.

Councilmember Pike inquired how long it would be before another major project would be needed, either a third lane or something bigger and better.

Kim Manwill with UDOT replied that even with all the projected improvements, the interstate would still fail.

Dana Meier replied this project should be successful until 2040 at a level of service D on the interchange.

Lee Cabel advised that the level of service on St. George Blvd. will also be a level of service D. If a third lane is added, there will not be a big decrease in delay, maybe five to seven seconds per vehicle, but the queue will be shorter.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that at this time there is no alternative. UDOT will forfeit this funding if the project is not completed on time. The City’s concern is the $1.2 million needed for the third lane should be an extension of this project and there should be a way to finish this project and proceed to the second phase. There
should be some recognition that if the stacking levels don’t improve, the next phase

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February 28, 2013
Page Three

should be implemented. However, it makes sense to try the project as planned and see if it works.

Laura Taylor presented concepts to enhance the landscaping put in by the State. She presented a power point presentation covering the following topics: proposed fill areas, replace in-kind, north-east and south-west quadrants as models, enhancement opportunities, north-west and south-east renovation areas, other aesthetic items, and landscape enhancement estimate.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that a decision is needed within three weeks.

Lee Cabel commented that with regard to the islands, the specs given to bidders will contain the City’s landscape specifications for criteria so that all bids received will meet City criteria.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that staff will bring an enhancement agreement to the City Council for approval within the next three weeks.

Councilmember Bunker inquired if consideration had been given to incorporating artwork in the landscaping.

Laura Taylor replied that they have considered it, and it would best be put in after the project is done.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Pike to adjourn to a closed session to discuss a property purchase.
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

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

The meeting then adjourned.

Gay Cragun, City Recorder