La Verkin City Council Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Council Chambers, 111 S. Main, LaVerkin, Utah


Present:  Mayor Kerry Gubler; Council-Members:  Richard Hirschi, Brandon Stephenson, Ken Hooten, Randy Reeve; Staff: Kyle Gubler, Derek Imlay, Troylinn Benson, Chief Ben Lee, and Christy Ballard; Public: John and Rose Valenti, Ray Justice, Travis Romney, Jake Bulkley, and Candace Harris.


Councilwoman Chantelle Browning has been excused.


A.       Called to Order – Invocation and Pledge of Allegiance by Richard Hirschi at 6:00pm.


B.        Recognition:

1.       Pam Lisonbee was not able to make this meeting.  We will recognize her at the next City Council meeting.


C.        Appointments:

1.       Steve Lisonbee has been appointed as an alternate on the Planning Commission.


D.        Consent Agenda:  (Items on the consent agenda may not require discussion.  These items will be a single motion unless removed at the request of the Mayor or City Council.)

1.       Declarations of conflict of interest

2.       Agenda

3.       April 14, 2014 Chief of Police swearing in minutes and April 16, 2014 regular meeting minutes

4.       Review Invoices and Checks:  $247,559.18


Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to approve the consent agenda as written including the April 14, 2014 Chief of Police swearing in minutes, the April 16, 2014 regular meeting minutes and checks and invoices in the amount of $247,559.18, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi.  Roll Call Vote:  Hirschi-yes, Reeve-yes, Hooten-yes, Stephenson-yes.   Motion carried unanimously. 


E.      Committee Reports:  

1.       Planning Commission – The Planning Commission meeting will be moved from the 14th of this month to the 28th.  Interstate Rock will be asking for a zone change for their area down by the new school and possibly Sunset View Estates will be coming for approval on that subdivision. 

2.       Water Board – The Water Board has not met.  Mayor Gubler attended a meeting with the WCWCD.  They are encouraging all cities to conserve their water by only watering between 8pm and 10am.  This is not mandatory but we will be putting it on the water bill to encourage our citizens to do this.


            Councilman Hirschi has talked to the gentlemen that use to be over the water in Kolob Reservoir. 

             He feels there has been too much water taken from the Reservoir.


            Mayor Gubler pointed out that the runoff in the Virgin River is lower than it has been in years.  We are definitely in a drought cycle.  



3.       Fire District-Chief Kuhlmann reported the Fire District has just finished testing 12 new recruits for Fire Certification.  They will start doing Wild Life Certifications this coming week with them but will wait on their Medical Certifications until after the summer.

The District is planning on a busy season.

The Fire District meetings are usually every quarter, however, there have been some questions come up so there will be a meeting next week.  Chief Kuhlmann will let Mayor Gubler and Councilman Hooten know the date and time. 

There have already been 3-4 substantial fires this week.  Fortunately there have been people nearby when they started.

4.      Sewer Board-Blair is not present to report.  The Sewer Board will be taking a field trip to visit other larger facilities across the State of Utah.  They think they may need to increase their capacity in the next 10 to 15 years.  

5.      Community Garden-Mayor Gubler thanked Councilman Hirschi for all of the work he has put into it.  The garden was planted this past Saturday with help from the girls at Falcon Ridge.

           Councilman Hirschi said that Councilman Hooten has been helping with the project as well.     


F.        Citizen Comment & Request for Future Agenda Items:

            Candace Harris is a citizen of La Verkin.  She lives in Pheasant Glen behind Blackridge CrossFit.

The music is very loud all the time.  Her home is located directly behind the garage doors from the business.  She thinks that if they would just close the doors it would help with the noise she can hear inside her house.  The Harris’ have asked the business owners to turn the music down but nothing has changed.  The last time they talked to the owner he was rude to them.  Stating the business is not breaking any ordinances.  There is a baby in the Harris home who sleeps at the front of the house, not in his bedroom because of the music.  She was wondering if the City could help with the issue.


Mayor Gubler stated that the Chief will look into it again.  This is an issue that has come up before and hopefully is getting better.  He also mentioned how difficult it is to have Commercial and Residential next to each other.


G.     Business:

1.       2014-2015 FY Tentative Budget.

It was going to be projected onto the wall but it wasn’t working so there were copies of the budget at the table for citizens to follow along.


Kyle explained the last column listed as Original Budget is the tentative budget.  The column listed as the 2014 Budget is the budget; the 2014 Actual column is where the City stands as of printing date.  The 2012 and 2013 are the budgets from that year and are required to be listed.

Kyle started going over the tentative budget line by line starting with the Property Taxes.  He did state that this line item is not exact.  The County does not give us the Certified Tax Rate until after the budget has to be adopted.

The Transient Room Tax line is also an estimate.  La Verkin has never had a hotel so this number came from the help of Springdale’s City Manager. 


Councilman Stephenson asked if there was a projected opening date for the hotel.


Kyle replied that May 1st was the last date the City had.  This budget year begins July 1st but at the rate the hotel is moving they may not be open by then.


Kyle continued going over the budget stating the Total Revenue is estimated at 1,525,510.00 and asked if there were any questions from the Councilmembers.



In Administrative under Salaries & Wages there is a 1% COLA for employees figured in all of the budgets as well as 1% merit bonus figured in.  The Benefits went up by 10%.


Kyle moved back into Revenues for a moment to explain line 3990 the Appropriation of Fund Balance.  It is a “rainy day” fund.  There is a certain percentage that the City has to maintain in that fund and it can only go up to a certain percentage before the money has to be spent.  This proposed year is the lowest we have used out of that Fund for a long time.  It is not an unlimited fund so it was decided to start this year with not relying so heavily on it and start to conserve.


Kyle went over the formula used to figure out how much money has to remain in the Fund and how much money can be used.  If the City ever gets to the point there is too much money in that Fund, the overage will be moved to the Capital Improvement Fund. 


 Buildings and Grounds, line 4160.270 dropped drastically due to the sound system.


Public Safety had a few increases.  Dispatch went up through no fault of the City and a new line was added, 4210.460, for the Victim Services Advocate. 


Animal Control-the only change is that in the past part of the wages of the part time police officer came out of this section.  Now the wages will come entirely out of Public Safety.


There is a decrease in Highways and public Improvements.  Line 4410.745 will go from $100,000 to $40,000.  Kyle mentioned that last year on top of the $100,000 the City spent another $600,000 on the Silver Acres Project.  We need to pay that money back.


Debt Service Fund is where the Bonds are paid from, money is transferred in and then out for the Bond payments.


There are no scheduled Capital Projects for 2014-2015.


The Water Fund does not need to balance.  The only Fund that needs to balance is the General Fund.


The Sewer Fund and the Garbage Fund are pass through accounts.  


Councilman Hirschi asked if the 5% the City gets from the Sewer District covers our cost of collecting the money for them. 


It was answered that it does not but the City has a contract with them.  If Councilman Hirschi would like it changed it will need to be brought up to the District.  


Mayor Gubler would like the Councilmembers to meet with Kyle over the next couple of weeks to go over the budget and ask any questions they may have so that it can be ready for a public hearing on June 4, 2014.  If possible, he would like to adopt it at that meeting as well.


Councilman Reeve will get his questions answered when he meets with Staff.

Councilman Hooten had no questions on the budget.

Councilman Stephenson had no questions. 

Councilman Hirschi had no questions.   


Kyle reminded the Councilmembers that if something comes up during the year and the budget needs to be changed one way or the other, a budget amendment can always be done.   


Councilman Reeve asked Derek what types of things are done with the money in Line 4410.745 that is being cut so drastically.  Is it the crack seal for the roads?  If so, how much will $40,000 allow the City to get done?


Derek answered it is the crack seal on the roads.


Councilman Stephenson said there is a map with the roads marked for the next Road Maintenance Project at the City Office.


Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to accept this budget as the 2014-2015 FY Tentative Budget, second by Councilman Brandon Stephenson.  Roll Call Vote:  Reeve-yes, Hooten-yes, Stephenson-yes, Hirschi-yes.  Motion carried unanimously. 


H.    Staff. Mayor & Council Reports: 

City Administrator- Kyle Gubler

Kyle reported the Easter Egg Hunt went well.

The re-scheduled Soap Box Derby race was held May 3rd.  There were several people asking if the City would consider doing the race as an annual event held in the springtime.  Kyle would like the Councilmembers to think about that and get back with him.

The 4th Grade Foresters planted the new City Christmas tree at the City Office.

The 5th graders white washed the “L”.

Kyle has posted pictures of all these events on the City’s Facebook page.

There is a hand out dealing with the Virgin River Gorge Rotenone Treatment.

There have been two police officers resign, Lloyd Watkins and Travis Romney.


Public Safety- Chief Ben Lee

The two officer openings have been posted and he has received many applicants.  The process is continuing Saturday with the physical fitness test. The oral interview will be Friday, May 16th.   Hopefully within the next two weeks the positions will be filled.

Chief has met with the County Sheriff and the Hurricane Police Chief who both offered to help cover when possible since Chief Lee and Officer Bulkley are the only full time officers we have.

Officer Bull will still be taking the weekends.

They are moving forward on the inventory and evidence issues.

Chief Lee has met with the City’s Prosecutor, Marshall McConkie to go over some concerns that had been brought to Chief’s attention and to reemphasize what the City’s expectations were.   In turn Mr. McConkie has given Chief information to pass on to his officers of things necessary to successfully prosecute the cases.


Councilman Hooten said that he understands the limited resources the Chief has right now but wondered if it would still be possible to have a police vehicle at the school crossing guard, particularly after school.  There were two vehicles today who almost ran into children in the cross walk.   He feels having the police presence there helps. 

In the past there has been flashing lights with limited speed to warn vehicles of the upcoming school crossing and he wondered if Chief could possibly recommend to UDOT putting those up again.


Director of Operations-Derek Imlay

  The 2014 Road Maintenance Project was officially completed last week.

All of the underground utility work in Silver Acres has been complete.  The curb and gutter has been torn out and they are putting down and re-compacting the sub grade so they can start the new curb and gutter next week.  There are 25 days left in the project and Interstate feels they will be finished on schedule.

The crew has been working on two irrigation breaks down by the Elementary School.  This is the third time working on this area of town.  Because the City has been able to place valves in more locations it keeps the number of people affected by the breaks down. 

The filters have done very well this year and the pressure is doing much better, there have been very few complaints.  He feels a lot of that has to do with the work the WCWCD did with their new gate system.

Sunset View Estates may be coming in shortly for preliminary approval on that subdivision.  With that will be Council approval on the Development Agreement.

The WCSD have partnered with Interstate Rock in extending Main Street down to the sight where the new elementary school will go. Interstate will bring the road in from SR17.  They will be 60 foot roads with the infrastructure included.  At that same time the School District will be doing a lot split separating the property they purchased from Interstate Rock’s property.   

Interstate Rock will be going to the Planning Commission to request a zone change.  One will be to an R-1-8 the other an R-3-6. 

There is still no return date for Doug Gubler.    


Councilman Reeve noticed in Kyle’s handout it stated the issue with the School District has been resolved and he wondered what that issue was.


Derek explained the School District feels that they should not have to pay any engineering fees. 

Until the issue of who should pay the engineering fees was worked out the City was holding the project up.  There was a meeting between the City and the School District to get it resolved.  Both parties were okay with the outcome.


Chief Lee forgot to mention during his report that Kate Wadsworth, our animal control officer, mentioned to him the overnight boarding fee is currently $20 per night.  There have been several people who found their dog after several days and could not afford to get the animal out of the shelter.  She feels lowering the fee to $10 per night would help with that issue.


Mayor Gubler will look at putting it on the next agenda.   


Treasurer-Troylinn Benson

Shut offs are on the 20th.

Financials are done quarterly.  The Councilmembers should already have those.

The front will be short staffed for the next several weeks.


Mayor Gubler-The property that is west and south of the Litchfield ball park is owned by UDOT.  If Litchfield’s don’t maintain that the responsibility could fall to the City.  


Hirschi-Nothing to report.


Stephenson-Nothing to report.  


Hooten- The Fire District did meet; Chief Kuhlmann covered most of that meeting.  One thing that was mentioned was the salaries.  They are considerably lower than other fire departments making it difficult to retain employees.  This will be a topic considered in the future.                        The community garden is a great thing.  If nothing has been said in your neighborhood or ward please pass the information along.                                                                                                       Ken thanked Travis Romney for his service to La Verkin City.  He often went above and beyond his duty.  


Reeve-Nothing to report.


L.   Adjourn:


Motion was made by Councilman Brandon Stephenson to adjourn, second by Councilman Ken Hooten.  Motion carried unanimously at 6:58pm.

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