City Council Minutes

Thursday, January 28,2016

JANUARY 28, 2016, 4:00 P.M.

Mayor Jon Pike
Councilmember Jimmie Hughes
Councilmember Joe Bowcutt
Councilmember Bette Arial
Councilmember Ed Baca
City Manager Gary Esplin
Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston
City Recorder Christina Fernandez

Councilmember Michele Randall

Mayor Pike called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was led by Scout Corbin Barker and the invocation was offered by Reverend Jimi Kestin. He mentioned the State of the City address that will be taking place next Wednesday at the Chamber of Commerce lunch and thanked the Interfaith Council for what they do.

Victim Services Coordinator Alissa Urzi mentioned Lt. Mark Brklacich’s retirement and thanked the Mayor and City Manager for their support. She then mentioned that their new supervisor is Lt. Thad Feltner. Currently, they have one full time and two part time employees in the division. Ms. Urzi outlined the crime categories that their division assists such as victims of violent crimes, stalking, harassment, child abuse, etc. She updated the Mayor and Council on the number of cases by category, their division has assisted. A recent study shows that the costs, in Utah, resulting from sexual violence totaled nearly $5 billion. For children with sexual violence, the average cost is $184,000 per incident. The goal of the Victim Services division is to reach even one victim after a crime and get them the help they need to prevent that crime from happening again.

Chief Marlon Stratton noted that two full time detectives concentrate on sex crimes, most of which involve children.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston commented that the most important thing is to make sure to offer a hand if you know what is happening.

Ms. Urzi explained that the Dove Center and the Erin Kimball Foundation are making great strides to make housing more accessible and available. Utah is well below the national average for violent crimes; however, the rape average in Utah is above the national average.

City Manager Gary Esplin mentioned there is a need for additional power at the Ridgetop Complex and on the west side.
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Energy Services Director Laurie Mangum introduced members of her staff who were present - Summer Navarro, Zach Peterson and Rick Madsen. She showed a video taken with a drone showing the path of the proposed transmission line. The drone which is permitted on City property is a utility drone only. She then showed a 3D video showing the proposed transmission line and substation. There will be a pole every 300 feet; the entire line will be three miles long. Two substations meet their max capacity during the summer months.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained with the City’s load and all of the development on the east side, the loads were switched around to accommodate the area. Other routes were discussed; however, this route will impact less private property.

Energy Services Director Laurie Mangum stated that it would cost five times as much to bury the transmission lines - it is expensive and hard to take care of. She explained that most of the work will be done in-house.

The consensus of the Council is to move forward.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated that the current policy is to try and keep motorized vehicles off City trails. This is a discussion to decide if segways are motorized vehicles.

Steve Wilson stated that he has been in contact with Segway Utah, who will supply the equipment and support. He provided a handout outlining the idea. Out of their office near the Dixie Center, they plan on running two (2) two-hour guided tours a day on City trails, running in groups of six. His request is to obtain approval to allow a for-profit company to utilize the City trails. A Segway is a 105 pound, 2-wheeled personal transporter that runs on a pair of lithium-ion batteries; maximum speed is 12 mph. There will be no loading/unloading of segways on the trails. He stated that segways are safe. Segway of Utah contacted the State who said that they can use any paved trail provided permission is granted by the City.

Mayor Pike stated that segways are tricky to handle – he knows a woman who broke her back riding one. He is concerned that some of the trails have areas that are close to cliffs. Additionally, there are some safety concerns to consider as he does not agree that they are incredibly safe; 12 miles an hour seems faster on a segway than it does on a bike. He mentioned that bikes and e-bikes are allowed on trails.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston noted that per state law, if it is self propelled and not human powered, it is considered a motor vehicle and they are not allowed on City paths.

Councilmember Bowcutt commented that everyone who uses the trail system now is doing it for their own reason. Opening the trails to a commercial entity opens the door for additional liability.

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Councilmember Hughes asked if he owned a tour company that does bike tours, would that be stopped. He believes it needs to be more about the motorized vehicle than a tour.

Deputy City Attorney Paula Houston replied that bike tours would not be stopped. She noted that Jazzy vehicles are not allowed on the trails either. Motorized vehicles can be driven on a street only, not sidewalks; however, they are allowed on certain sidewalks in the downtown area.

City Manager Gary Esplin mentioned that allowing motorized vehicles on trails is different than sidewalks. He would like to see something like this, but not on the trails.

Support Services Director Marc Mortensen stated that e-bikes are relatively new and the industry is exploding. There will be a demand for them on trails.

Councilmember Bowcutt asked to look at the tours being in the downtown area rather than the trail system.

Mr. Wilson stated that they can look into that.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins explained that he is concerned that there would be several segways at once. He asked if there is one portion of the trail system they would like to use.

Mr. Wilson explained that they would like to use the trails near the Dixie Center, Dinosaur Museum, Santa Clara River, and Bloomington Hills.

Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins added a formal request should include a map outlining everything including areas they will congregate and pull off.

Councilmember Bowcutt noted that he would rather tour the historic district than the Virgin River.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated from staff’s standpoint, the biggest concern is whether the Council wants commercial businesses operating on the City’s trail system. If so, the applicant would have to submit a map. Should the trails be used for recreation by the citizens, or should they be allowed to be utilized by commercial businesses? Years ago, the businesses were turned down for similar requests.

Mr. Wilson outlined the requirements for riding a segway.

Councilmember Arial mentioned that people like to ride them and stated that a solid restroom plan needs to be worked out.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained if the Council will allow the usage by commercial businesses, will they be required to pay a fee for the use of and part of the cost to maintain the trail?
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Councilmember Bowcutt commented that for tourists, riding a segway would be an impulse thing to do. People around the Dixie center are not finding things to do; he believes it would be more viable downtown.

The consensus of the Council is to have staff research what other cities are doing and what they allow.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated he will also have staff look at the ordinance pertaining to what is allowed on sidewalks.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained under the current policy, private streets are not allowed unless it is in an existing development.

Mayor Pike mentioned the request for discussion came about for the new piece near SunRiver, not actually for SunRiver.

Councilmember Bowcutt added a lot of private streets currently in place, may not be in a huge subdivision.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested tabling the discussion until Darcy Stewart can be present.

City Manager Gary Esplin updated the Mayor and Council on what has been happening with special events. Although the ordinance was adopted, some areas need to be clarified. The proposal is to charge the special event promoter for the impact their event will have on City staff. Laura Woolsey has researched the fees that other cities charge; he reviewed what was found.

Councilmember Arial inquired about fee waivers.

City Manager Gary Esplin replied currently, the City does not allow them. Additionally, it is proposed that the base fee is the same no matter where the event is held. Typically, the promoter and staff will work together to determine the impact.

Councilmember Baca noted this proposal is important to the impact of individual budgets and seems fair.

City Manager Gary Esplin stated the proposed fees will assist with overtime. Next year’s budget will need to include a fund to pay employees for these events. There will be issues when waivers are not granted as promoters may be impacted.

The consensus of the Council is to move forward.

City Manager Gary Esplin commented that St. George is an event city; however, it cannot continue without an offsetting revenue source. There may be times when staff would like to waive fees with the relationships with other entities. When the City uses
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Washington County School District facilities for recreational events, there is no cost. He feels that those entities that the City has partnerships with should be granted fee waivers. Further, he mentioned that he and Mayor Pike met with Dixie State University President Williams this morning; they would not charge the City to use their facilities if patrons were not being charged and they have nothing scheduled.

After Mayor Pike inquired about others such as the Lions and United Way asking for fee waivers, a discussion took place regarding what the Lions would be charged for the Dixie Round Up Rodeo.

Councilmember Arial suggested a Memorandum of Understanding with those the City partners with.

Councilmember Baca noted it is important to meet fiduciary responsibilities.

City Manager Gary Esplin mentioned that he would like Ms. Woolsey to go through all of the events permitted in the previous year. He would like to be proactive in informing them of the new policy.

Councilmember Bowcutt stated that they need to understand that there are costs that are not recouped.

Mayor Pike mentioned the existing fee for the use of the SunBowl and Ridgetop Complex includes 5% of gross receipts.

City Manager Gary Esplin suggested that fees not be charged for those the City partners with including the Lions, Washington County School District, Washington County, DXATC and Dixie State University.

The Council took a short recess.

Leisure Services Kent Perkins mentioned that staff has been asked that the playground at Vernon Worthen Park be relocated.

Parks Planning Manager Jeff Peay presented a PowerPoint presentation covering the following topics: Vernon Worthen Park Redesign – 2016; Site Aerial; Rentable Spaces – How Popular is the Park?; Photos of Events and the Facilities; Wish List; Conceptual Plan; Conceptual Plan – Elements; Construction Phasing Plan; and Preliminary Indication of Cost.

City Manager Gary Esplin mentioned that he likes that the focal point lines up with the main entrance of the SunBowl. If the City were to build a new park, this is the type of park that would be built. He stated that this park serves the entire downtown area and noted that old parks need to be upgraded. One of the City’s need and goals is to reinvigorate the neighborhoods in the downtown area. Impact fees cannot be used to

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upgrade existing parks; however, since the use will change, some of the impact funds may able to be used to build the additions.

Mr. Peay presented a second PowerPoint presentation covering the following topics: Town Square Restroom & Parking Concept – 2016; Site Aerial; High Use Areas; Carousel – High Use Area; Existing Restroom Building; Conceptual Plan – Restroom Locations; Aerial; Wish List; Issues to Resolve; Items to Resolve – Drainage; and Conceptual Plan. The restrooms will cost approximately $150,000; $400,000 for the entire plan.

City Manager Gary Esplin mentioned that Leisure Services Director Kent Perkins meets with employees who are assigned to that park. They walk the park together and discuss ideas. A discussion regarding wayfaring signs will need to take place in the future.

Councilmember Arial mentioned that she attended the Arts Commission and Children’s Museum Board meetings today. The Children’s Museum will he holding a gala on April 9th. At today’s meeting, they discussed their future and their budget. She mentioned the current exhibits at the Children’s Museum. Additionally, she mentioned shows and events that will be taking place at the Electric Theater, Dixie Academy Building and Opera House in the near future. The Arts Commission asked that a City Attorney attend a meeting to discuss their RAP Tax options.

Councilmember Baca commented that he attended the Historic Preservation meeting yesterday. They discussed the proposal near the Bear Paw and presented photos of what is being proposed. Additionally, they approved removing three storage garages at Green Gate Village. He reported that he met with Cemetery staff and asked that the certificates list whether the lots are uprights or flats. Additionally, they looked at changing the upright/flat areas and spoke about Sunday burials.

Mayor Pike inquired about the Sunday burial.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained he will have to look at the ordinance to see if they can work that out. He mentioned that the cremation gardens sales are not as they hoped and mentioned issues with selling half lots.

Councilmember Baca mentioned that some adjustments may be able to adjust flat/upright stones. The Air Quality Board met; however, he was not able to attend. He commented that the City should restrict burn permits since a gentleman living in Dammeron Valley could smell the smoke.

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that there are restrictions; however, staff did not realize how much that person was burning.

Councilmember Baca stated that the St. George Wine Club, would like to rent the Art Museum for a fundraising event.

City Manager Gary Esplin noted that alcoholic beverages are not currently allowed in any of the City buildings.

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Councilmember Baca provided an update on the Hillside Review Board and mentioned that the Mosquito Abatement District meets on Thursdays at 5:00; therefore, a Councilmember cannot attend. He asked that a staff member attend since 80% of what they do is in the City limits.

Mayor Pike commented that since the City does not have a vote; he and City Manager Gary Esplin feel that no one should be assigned. If they need to work with the City, then staff can attend as needed.

A discussion took place regarding CAT meetings.

Councilmember Bowcutt mentioned the Planning Commission meeting and stated that there may be a large turnout when the IHC clinic is at the City Council meeting as neighbors are not happy.

Councilmember Hughes reported that the Local Homeless Coordinating Council met recently. The Point in Time count is taking place right now. He mentioned that the St. George Housing Authority is looking for another board member and the Animal Shelter Board has a potential board member who a retired veterinarian.

Councilmember Bowcutt mentioned that City Manager Gary Esplin is receiving an award from the Chamber of Commerce Friday night.

Mayor Pike mentioned the parking issue downtown. He was approached by a gentleman who would like to put up no parking signs in front of his business. He asked the Council to let him and Support Services Director Marc Mortensen know about BluCan phone calls. At next week’s meeting, a 3-board committee will be appointed to hear appeals on the opt out provisions. Warbird Museum representatives asked for the corner parcel adjacent to their current hangar; Airport Manager Rich Stehmeier supports the request. He asked City Manager Gary Esplin to visit with them regarding this request. He then provided a handout outlining the Mission, Vision and Values of the City.

The meeting then adjourned.

Christina Fernandez, City Recorder