City Council Minutes
City Council Meeting Minutes

Thursday, January 11,2018





JANUARY 11, 2018, 4:00 PM




Mayor Jon Pike

Councilmember Jimmie Hughes

Councilmember Michele Randall

Councilmember Joe Bowcutt

Councilmember Bette Arial

Councilmember Ed Baca

City Attorney Shawn Guzman

City Manager Gary Esplin  

City Recorder Christina Fernandez



Mayor Pike called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Budget and Financial Planning Manager Deanna Brklacich and the invocation was offered by Reverend Alex Wilkie.


Mayor Pike announced that City Manager Gary Esplin is retiring on February 9th.  After interviewing potential candidates, the panel chose to hire Adam Lenhard, the current City Manager in Clearfield.  On February 8th, a reception for Mr. Esplin will take place at the Dixie Academy building.  He then mentioned the State of the City taking place on February 7th.



Ronnie Daniel, Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Utah Chapter presented a PowerPoint presentation covering the following topics:  Dementia; Alzheimer’s Disease; Know the 10 Signs; The Alzheimer's epidemic continues to grow; and grow; Alzheimer’s deaths compared to other major diseases; Alzheimer's is a significant public health issue; Women are at great risk; Most feared disease; Alzheimer’s caregivers face a devastating toll; Caregiving and women; Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s poses special challenges; Alzheimer's is the most expensive disease in America; “Alzheimer’s staggering $259B cost could break medicare” - Forbes 3/7/17; Alzheimer’s creates enormous strain on state and federal budgets; Number of americans with Alzheimer’s is set to nearly triple; Utah by the numbers; Southern Utah impact; Public awareness is the key; The importance of early diagnosis and disclosure; Our Vision: A world without Alzheimer’s; 10 Ways to Love Your Brain; The Alzheimer’s Association; Alzheimer’s Association Core Services; and A full time Southern Utah community outreach team member.



John Kessler with Georgefest provided a background and update for the Georgefest.  He introduced the Board Members who were present and noted that the fest will be closed in January and February as well as November and December.  They are requesting the same monetary donation from the City as well as the in-kind donations.



St. George City Council Minutes

January 11, 2018

Page Two


Event Director Carrie Bunker provided a handout outlining the Georgefest 2018 Overview and Proposal.  Their goal is to revitalize downtown and support the businesses in the area.  She outlined the proposed changes.


Mr. Kessler noted they sent a questionnaire to the arts community; they are planning on a small arts festival in the fall. 


Councilmember Randall commented that she like Georgefest in the beginning; however, near the end she did not as there were too many unsupervised teens hanging around and the music was not very good.  Additionally, the businesses did not see an increase in sales.  She mentioned a number of the comments from local business owners, none of which were very favorable.   


Mr. Kessler stated that he agreed with many of the comments. 


Greg Neel with the Good Ore Store mentioned that an admission fee should be charged.  That could fix all of the financial issues for all involved.


Councilmember Baca asked Mr. Kessler to come back and show how the fund the City gives them is spent.


City Manager Gary Esplin commented that staff supports the concept and having an event.  They want it to be successful to improve the downtown area; however it cannot continue the way it is - it has to change.  He added that maybe they should consider charging attendees as the City did with First Night. 


Downtown business owner Darrin Edwards stated that he is present to support downtown; his business is not open during these hours.


A discussion took place regarding the event, previous issues, and music.


Downtown business owner Nikki Richards stated that she finds it admirable that the group wants to update the event.  She provided some suggestions and voiced her concerns with the event. 


Dawn McLain with Write It Up, mentioned this event has an identity crisis; is it to revitalize downtown or to find another way to add a family event.  She feels it should be marketed to the specific audience it is intended to attract.  Additionally, she feels there has been a lack of transparency and the non-profit needs to be discussed.


Mr. Kessler responded to say that everything they’ve done since July they have been transparent and has been in the black since September.  Other Board Members noted they have gotten advice and guidance regarding the non-profit.


The Council discussed funding the sponsorship.





St. George City Council Minutes

January 11, 2018

Page Three



Water Services Director Scott Taylor presented a PowerPoint presentation covering the following topics: Wastewater Treatment Plant; Expansion Master Plan 2008 (Updated 2015), Expansion Master Plan Update; Phase I - Headworks and UV-Disinfection Update, What’s Next; Expansion Master Plan; Headworks Building; Nutrient Removal; Wastewater Challenges: Nutrient Removal; Phase I - Headworks/UV Disinfection, Phase II - Process Conversion, Phase III - Additional Clarifies, Outfall Lines - R&R and Upsize, and 2012 Rate Change.


The consensus of the Council is to move forward.



City Manager Gary Esplin update the Council on the costs for some of the parks projects funded in the current year’s budget.  The Council decided to take funds allocated for JC Snow Park and use them for the improvements at Bloomington Park; waiting until next fiscal year for Snow Park.  He then suggested rebidding the Red Hills Golf Course clubhouse.  He mentioned the struggle with trying to find Police Officers after which he recommended hiring certified officers, giving them incentives, as it takes approximately $39,000 to put a new officer through training.  The consensus of the Council is to move forward.


Councilmember Bowcutt commented about the need for additional training for the Planning Commission.


Councilmember Hughes reported that the SwitchPoint and Housing Authority Board meetings are going well.


After being asked by Councilmember Baca, City Manager Gary Esplin provided an update on the group that proposed to lease/take over a golf course.  


Councilmember Baca provided an update on Stephen Wade’s airport hangar.  City Manager Gary Esplin provided further updates.


The meeting adjourned.





Christina Fernandez, City Recorder