City Council Minutes

Thursday, February 13,2014

FEBRUARY 13, 2014, 4:00 P.M.

Mayor Jon Pike
Councilmember Gil Almquist
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
Councilmember Michele Randall
Councilmember Bowcutt
Councilmember Bette Arial
City Manager Gary Esplin
City Attorney Shawn Guzman
City Recorder Christina Fernandez

Mayor Pike called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was led by Councilmember Arial and the invocation was offered by Nadine Barish representing Beit Chaverim, the Jewish congregation of Southern Utah.

Tom Lamb stated that he represents the Mountain Meadows Association. In 1857, 120 people were massacred at Mountain Meadows. He presented a fact sheet regarding two quilts that were made and presented one of them to the Mayor and Council. The quilt was pieced together by Anna Rolapp. He stated that he believed a good place to display the quilt would be the old courthouse. The Association will cover the cost to frame and install the quilt.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Arial to accept the quilt to be placed on a permanent basis at the Pioneer Courthouse.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Randall.

The consensus of the Councilmembers is to accept the quilt to be displayed at the Pioneer Courthouse.

Mayor Pike advised that each of the Councilmembers has received a petition from Chris Beykirk regarding the Little Valley area.

Transportation Services Manager Cameron Cutler handed out a map which shows the area of proposed road improvements in Little Valley. He explained that the bid has a base bid and an additive amount for improvements that may be included if there are enough funds. From Horseman’s Park Road to the south, sewer lines and manholes will be installed. Additionally, curb, gutter and sidewalk will be installed on the east side along the homes. The minimum width of the pavement will be 30 feet. Residents have asked for the road to be lowered because of drainage issues. In order to lower the road, the existing water line needs to be lowered as well.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that it is important to note that the roadway was dedicated in 1985 as a 66' road. Since then, each subdivision that has been developed, has set their houses and setbacks off of a 66' road. Additional roads that are being improved are going to provide connections.

Mr. Cutler stated that 3000 East will have a bridge over the Ft. Pierce Wash and will connect Commerce Drive to 3000 East.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that 3000 East will be the next phase.

City Manager Gary Esplin updated the Mayor and Council on the tax revenue bonds that will be used to provide funds for the Mall Drive Bridge.


The Mayor and Councilmembers visited the Little Valley area to view the proposed road improvements.


Kent Perkins stated that in the early 1990's, Barney Seegmiller donated land to memorialize his father, Hela Seegmiller. The proposal for the land is to create a historic farm and park. The concept for the park is to have a natural area with a pond, conservation open space, old train and historical buildings. Various groups are involved in the planning and have interviewed those who have settled the area. They would like to build a barn similar to one that was standing when the land was first settled. The barn would seat approximately 190 people and can be used as a
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pavilion. Additionally, they would like to build a historic parking lot, but there guidelines that have to be followed.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised staff has been planning this project for quite some time. The project will be funded out of the Capital Projects Fund as well as using Impact Fees.

Mr. Perkins stated that the bid for the project is $836,092.23 and will include half of the parking lot, some of the structures, grading & trails, and some road improvements.

Resident Luke Greer asked where the funds to operate the park were coming from.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied there will be no funds out of the operating budget. At this point, there is no way to know the cost to operate the park.

Mayor Pike advised there are residents present to discuss the Little Valley Road improvements.

Resident Paul Gooch stated that homeowners on both sides of the issue met last night. There was an agreement on some of the issues. He wants to preserve public safety, not fight with neighbors.

Resident Chris Beykirk stated he got involved because of safety. Two Councilmembers that visited the area yesterday afternoon, were almost struck by cars as they were watching children leave the elementary school. He too, was at the meeting Mr. Gooch spoke of. All agreed that the traffic needs to slow down as it is very unsafe. He does not want to fight with neighbors either. He asked for a crossing guard, but was told that was not possible. He submitted a petition with 284 signatures.


Adam Dunn stated they operate an emergency shelter with 20 beds in the male shelter, 16 beds in the female shelter and 5 family rooms. The shelter is full every night, year round and they have to turn people away. Currently, they have 8 units of transitional housing. In addition to housing, they run a food bank and pantry and provide 150,000 pounds of food each month. For the past year and a half, they have been operating the soup kitchen 4 days a week, which is staffed by volunteers. Last month, they provided 1,400 meals. With Tim Martin’s help, they are revising their mission statement and how they approach their clients. They are partnering with other agencies to facilitate the needs to their clients. In the last 6 months, 310 different individuals have stayed in the shelter 10-20 % are not looking to reintegrate into society, 20% were families with young children. Additionally, they have assisted 1/3 of their clients in finding housing, 1/3 to find full time jobs and 1/3 to find part time jobs. They utilize the Getting Out by Getting In (GOGI) counseling program, which was originally started for woman inmates in prison. One of the requirements for staying at the shelter longer than 2 weeks is the clients have to do “their fair share” by working at the shelter. At approximately 5:30 p.m., clients are checked in and fed dinner. Clients are fed three square meals a day and take a breathalyser tests each night. There is no charge to stay at the facility, however, if a client stays more than 14 days, they can either pay $9.00 a night or they can work “their fair share” to pay it off. They try to teach them life skills.

Citizen Ed Baca asked how many of their clients are veterans.

Mr. Dunn stated that they stopped asking that question. Some of the clients were angry that they were asked that question.

Mr. Martin advised that although they require a breathalyser test to stay there, during December and January of this year as well as last year, the test was waived during the cold weather.

Mr. Dunn stated that there were some issues this past year while they were housed at the Old Airport, but the people stayed warm. They are looking at future needs for about 30 years. With anticipated growth, they will need to double the size of the existing shelter.

Mr. Martin stated said that the number of homeless people in Washington County is currently at 180 which is double of what it was last year.

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Mr. Dunn explained that on January 25th and 26th of each year, the State counts all of the homeless. That information is used in statistical models to determine future needs. With the help of City staff, they located a 3 acre parcel to house future needs near Industrial Road. This location will provide enough space for growth. It does not have Suntran access, which he asked it be extended to that area. He stated that the soup kitchen will move to that location. The LDS Church has donated a commercial kitchen. Through the CDBG program, the City has committed $229,000.00 for homelessness. He proposes that this the property be given to the Dixie Care & Share, their existing property would be given to the City. Additionally, he is asking for an additional $800,000.00 from CDBG funds and other means from the City to assist in building their facility. The estimated cost is $2.5 to $3 million to build the entire facility. They are also proposing to ask the LDS Church for $800,000.00. They have plans to go to each City Council in the area and the County Commission to request funds. Up until now, their best partner has been St. George City. 20% of their residents are from Washington City, 5% from Hurricane, 5%from Santa Clara/Ivins. They plan to ask for $300,000.00 from those cities and will raise $1 million from the community.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised this proposed property is valued at approximately $150,000.00. The total contribution would need to be looked at as far as the value of the Dixie Care and Share property. It is great to build the facility, however, he is worried about the other agencies that are involved. He stated that the State also wants to help fund the project. He would like to see other cities get involved.

Councilmember Hughes stated there is still going to be a population of people that cannot be helped at the Care and Share. He believes the Homeless Council is making progress.

Councilmember Hughes left for the evening.

Councilmember Arial asked if there was federal funding available.

Mr. Dunn stated there are some federal funding grants available..

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that possibly, the project can be done in phases. They can continue to work on integrating transitional housing with the St. George Housing Authority as well as other avenues.

Councilmember Almquist stated he feels this is a start to get everyone involved.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised they do not want to use federal funds because of the strings, but there are other programs. Identifying the cost of going with the first phase.

Mr. Dunn stated that transitional housing is anything more than 14 days. They do not qualify for federal funds because they allow for 90 days. They have many clients in their shelter that can get housing tomorrow if it was less expensive. There is an immediate need for even the transitional units. The Board’s vision requires a great deal of collaboration.

Mayor Pike stated he would like to explore what is possible.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised there are some issues with regard to advance funding of CDBG funds. The City receives approximately $450,000.00 per year. Staff is looking into what can be done. He stated that funds from the sale of the original building can be put back into the project. Getting Suntran to the proposed site may be difficult, but can be looked at

Mr. Martin advised they have looked at several other sites. This has been an ongoing effort, and they feel that this is the best location.

The consensus of the Councilmembers is to move forward.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised a MOU can be done.

City Manager Gary Esplin asked why they can’t just do a trade of the properties.

Mayor Pike stated he would like to see a shelter done in 2 years since is it needed, even if that means transferring the property now and leasing it to the Dixie Care and Share.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that there is $230,000.00 approved in the current budget.

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Councilmember Arial stated that Art Around the Corner is getting ready for the Arts Festival. There is an opportunity to have an Abe Lincoln sculpture, they just need a slab. The Gardner family would like to move the statue of Robert L. Gardner from the roundabout to the front of the Tabernacle and move the statue of the children to the front of the Children’s Museum.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman advised that Art Around the Corner has asked to put a pedestal in front of the Tabernacle, but never asked to move the statue there. They will need to speak to the LDS church.

Councilmember Arial stated that Mr. Gardner was instrumental in building the Tabernacle. They want to leave the dandelion sculpture where it is. She understands there is $12,000.00 in the budget to purchase sculptures.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that there is a possibility of funds in the next year’s budget, but not in the current budget.

Councilmember Arial stated that Nate Johansen, who sculpted the dandelion, and Franz Johansen have supported the arts. They would like to give the City the dandelion. The board feels the City should purchase something from that artist.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that in the past, the Council has proposed to allocate revenue from the carousel to purchase art. There are no funds budgeted. The Arts commission was supposed to make recommendations of what pieces to purchase and where to put them.

Mayor Pike stated the dandelion is in the middle of Town Square. It has been there for 2 years and the artist would love to have it stay in St. George. The Arts Commission should make the decision of what to do with that sculpture.

City Manager Gary Esplin advised that from July to December 31, the City nets approximately $5,000.00 and $10,000.00 to $15,000.00 annually. These dollars should be spent for pieces at the Town Square.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman stated that Art Around the Corner pulled all city sanctioned groups together. These groups want to help, but they need a plan and to find places to put the pieces.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that Art Around the Corner has done an incredible job getting pieces that most people would never see.

Budget Manager Deanna Brklacich advised $5,000.00 is allocated in the budget each year to purchase pieces at the Arts Festival.

Councilmember Randall stated that Lee Warren, a Pearl Harbor survivor, passed away recently. The Veteran’s Council came up with the following criteria for placing a monument, so that not every veteran is memorialized: 1) must be a native of St. George or have lived a majority of their life as a resident in St. George; 2) be interred or established definite arrangements to be interred in Tonaquint Cemetery; 3) while serving in the uniform of a branch of the United States Armed Forces, was an active participant and irrefutable evidence of having been an active participant in a major military combat action or activity that has been memorialized by the United States of America; 4) has achieved widely accepted and singular personal recognition and a claim for having been an active participant of that nationally commemorative military combat action or activity; and 5) has been singularly and personally celebrated on numerous occasions for not only having been an active participant in that major military combat action or activity, but also, established unique status in St. George because of specific actions or activities which set the individual apart as an icon. She stated that she spoke with the Cemetery Sexton, Jim Hohenboken, who said that the monument can be put it near the flags. Additionally, Bob Kelly , who is over LDS addiction /recovery programs, is going to do a program at the Veteran’s Center beginning April 1, 2014.

City Manager Gary Esplin inquired if placing the monuments will be from here forward. For example, his father was in WWII, was decorated and received numerous medals, was the President of the Lion’s Club and was involved in the community, therefore, he may meet the criteria. He inquired if they will go back and memorialize those veteran’s who have previously passed away. Memorializing veteran’s is why this area off the cemetery was created.

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Councilmember Almquist stated that the Solid Waste Board asked for someone to be on the executive council, they gave Mayor Pike’s name with caveat that if he could not do it, he could back out. He heard a rumor that people do not want to use the mulch that is made at the landfill, however, it is being made differently. It does not contain human waste. If someone submits a plan to the Building Department that shows the required number of trees or other requirements, those requirements should be permanent. The Dino Park is doing well. They have some special exhibits and some new unique tracks. He stated that 60-70% comes from the gift shop, the remainder is from admissions.

Councilmember Bowcutt stated that he attended his first Planning Commission meeting. A total of 448 houses were approved.

Mayor Pike advised that City Attorney Shawn Guzman has notes from the League of Cities Legislative Policy Committee. There are a couple of things that need to be watched.

City Attorney Shawn Guzman stated that fuel tax is the biggest concern.

Mayor Pike updated the Councilmembers on the Mall Drive Bridge. Installing the pillars into the River is a fascinating process. He advised that the Water Conservancy District will have a presentation Tuesday if the Councilmember would like to attend.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to adjourn to a closed session to discuss litigation and property.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Bowcutt.
VOTE: Mayor Pike called for a roll call vote, as follows:

Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Randall - aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye
Councilmember Arial - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

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

Councilmember Almquist - aye
Councilmember Randall - aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye
Councilmember Arial - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.


Christina Fernandez, City Recorder