City Council Minutes

Thursday, November 14,2013



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
NOVEMBER 14, 2013, 4:00 P.M.
REGULAR MEETING
ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE ROOM

PRESENT:
Mayor Pro Tem Jon Pike
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
Councilmember Ben Nickle
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Christina Fernandez

ALSO PRESENT:
Washington County Election Clerk Melanie Abplanalp

EXCUSED:
Mayor Daniel McArthur
Councilmember Gail Bunker

APPOINT MAYOR PRO TEM:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Nickle to appoint Councilmember Pike as Mayor Pro Tem.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Hughes.
VOTE: Councilmember Pike called for a vote as follows:

Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Pike - aye
OPENING:
Mayor Pro Tem Pike called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The pledge of allegiance to the flag was led by Councilmember Nickle and the invocation was offered by Reverend Alex Wilkie.

Councilmember Almquist arrived.

CANVASS THE 2013 GENERAL ELECTION RESULTS FOR THE CITY OF ST. GEORGE:
Melanie Abplanalp, Washington County Election Clerk, reviewed the official 2013 municipal general election results, as follows:

Total Votes Percentage of Votes
FOR MAYOR
Jon Pike 8409 61.09%
Daniel D. McArthur 5314 38.60%

FOR CITY COUNCIL
Tara Dunn 5608 22.33%
Michele Randall 7973 31.74%
Joe Bowcutt 5893 23.46%
Ed Baca 5579 22.21%


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November 14, 2013
Page Two

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to accept the election results as submitted.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Pike called for a vote as follows:

Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Pike - aye

PRESENTATION FORM MR. KIRK HUFFAKER FROM THE UTAH HERITAGE FOUNDATION:
Mr. Kirk Huffaker, the Executive Director of the Utah Heritage Foundation ,distributed two handouts and presented a power point presentation which covered the following topics: Profits Through Preservation: The Economic Impact of Historic Preservation in Utah; Jobs and Income: Private Investment in Historic Buildings Using Tax Credit 1990-2012, $1,000,000 Spent on Historic Rehabilitation, Jobs - Federal Historic Tax Credit Projects,
Income - Federal Historic Tax Credit Projects, Jobs from Historic Rehabilitation Projects 1990-2012, Industry Comparison in Utah Jobs and Income/$1 Million in Production; Downtown Revitalization: Change in Downtown Sales 1997-2010, Impact of Historic Rehabilitation on Vacancy Levels, Catalytic Impact - Gunnison, 35 Years of Preservation -based Downtown Revitalization - Brigham City; Sustainability: Material Flows, Tons of Material Flows, The Environmental Cost of Demolition: Utah Historic House; Property Values: Provo, Park City, Ogden, Logan, Salt Lake City, Average Value Change 2001-2012 Salt Lake City Local Historic Districts, Average Value Change 2001-2012 Foreclosures Salt Lake City 2008-2012, Foreclosure Rates 2008-2012, All Price Ranges - Local Historic Districts Average Value 2012, Single Family Foreclosure Rates 2008-2012; Heritage Tourism: The “Heritage Tourism” Challenge?, Characteristics of Heritage Tourism, Regional Tourism Patterns, Heritage Visitors (narrowly) Defined, 2012 Visitation, Heritage Tourism Expenditures, Where Heritage Tourism Dollars Go, Heritage Tourism Expenditures Create Jobs, Heritage Tourism Jobs Mean Paychecks; Fiscal Responsibility: Preservation Commission Rulings 2004-2012.

Councilmember Almquist stated that the City does not typically have residential historic areas. He asked how a community designates an area in which there are more historic homes not inside a historic area.

Mr. Huffaker advised, in order to get the residential tax credit, an area or individual property would need to be listed on the national register. Doing this provides no protection, an owner can still demolish a home.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated this has been done that in the past.

Mr. Huffaker advised there are no tax credits for small commercial buildings. His committee has been in contact with the State to discuss their concerns.

Bob Nicholson mentioned the old H&R Block building. The prospective purchaser wanted to tear the building down; however a new buyer came in and decided to preserve the building.




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November 14, 2013
Page Three

PRESENTATION FROM MR. KENDALL CLEMENTS FROM ESCAPE PROPERTIES:
Mr. Kendal Clements with Escape Properties presented a powerpoint presentation which covered the following topics: Short Term Rentals; Who is “Escape Properties”; “Escape Properties” is also; What is the ‘crime’? What is the code trying to prevent?; Challenges to the Current Approach; Second homes & nightly rentals are part of us - they’re not going away; What if the city code and city’s approaches changed from punitive to constructive; The proposal and next steps. He currently has houses throughout the state. Park City has a similar code to what he is proposing.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated he would like clarification on code enforcement issues. This ordinance came about because neighbors were upset rental houses were being used as “party houses”. The City tried to control how frequently houses are rented to protect the neighbors. Most of the proposals Mr. Clements spoke of are already in code.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman he stated is it unfair to use some of the language regarding code enforcement, as this is going on all over the City and code enforcement officers have not gone after these individuals. The officers were directed by the City Council to address the issue because of the citizens that have complained.

Mayor Pro Tem Pike stated code enforcement officers are not hunting people down. He would like to start with reviewing the ordinance and look at other successful models.

Mr. Clements stated he has had good experiences with code enforcement officers in the past. He would like to be involved with the process going forward.

Councilmember Almquist advised he understands some people would rather stay in a home than a hotel, even for a short stay. He would like the guidelines be similar to what a regular homeowner would do.

PRESENTATION ON ELECTRIC THEATRE IMPROVEMENTS AND SCHEDULE:
Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins presented a power point presentation which covered the following topics: Needs Assessment Follow-up; Adaptive Reuse; Art Coop Spaces; Toronto and Philadelphia; Waterworks, Tulsa, OK; Wisconsin; Hendrick Center fo the Arts - Beloit; Cultural/Arts/Creative Districts; Map of Downtown District; Art Center/Children’s Museum; St. George Art Museum; St. George Social Hall; St. George Opera House; Pioneer Courthouse; Tabernacle/Town Square; Wash. County Library &
Zion’s Staircase Gallery; East Annex; Art Business; Private Galleries; D.U.P. Museum; Ancestor Square; Andrus Home; Electric Theater Facility, Restoration/Renovation Options; Using the facility; map of the first floor.

City Manager Gary Esplin spoke about the aerial map of the four buildings. He advised improvements to buildings B and C would require a significant amount of funds. It would be more feasible if buildings B and C are demolished and rebuilt to what it was historically. The maps showed what the proposal would be if the two buildings were demolished and rebuilt. He has had discussions with the property owner to the west, who has concerns with the alley way which the City owns. In addition, he spoke with Southern Utah Title who owns the building to the east with regards to getting access through their parking lot. They are willing to work with the City to provide access.
Mr. Perkins continued with his power point presentation which covered the following

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November 14, 2013
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topics: map of the lower level; upper level of building D; a simulated picture of what it would look like after the remodel; cost of the project.

City Manager Gary Esplin read a letter from the Arts Commission which states they support the changes of the Electric Theater.

Mayor Pro Tem Pike inquired about installing walls that may create separations for future use.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the concept is that each group would create their own facade. The City would develop the common area. He advised, if estimates are correct the cost would include the walls, floors, restrooms, elevator, basement, skylights, etc. The building could operate with just the shell. Funds would come from the capital development funds, pending property sales and economic development funds. This year’s budget includes $250,000 to make the Electric Theater building structurally sound.
Councilmember Almquist commented there are a lot of arts groups with no where to go. Years ago the vision was to have one center for all to use, which would be expensive.
He believes this building would be of use to these groups and sees it as a commitment to the downtown area.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated when you think about the square footage, if a new building had to be built including parking, it would cost more than the proposal. This would complete the historic restoration in the area. Not only would this solve the arts issues, it is also an investment in the economic development of the downtown area. He would like to get started with the restoration.

Councilmember Nickle stated the Electric Theater was purchased with the intention of using it. He would like to see the restoration started.

Councilmember Hughes stated that although he understands something needs to be done, he is a bit concerned with the fact that this is not a top priority. People will have to recognize that there are a number of things going on. He would like to see things done right the first time and does not want to see it sitting there unused.

Mayor Pro Tem Pike stated that what Mr. Perkins described was accurate; the theater will not work for everyone in the arts community. He inquired what funds are available.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised he will know very quickly what resources may be available.

Consensus of the Councilmembers is that they would like to go in this direction.

CITY HALL EAST ANNEX:
City Manager Gary wanted asked Mr. Perkins to give an update on the City Hall East Annex.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins introduced Jeff Peay, the new Parks Planning Manager and Henry Sudweeks, a new Landscape Architect. He presented a power point presentation that covered the following topics: Pictures of the Outside of the Building; Phased Development Plan.

City Manager Gary Manager explained that the Recreation Administrative offices would move to the City Hall East Annex as there are issues at the current Recreation Center that need to be addressed. The renovation of the inside of the building is funded in the current budget if the bids come in as expected.

Mr. Perkins continued with his power point presentation which covered the following topics: City hall East Annex revised Concept 11-6-13; Elevation View; Entry Perspective.

Landscape Architect Millie Cockerill stated the proposed budget for the entry portion is approximately $285,000.00.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised the budget includes $750,000.00 for the entire building. The project will be going to bid soon.

Councilmember Almquist inquired how patrons will get from City Hall to the East Annex.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated he is a bit of this is a bit of a concern with the speed of drivers coming down the hill.

Mayor Pro Tem Pike called for a five minute recess.

PRESENTATION ON THE ALL ABILITIES PARK PROJECT:
City Manager Gary Esplin stated he wants this project to be a quality experience, in a park setting, that is second to none. He would love to see others from all over the country come to visit. He explained that a planning group from California has donated their time to assist in the pre-planning.

Mr. Perkins presented a power point presentation which covered the following topics: All-Abilities Park; Concept.

Landscape Architect Henry Sudweeks continued with the power point presentation which covered the following topics: what is an all-abilities park; What would our playground
look like?; water play; sand/dig play; sensory garden; retreat pods.

Mr. Perkins continued with the power point presentation covering the following topics: phase I - All Abilities Playground; How do we pay for it?.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised one possible source of funds could be refunding of the GO bonds issued for parks and recreation projects as long as interest rates stay low enough to allow present value savings. The bond refund cannot be done until June when the budget is adopted. Funds can only be used for bond related, park related projects. Another source of funding could be from a piece of property, near the Dixie Center, that is currently under option for purchase. In addition, there are possible fundraising opportunities. There are federal funds available through the CDBG program but the concern is what the requirements or strings would be.

Mr. Perkins continued with the power point presentation which covered the following topics: Phase II - All abilities park build-out; phase III - train; Tonaquint Nature Center.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated adding this park would make that area incredible.

Councilmember Elect Michele Randall gave kudos to Mr. Perkins for putting together this project.


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November 14, 2013
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City Manager Gary Esplin stated that if the Council feels good about the project, he will find the funding.

The consensus of the Council is to move forward.

Councilmember Almquist stated there are a number of individuals that would like to volunteer at a facility such as this.

Mr. Perkins stated there is a possibility to purchase land to the north and west for expansion of the Cemetery and the Nature Center.
PRESENTATION FROM SUNTRAN REGARDING STAFFING ISSUES:
Public Works Director Larry Bulloch advised his SunTran Division has significant issues with staffing. They currently have 15 full time bus drivers and 8 part time bus drivers that cannot exceed 28 hours worked per week. He stated there was an incident recently, in which an injury occurred on a bus, which caused the driver to be 15 minutes behind schedule which in turn caused every line to be behind schedule. He presented a power point presentation which covered the following topics: Current and Proposed Manning;
Change 3 Part to Full Time; Balance the Budget; Potential Max of Advertising Revenue; Bus Ridership at Capacity.

The consensus of the Council is to go ahead with the staffing changes.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated it is hard to find part time drivers. He is still concerned with the match as well as funding issues.

Mr. Bulloch stated the FTA regulations specify what qualifies for a match. Contract revenues can qualify for matches, not passes or fees for riding the bus.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised fees may need to be looked at.

PRESENTATION ON MALL DRIVE BRIDGE AND SCHEDULE, ETC:
City Manager Gary Esplin advised bids have been received for the Mall Drive Bridge; the low bid is $7.4 million. Although a request for a biological opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife was submitted on July 29th, there is no federal statute that requires them to respond in a timely manner. The City has not yet received an answer. Because of spawning time of the woundfin minnow, the City cannot be in the Virgin River from April 15th to August 15th. The City has 90 days to award the bid to the contractor.

Transportation Services Manager Cameron Cutler presented a power point presentation that covered the following topics: Mall Drive Bridge Construction Schedule. He advised the contractor will need to order materials and perform some work prior to building the bridge.
City Manager Gary Esplin advised the City could go ahead and sign the contract and get some of the items ordered. The key is that the mitigation on this project has already been done. Staff is trying different options. He wondered if the City should try to get help from Senator Hatch’s office. The bid came in at approximately $2 million under budget. Since steel prices cannot be controlled, he is concerned that if it is not purchased soon, it could cause the project to go over budget. The City will be in the market during January 2014 for bonds to pay for project costs. If the bonds are not issued, there will not be funding to

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November 14, 2013
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pay for the project. The permit may be issued with conditions. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Division has acknowledged that the request is in their queue, which means that there may be one or two items before the City’s request.

Mr. Cutler stated one issue may be with the price of the steel pipe casing which will have to be used no matter what. Rebar and rip rap are about six weeks out.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the City will have to negotiate up front. If materials can be re-used, the City may go ahead and purchase them. He explained staff will have to get back to the contractor to work out the contract prior to the first meeting in December.

The consensus of the Council is to move forward as discussed.

CLOSED SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to adjourn to a closed session to a property sale.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Nickle.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Pike called for a vote as follows:

Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Pike - aye

RECONVENE AND ADJOURN:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Nickle to reconvene and adjourn.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Hughes.
VOTE: Mayor Pro Tem Pike called for a vote as follows:

Councilmember Hughes - aye
Councilmember Nickle - aye
Councilmember Almquist - aye
Mayor Pro Tem Pike - aye




__________________________________
Christina Fernandez, City Recorder