City Council

Thursday, May 14,2015
Minutes



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
WORK MEETING
MAY 14, 2015, 4:00 P.M.
ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERNANCE ROOM


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

EXCUSED:
Councilmember Bette Arial

OPENING:
Mayor Pike called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was led by Dave Demille and the invocation was led by Elisha Christopher Hayden with the Center for Positive Living.

Mayor Pike mentioned the Airport Advisory Board met at the Airport yesterday. Josh Bevans was appointed Board Chair. Additionally he mentioned and thanked everyone involved in the Iron Man event. The Retro Rock Festival took place last weekend and there were almost no problems. The beer garden almost didn’t happen because insurance was not in place; however, Legal staff assisted and got everything taken care of. He mentioned additional events that will be taking place in the near future.

Rosalie Spaulding, resident, mentioned the farmers market that will take place on Saturday at Ancestor Square.

Mayor Pike mentioned that Utah was recently ranked 5th for being bike friendly.

SET NEW DATE AND TIME FOR AN EMPLOYEE APPEAL HEARING:
City Manager Gary Esplin advised that an employee appeal hearing was supposed to be heard tonight; however, the employee is asking for documents through his attorney. The suggested date is June 25th.

Mayor Pike stated that the hearing would begin at 4:00 p.m.

MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Almquist to reschedule the employee appeal hearing on June 25, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Bowcutt.
VOTE: Mayor Pike called for a vote, as follows:

Councilmember Hughes – aye
Councilmember Randall – aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye
Councilmember Arial – aye

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May 14, 2015
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The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

DISCUSSION ON THE 2015-2016 FISCAL BUDGET:
City Manager Gary Esplin advised the purpose of the discussion is to have the Department Heads meet with the Council regarding their budgets.

FIRE DEPARTMENT:
Fire Chief Robert Stoker explained that their budget increased slightly, most of which is in staffing. He reviewed his staffing numbers and mentioned that they are in the process of accepting applications part time and volunteer staff. He explained recent promotions and mentioned that he, Deputy Fire Chief Taylor and Battalion Chiefs work the day shift. The budget includes a request to add one additional Battalion Chief which will allow the department to operate with one Battalion Chief over each shift. He presented a proposed organization chart. Additionally, he mentioned that they are looking at future fire station sites and provided a map of fire response areas and provided a map of proposed station sites. The materials and supplies budget did not change much this year; fleet maintenance has increased, but emergency management has decreased. That is where the bomb squad was allocated in the past. He requested a new pumper engine is requested in the budget, at a cost of approximately $800,000. Also included in the proposed budget is station maintenance and driveways.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that staff will have to look at purchasing land, building the stations, manning the stations and purchasing the equipment. He explained how a new station will be funded. Staff will return when a suggested site is found. He noted that the City does not own land in the Little Valley area. The new truck requested in the budget will be paid out of the Capital Projects fund.

POLICE DEPARTMENT:
Police Chief Marlon Stratton mentioned that City Manager Gary Esplin recommended about everything he requested. One issue is that their fleet has approximately 35 cars with 100,000 miles or more. Courtney Stephens and Marc Mortensen will be looking into a lease program for 35 Ford Interceptors. Because fuel and maintenance costs will be reduced with leasing these cars, fleet maintenance costs will be reduced.
Over time, calls the officers respond to have been more serious and take more time. Average response time for emergencies is 6 minutes and 42 minutes for other calls. He mentioned staffing numbers in dispatch. The biggest challenge they see in the department is staffing. Recently, an officer who has worked for the department for two years announced that he is quitting and moving to Washington State. They are no longer getting good quality candidates during recruitment. He reviewed the hiring process and training program. Over the last couple of years after completing nine months of training, a handful of new officers decided they cannot do the job and quit. A lot of agencies are having the same problem. These agencies are now offering incentives such as pay increases and lateral transfers so they do not have to invest in the nine months of training. Right now, the department has five officers in training and they have three vacancies that they are recruiting for. The School Resource Officers will be on patrol while school is out for the summer. They need to look at
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how to retain and bring officers here. Those that are coming into law enforcement now are getting less for retirement than those that came a few years back. Nationally, academies see less interest because of all of the issues in the news.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated if the City puts officers through the academy, they are committed to stay with the City for two years. Officers are paid the same as other officers in the state. Staff has looked at changing the salary plan to eliminate and narrow cities that the number of cities that are compared to. If other agencies start to pay and give bonuses, the City will have to as well. Although he is recommending two additional officers, he is not recommending allocating any other revenues out of the general fund to fund them.

Councilmember Bowcutt inquired about seized drug money.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that state law limits what the money can be used for.

Chief Stratton stated that some of that money comes back to the City through the CCJJ grant. The funds are shared with other agencies.

Councilmember Almquist commented that the VIPS do a tremendous job and take a load off of the full time officers.

WATER SERVICES:
Water Services Director Scott Taylor stated that there are not many changes from the previous budget. Although he did not request additional positions, he proposes an Operator IV position in Wastewater Collections, Water Distribution and Irrigation. A number of employees in these divisions have the certification but there is no position. The proposal will not have a huge impact on the budget.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that enterprise funds have revenue associated with each fund. Bond ratings have to be protected by making sure they have the debt service coverage. The Water Services Department has always done that. In the past they have always operated leanly; there is a balance this year. Rates are stable right now and staff is not suggesting a rate increase this year.

Mayor Pike mentioned that he and Mr. Taylor, as well as the Council, have talked about looking at the rate structure. He stated that long term planning may need to be discussed.

Mr. Taylor mentioned his departments aged infrastructure. He explained that he is in the middle of putting a study together regarding repairs and replacement costs. The proposed budget includes minimal replacements in the downtown area.

Councilmember Almquist commented that pricing affects conservation.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that the Water Conservancy District has a program that assists customers with conserving water. He mentioned that staff be

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revisiting the build out scenario and will update the inventory of the empty lots throughout the City.

Mr. Taylor provided an update on the plans due to the new arsenic regulations and mentioned that staff is looking into an arsenic plant. With regard to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, no new positions were requested; but they will be replacing equipment. He outlined their capital projects.

Councilmember Hughes stepped out.

Mayor Pike called for a short recess.

LEISURE SERVCIES:
Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins provided an update on the All Abilities Park and the Electric Theater.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the suggestion is to add extra improvements to the Electric Theater and fund them with RAP tax revenues. The concept is to leave the offices open and let the renters finish the inside as part of their rental agreement.

Mr. Perkins provided an update on marathon numbers and explained that the proposed budget includes reorganization in the Recreation Division and additional positions in the Parks Division. The biggest challenge in Parks is retaining employees; they have a fair amount of turnover. He provided updates on projects the Parks Planning Division is working on.

Councilmember Hughes returned.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that staff will have to figure out how to deal with long term repairs and maintenance of the pools. Who should cover the costs will have to be determined. He suggests going as long as possible without replacing the cover at Sand Hollow Aquatic Center. There is a need to have a discussion on number of events the City is involved in.

Mayor Pike mentioned that he and City Manager Gary Esplin had a good conservation with some of the County Commissioners regarding their help with events that benefit the entire county. He asked for an update on bike trails that need to be repaired.

Mr. Perkins advised that construction is set to begin in Middleton on September 5th. He provided an update on repairs on other trails.

SUPPORT SERVICES:
Support Services Marc Mortensen stated that the proposed Technology Services budget does not include a request for additional personnel. Jeremy Garfield will be going to work on the SCADA system; he will be replaced shortly.


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City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the department is trying to hire an additional webmaster position to assist this fiscal year. Staff has to stay on top on the new website.

Mr. Mortensen provided an update on open positions and projects staff is currently working on. He stated that security is a primary concern. The proposed budget has very minimal capital outlays. He explained that the state of Utah has a contract with Google for imagery; the City will piggy back off them. With regards to Facilities Services, he requested an additional custodian position; however, City Manager Gary Esplin did not recommend funding the position. Instead, they will hire two part time employees. He outlined projects staff is currently working on and mentioned that the department has seen a cost savings by reducing the use of contractors and performing electrical work themselves. The proposed budget includes equipment and new vehicles. He reviewed staffing numbers. With regards to Fleet Management, two new full time positions were requested, one of which was recommended by City Manager Gary Esplin. Their biggest capital outlay is the proposed new facility. The long term proposal is to build a new facility where the Streets Division is now. They do not need additional mechanics at this time, just room. It costs the taxpayer $84 per hour for City staff to do the work; dealerships charge approximately $150 per hour. Warranty work is covered by the manufacturer; however staff is authorized to perform the work on several car manufacturers. He stated that leasing the police vehicles will not free up staff very much.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that leasing the vehicles may delay the need for an additional mechanic.

Mayor Pike stated that he would like to see staff reconcile a cost benefit analysis for spending the $2.4 million on a new building. He asked how that relates to outsourcing with a mechanic shop.

Mr. Mortensen advised that staff looked at that; however, he does not have details tonight. Doing the work in house saves the City approximately $400,000 per year.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that there is a need to build the new facility because a number of vehicles, such as fire trucks and buses cannot be outsourced. The transit request was put on hold because it is not known what is going to happen with Senate Bill 362. He hopes that the estimate for the new facility is higher than the actual cost.

Mr. Mortensen added that everything built moving forward will be natural gas compliant.

REPORT FROM MAYOR, COUNCILMEMBERS AND CITY MANAGER:
No reports were given.

ADJOURN TO CLOSED SESSION:
MOTION: A motion was made by Councilmember Randall to adjourn to a closed session to discuss property purchases.
SECOND: The motion was seconded by Councilmember Almquist.
VOTE: Mayor Pike called for a roll call vote, as follows:
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May 14, 2015
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Councilmember Almquist – aye
Councilmember Hughes – aye
Councilmember Randall – aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.

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

Councilmember Almquist – aye
Councilmember Hughes – aye
Councilmember Randall – aye
Councilmember Bowcutt - aye

The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.





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Christina Fernandez, City Recorder