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June 29 2006 City Council Minutes



ST. GEORGE CITY COUNCIL MINUTES

SPECIAL MEETING

JUNE 29, 2006, 4:00 P.M.

ADMINISTRATION CONFERENCE ROOM



PRESENT:

Mayor Daniel McArthur

Council Member Suzanne Allen

Council Member Gail Bunker

Council Member Rod Orton

Council Member Bob Whatcott

Council Member Larry Gardner

City Manager Gary Esplin

City Attorney Shawn Guzman

Deputy City Recorder Judith Mayfield



OPENING:

Mayor McArthur called the meeting to order and welcomed all present. The pledge of allegiance was led by Council Member Allen and Council Member Orton offered the invocation. Mayor McArthur stated that he wanted to recognize the 222 troops coming back home and discussed the celebration that is planned for June 30, 2006 at the Dixie Center to honor them for their service. The Mayor recognized two scouts who were in attendance. Trevor Cox and Anthony Bellman stated that they were working on their Communications Badge and they were part of Troop 720 from Green Valley.



APPEAL OF A DENIAL OF A SIGN PERMIT:

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that this matter had been addressed at the June 1, 2006 City Council meeting and a decision was made to re-schedule it to the June 29, 2006 meeting in order to give City Attorney Shawn Guzman time to conduct research into the matter.



City Attorney Guzman stated that he met with Wade Budge, the attorney representing Simmons Outdoor Media, to discuss the location of the new sign. Mr. Guzman said that they discussed some other options which included raising the present sign or having an electronic sign. Mr. Guzman said that a representative from Simmons Outdoor Media was supposed to contact the City about those options, but Mr. Guzman had not heard from them. Mr. Guzman explained that he called them this week and he was told that they didn?t want to talk about any type of resolution. Mr. Guzman said that the recommendation from Legal is to deny the permit based on the interpretation of the ordinance.



Mr. Zach Hartman, a representative from Simmons Outdoor Media stated that the expense of raising the current sign would cost them too much money so they were not willing to consider that as an option.



City Attorney Guzman said that the City had given Mr. Budge an option to postpone the discussion of the appeal of the denial, but Mr. Budge told him to go ahead with the meeting.



Council Member Orton asked Brad Young, Code Enforcement Supervisor, if the Code Enforcement staff agreed with the recommendation from Legal.



Mr. Young stated that they did.



MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Bunker to uphold the decision of the Sign Board to deny the request of the outdoor sign.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Allen.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote as follows:









St. George City Council Minutes

June 29, 2006

Page Two



Council Member Allen ? aye

Council Member Bunker ? aye

Council Member Whatcott ? aye

Council Member Orton ? aye

Council Member Gardner ? nay



The motion carried.



DISCUSSION WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE ST. GEORGE MUSICAL THEATER:

Mayor McArthur welcomed all those present who were representing the St. George Musical Theater.



Mr. Ron Parker stated that he was representing the St. George Musical Theater?s interim board of directors and explained that they are currently working on legalizing the paperwork. He said that they are meeting weekly and they appreciate the city?s support in the past and acknowledged prior relationships. Mr. Parker said that he and the board of directors are looking positively at the future and are expecting improved communications between the board and theater staff. Mr. Parker stated that an audit for 2005 had recently been requested and he expressed confidence in the staff and the theater?s progress. Mr. Parker stated that the St. George Musical Theater cannot maintain their growth and stay in the current building. He said that other community entities have inquired about the theater?s future. Mr. Parker said that the theater would like to stay in the Woodward building but understands that would present a problem for the City and the future town square. He said that moving in the middle of a production year would be very difficult and they would like to stay in the City. Mr. Parker said that they are currently meeting weekly with an architect about a new building. He said that the end of July is their deadline to know their status with the City. He said that other offers the theater is currently entertaining insist that they move fast. Mr. Parker explained that they are currently pursuing a charter with Dixie State College.



Council Member Orton asked Mr. Parker if he was asking for an extension until their new building is completed.



Mr. Parker stated that would be the preference if at all possible.



Council Member Gardner asked Mr. Parker if the plans for the new building are currently being drawn.



Mr. Parker said that they were working on plans. He stated that the plans that are being worked on are also addressing the theater?s affiliation with the Classic Heritage Choir group and the symphony. He said that they are looking at a state of the art theater in the round that would be somewhat larger than the current facility. He said that they were also looking at a combination theater in the round and proscenium theater.



Council Member Gardner asked Mr. Parker if they had funding for the new building.



Mr. Parker stated that they are hopeful that they will be able to acquire the funds. He said that their first concern is to get the building designed to present to funding sources. He said that they are about two weeks away from a specific size. He said that the building would probably be approximately 30,000 to 40,000 square feet and that they would need 2 to 3 acres for a site to accommodate parking needs.



Mayor McArthur asked Mr. Parker if there were other communities wanting the theater in their area.

St. George City Council Minutes

June 29, 2006

Page Three



Mr. Parker stated that there were but that he could not discuss more specific details at the present time.



Dr. Lee Caldwell, President of Dixie State College, stated that St. George was becoming a major cultural center for the region. He stated that this was an opportunity for the young people in the area to be involved in various cultural events. Dr. Caldwell said that the college has an operating agreement with the Heritage Choir and it will be issuing a formal charter to the St. George Musical Theater. He explained that this would allow the college to provide some operating services for the theater and that the college could go after grants and funding programs for the theater. Dr. Caldwell talked about the number of performances the theater presents each year and that it needs its own dedicated space. He stated that he thought it would take 4 or 5 years for them to raise the money and build a new facility.



Council Member Gardner asked Dr. Caldwell if he was suggesting that the theater stay in the Woodward building for 4 to 5 years until another facility was built.



Dr. Caldwell said yes.



Council Member Gardner asked City Manager Gary Esplin if there was any flexibility in the scheduling of the demolition of the Woodward building.



City Manager Gary Esplin stated that he didn?t have any information on what the financial impact would be to the City if the Woodward building demolition was delayed for 4 or 5 years. He said that the cost of the water walk and town square is 4 million dollars. He said the building would be an eye-sore during that time and that the whole character of the plaza would be affected. He said that he thought the theater wanted to stay in the building through the current production year.



Council Member Orton said that the citizens want the downtown area now and that the theater should look for a different location.



Dr. Caldwell stated that it would be nice to move forward together. He said that the college?s preference, as a chartering organization, would be to keep the theater in downtown St. George.



Council Member Orton said that the City has agreed with that for 3 years but the St. George Musical Theater hasn?t done what they had committed to in that time frame.



Dr. Caldwell said that now that the college is involved it will help them with funding and he feels that the relationship will strengthen the organization.



Council Member Gardner asked Dr. Caldwell to explain what the charter means with regard to the St. George Musical Theater.



Dr. Caldwell explained that under the charter, the operating authority comes from the college. St. George Musical Theater staff would become employees of the college. He stated the charter would be a legal authorization for St. George Musical Theater to become part of the college. Dr. Caldwell said that the charter has not yet been finalized.



City Manager Gary Esplin stated that if they needed 2 -3 acres for a new facility there wasn?t that amount of land available in the town square area.



Dr. Caldwell said that they are currently working on the college master plan and perhaps they could find space adjacent to that area.





St. George City Council Minutes

June 29, 2006

Page Four



Mayor McArthur said they have put a lot of emphasis on the revitalization of downtown and they only have so long to get it done. He said they needed to look at the whole scope of things. The design of the plaza would change significantly by keeping the Woodward building.



Dr. Caldwell asked if there was a way to keep the theater in the Woodward building through the current season. He said he wanted the city to decide if they want the St. George Musical Theater in the downtown area. He said that the college wanted to keep it close to downtown.



Council Member Orton said that he is concerned about whether this is a business for the Kenworthys or a program that the college is going to support.



Dr. Caldwell said that by being a charter program with the college, the college can tap into grants for the theater. He explained that currently the theater is being primarily supported by ticket revenues. He said that they could also look at memberships being added as a source of revenue. Dr. Caldwell said that perhaps the college could find space for the theater in the future. He said that the college wants to work with the City to make this work for the community.



Council Member Gardner said that the charter would give the theater a firmer foundation and structure. He said that it would be a very positive thing. He said they need to look at the long-term impact of the plaza. He suggested that they pursue options through additional dialogue. He stated that he didn?t think the City could delay the heart of the project.



Council Member Whatcott asked City Manager Esplin about the time line of the plaza.



City Manager Gary Esplin said that the underground work has already been started. He said that he didn?t have an answer as to what the impact would be to the time line if the theater stayed in the building until July.



There was discussion among various members of the audience about other location options for the theater. No agreement was reached regarding any of the options discussed.



Mr. Parker asked that the City look at the situation for a site and keep the building for a time period to allow them to put up a new building.



Council Member Gardner asked Mr. Parker if the Opera House could be used.



Mr. Parker stated that the Opera House would not be suitable.



There was discussion about the fact that the St. George Musical Theater knew for the past 3 years that the Woodward building would be demolished as part of the town square renovation. Several council members expressed their concern about the fact that the theater had not followed through on their commitment to show funding sources or to investigate the possibility of using the third floor of the Leisure Services building.



Mr. Bruce Bennett, a representative of St. George Musical Theater, stated that the previous board of directors said the money would be raised. He stated that was the reason the theater went ahead with the program for the current season.



City Attorney Shawn Guzman referred to a letter that had been sent to the City Council and asked Mr. Bennett if the theater was talking to other cities and groups about alternate locations.



St. George City Council Minutes

June 29, 2006

Page Five



Mr. Bennett stated that they were.



Council Member Bunker said that the City has a dream for the downtown area but as a representative of the citizens they need to continue to support the musical theater. She said that people love it and would probably enjoy it more than the open space that would replace the Woodward building. She said that she would like to see the theater stay in the building for at least a year and a half.



Mayor McActhur said that the fact that the theater published a production schedule through July of next year seems like they are asking for forgiveness instead of permission to stay in the building.



Council Member Whatcott stated that he disagreed with Council Member Bunker. He said that he thinks it is critical that the St. George Musical Theater and the college do the leg work. He said they need to take care of their responsibility. The success of the Town Square does not depend on the success of the St. George Musical Theater, but the success of the St. George Musical Theater may well depend on the success of the Town Square. He stated that time is money and delays cost the City more. He asked if the college or the St. George Musical Theater would be willing to repay the extra costs to the City.



Ms. Jan Broberg, executive director for the theater, asked how soon the City needs to hear back from the St. George Musical Theater.



City Manager Gary Esplin stated that he wanted to go on record that the City and the previous board had a good working relationship. He said that the time frames were in place and that it was not a new issue.



Mark Peterson, Dean of Arts with Dixie State College, asked the Council if they had any suggestions for what the St. George Musical Theater could say about the City?s support in their fund raising efforts.



Mayor McArthur stated that would have to be something the theater would need to address. He suggested that they contact the Council after following through with looking at alternate locations such as the third floor of the Leisure Services building. Mayor McArthur thanked all present representing the St. George Musical Theater for attending the meeting.



CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR A HILLSIDE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT TO EXTEND A ROAD SIDE HILLSIDE CUT TO INCREASE THE SITE VISIBILITY ALONG INDIAN HILLS DRIVE LOCATED AT APPROXIMATELY 860 SOUTH INDIAN HILLS DRIVE, ACROSS THE ROAD FROM THE WEST BEND SUBDIVISION:

City Manager Gary Esplin explained that the request had been reviewed by the Planning Commission and they recommended approval. He said that there are safety issues with the current situation and extending the cut would improve visibility along Indian Hills Drive. He stated that there were no issues from staff regarding the request.



Council Member Bunker said that she disliked marring up the hills but that the safety factor is much more important.



City Attorney Shawn Guzman stated that the proposal was a pretty substantial cut. He said that he went out to the site with Jay Sandberg, Assistant City Engineer, and the cut would be made to the absolute minimum to make it safe. Mr. Guzman said that the request meets requirements and the section needs to be enlarged for safety.







St. George City Council Minutes

June 29, 2006

Page Six



MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Gardner to approve the request.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Orton.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.



OTHER BUSINESS/CLARIFICATION OF MOTION:

City Manager Gary Esplin asked for clarification of a motion made for a request for a zone change by Mr. Jeff Adams at the February 2, 2006 City Council meeting. He said that Mr. Adams wanted to come back to the Council with a request for another storage unit project. City Manager Esplin said that he thought that the motion which denied the zone change was in place for 1 year for storage units but waived for another zone change request, such as for housing.



There was discussion among the Council members and they agreed that they also thought the motion which denied the zone change was in effect for a 1 year period for storage units only.



OTHER BUSINESS/CHANGE ORDER:

Barry Barnum, Director of Water Services, explained that the Council had approved a request for drilling services in the amount of $200,000 from Gardner Brothers Drilling. He stated that the bid did not include any costs for materials because the City had intended to purchase those separately. Mr. Barnum said that due to confusion on the part of the Water Services Department, Gardner Brothers Drilling was told that the City didn?t have the materials and authorized Gardner Brothers Drilling to supply the materials instead. He stated that the materials cost an additional $170,436.98. Mr. Barnum apologized to the Council and said that he wanted to request a change order for the $170,436.98, even though he recognized that he had not followed the appropriate process.



Council Member Orton asked Mr. Barnum if the City could have purchased the materials cheaper than what Gardner Brothers Drilling would charge for them.



Mr. Barnum said that he didn?t think that the City could because it would be using the same source for the materials.



Council Member Allen asked why the request for materials hadn?t been included in the request for the drilling services.



Mr. Barnum stated that they had intended to come back to the Council with the material request but then he learned that the materials had been supplied by Gardner Brothers Drilling.



City Manager Gary Esplin said that the cost to the City was negligible but that it was a procedural issue that needed to be corrected.



Council Member Gardner asked how the well was working.



Mr. Barnum said that the water looks like it?s going to be pretty good quality. He said that the first test was good and that the well was pumping 600 gallons a minute. Mr. Barnum stated that the water could be used for irrigation.



MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Gardner to approve the request for the change order for the materials in the amount of $170,436.98.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Bunker.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye.





St. George City Council Minutes

June 29, 2006

Page Seven



ADJOURN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION:

MOTION: A motion to adjourn to executive session to discuss possible litigation was made by Council Member Bunker.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Allen.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a roll call vote, as follows:



Council Member Whatcott ? aye

Council Member Orton ? aye

Council Member Gardner ? aye

Council Member Allen ? aye

Council Member Bunker ? aye



The vote was unanimous and the motion carried.



RECONVENE:

MOTION: A motion to reconvene was made by Council Member Whatcott.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member Allen.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.



MISCELLANEOUS:

City Manager Gary Esplin showed the Council a map of where the new high school is being built and explained that the City has an easement for a trail between the school property and a development originally planned by Paul Jensen. He said that the original plan for the development was for walk-out basements but when the lots didn?t sell, Mr. Jensen sold the property to Mr. Haslem who raised the level of the property and built single family homes. Mr. Esplin said that he has been contacted by Mr. Vern Christensen who says that the slope on the back part of the development is starting to erode away. Mr. Christensen has requested that the City address the problem. Mr. Esplin said that the school district is going to spend $800,000 to build a retaining wall along the back of the school property. The school district wants the City to raise the wall by two more blocks and asphalt the trail at an additional expense of $120,000. The Council directed City Manager Esplin to pursue the project. They suggested that he contact Mr. Jensen to see if he is willing to help with the additional $120,000 expense.



Mayor McArthur said that there is an approximate 50 foot section of trail between River Road and Ft. Pierce that isn?t paved. He said that it is just before the Industrial Park on the other side of some apartments. He asked City Manager Esplin to see if the section could be paved.



ADJOURN:

MOTION: A motion was made by Council Member Whatcott to adjourn the meeting.

SECOND: The motion was seconded by Council Member allen.

VOTE: Mayor McArthur called for a vote, and all voted aye. The motion carried.







________________________________ ____________________________

Judith Mayfield, Deputy City Recorder Date


















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