La Verkin City Council Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Council Chambers, 111 S. Main, LaVerkin, Utah

 

Present:  Mayor Kerry Gubler; Council-Members:  Richard Hirschi, Ken Hooten, Chantelle Browning; Staff: Kyle Gubler, Derek Imlay, Kevin Bennett, Chief Ben Lee, and Christy Ballard; Public: John Valenti, Ray Justice, Steve Leavenworth, Chester and Georgia Hardy, Jan Last, Sandi Gubler, Paula Beatty, Blair Gubler, and Chief Tom Kuhlmann.

 

Councilman Randy Reeve, Councilman Brandon Stephenson, and Troylinn Benson have been excused.

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

        

B.        Recognition:

1.      Pam Lisonbee was given a certificate of appreciation, along with a gift card for all of her hard work in putting together the Annual Easter Egg Hunt this year. 

                                            

C.        Presentation:

1.   Steve Leavenworth thanked the Council for the opportunity to share with them the direction the Elementary will be going this upcoming school year.  According to City Data.com in 2012 the La Verkin high school graduation rate was 86%, Bachelor’s Degrees 17%, and a Professional Degree is 3%.  He worries about those statistics because those are the parents of his students. 

The current number of students in La Verkin Elementary is about 516 with 35 preschoolers.  About 10% of those English is the second language.  Special Ed is 14%, and the “at risk” percentage has fluctuated between 67% in the mid 90’s to 82% during the last two weeks of school this year. Most of which qualify for free lunch.  Our elementary school also has a lot of in and out movement.  The average daily attendance is about 94% and DCFS was at the school 49 times this past school year.  The staff at La Verkin Elementary School would like to help better those statistics and help break the cycle the kids are in and that is where this program comes in.

Jan Last explained The Leader In Me program is backed by Stephen R. Covey.  It began 15 years ago with a principal of a school who was faced with similar challenges as

La Verkin Elementary.  After implementing this program that school saw test scores go up and delinquency issues go down.  The faculty of La Verkin Elementary have all read the book and attended training to be ready to start implementing the program this upcoming school year.  They are hoping for a partnership between the school, parents, students, business leaders and City leaders.  They have gotten a lot of support from the local business.  One of the things they will be starting is a power hour reading day where leaders throughout the community are invited to come and read with the students and they would like to invite the Councilmembers.  It will be a couple of times a year and they will give the Councilmembers plenty of time to work it into their schedule.  This will show the children they have support from the leaders in the community.

Jan passed out the book The Leader In Me to interested Councilmembers. 

Councilman Hooten pointed out that the economy had a big part in people moving in and out frequently and wondered how the program will help with that aspect.

Steve Leavenworth replied the school is not able to control that, but they would like to offer the kids some skills to help break these cycles, no matter how long they are at La Verkin Elementary.

  

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.      May 7, 2014 regular meeting minutes

4.      Review Invoices and Checks:  $136,332.08

 

Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to approve the consent agenda as written including the May 7, 2014 regular meeting minutes and checks and invoices in the amount of $136,332.08, second by Councilwoman Chantelle Browning.  Roll Call Vote:  Hooten-yes, Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

E.      Committee Reports:  

1.      Planning Commission – The Planning Commission meeting had Interstate Rock discussing a possible zone change to their property at the end of Main Street.  They were given direction to move forward.  Once the Planning Commission has a public hearing Interstate Rock will be coming to the City Council for approval.

            There will be a public hearing for Sunset View Estates during the next Planning Commission meeting on June 11th

2.      Water Board – The Water Board meeting did not have a quorum so there was not a meeting.

            Mayor Gubler reminded everyone to please water from 6pm to 10am to try and conserve

            water.            

3.      Fire District-Chief Kuhlmann encouraged the Council to look at firework restrictions for the City.  So far it has been a slow fire season, hopefully that will continue.  He suggested designating a

            couple of parks for fireworks to keep them away from the hillsides and open fields.

4.      Sewer Board-Blair reported there was no meeting because they took the Board members on a tour of several different treatment plants.  It was a mixture of small treatment plants and some that have mixed lagoon systems with modern day treatment.  In the next 2-4 years if the County continues at the same rate of growth the Board will need to decide on one of those treatments or something similar.

           Blair explained the different communities the Board visited and what they saw at each location.  It was a good trip and was very informative.    

            Councilman Hooten asked if the 2-4 year plan included an upgrade to the current system.

            Blair answered the current system can handle up to 5 million gallons a day and right now it takes about 1.5 million.  Ash Creek would like to integrate what they already have into the expansion.

            Councilwoman Browning asked where the funds for the projected project would come from.

            Blair replied if the Board is careful with their money Ash Creek will be able to do some of the upgrades with what they are collecting now.  The last time a treatment plant was being discussed it was going to be in Confluence Park area and was a small self-contained building that would clean up the water to drinking standard and put it back into the irrigation system.

 

            Councilman Hooten asked if the building was put in Confluence Park would that water be

            available to the Park for either irrigation or fire prevention.

            Blair said that different ideas had been discussed at the meetings.  The reason it would be located in Confluence Park would be to save money on installing a new larger transmission line to the lagoons.  If it was put in the Park there would be a pond the water collected in and then when either Toquerville or La Verkin needed additional water it would be piped to them because it is their water. 

           Confluence Park has expressed a desire in that water.  It would be up to Ash Creek’s Board members as to what they would like to do.     

5.      Community Garden-Councilman Hirschi reported the garden is going well.

            Mayor Gubler reminded everyone La Verkin does have a community garden and anyone who would like to help with the weeding would be appreciated.         

                            

F.        Citizen Comment & Request for Future Agenda Items:

            Chester Hardy is a resident of La Verkin.  He has noticed La Verkin is getting a thistle problem.

He had notified Councilman Hirschi who did come and spray by his house and did a good job.  He thanked Councilman Hirschi but also wanted the other Councilmembers and citizens to be aware of the issue.  

 

G.    Public Hearing:

1.      FY 2013-2014 Budget Amendment

The public hearing was opened at 6:32pm.

 Kyle explained it is very common for a city to amend the budget near the end to make small changes so the budget lines up at the end of the fiscal year.  The Revenue for La Verkin was increased by just over $4,000 in this amendment.  They also moved money from one section to another which requires the budget to be opened and a public hearing to take place.  With the resignation of two police officers the Public Safety portion of the budget needed to be adjusted to pay out their vacation time. 

Money was moved out of the Animal Control section to the Public Safety section to help cover that. 

The General Fund was the only fund that needed to be opened, that information is in the packet.

 

Councilwoman Browning said that the cat issue will need to be addressed.  La Verkin’s animal shelter cannot accept cats and our citizens can’t take them to Hurricane.  It may not be a big issue now but it will be.

 

Councilman Hirschi mentioned that cats and dogs cannot be kept together so the only thing La Verkin can do if they want to take cats will be to add on to the building. 

He thanked Kyle, the Mayor, and the Budget Committee for the work put into the budget and the amendment.

 

Ray Justice commented it is good news that the money from building permits was increased.  That in turns increases our impact fee dollars for the streets.  He applauds the growth and the changes that have to be made and appreciates the time and effort of the Councilmembers. 

 

No other comments were made.

 

The public hearing was closed at 6:37pm.

2.      FY 2014-2015 Tentative Budget

The public hearing was opened at 6:38pm.

 

No comments were made.

 

The public hearing was closed at 6:39pm.

 

H.    Business:

1.      Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2014-04; A Resolution adopting the FY 2013-2014 Budget Amendment.

 

Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to accept Resolution No. R-2014-04; a resolution adopting the FY 2013-2014 Budget Amendment, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi.  Roll Call Vote:  Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes, Hooten-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

2.      Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2014-05; A Resolution adopting the FY 2014-2015 Budget.

Kyle pointed out the total revenue is lower in this budget than it has been for the last three years. 

This is a conservative budget. 

The Drainage Budget line number 6350.440- New Services is a new line item added at the request of Derek for drainage line repairs.  That is the only change added since the budget was presented at the last meeting. 

Everything else is the same as it was at the presentation of the Tentative Budget.

 

Councilwoman Browning asked Derek how much of the City was completed during the Water Meter project and wondered if staff applied for another grant to finish what didn’t get done.   

 

Derek answered we are short 255 meters from being completely electronic read meters.

 

Kyle said staff did start the grant process but then realized there was not enough money in the current year’s budget to pay the engineer to help with the process so it has been postponed until July and the new budget.  The grant should be ready to be submitted in four or five months.

 

Councilman Hooten asked if the revenue was projected conservatively as well.

 

Kyle replied that it was and that the property tax is a conservative guess as well.  In October or November the budget will be re-opened when we receive the actual number.

 

Councilwoman Browning stated that the main topic discussed with her by the citizens of La Verkin is the condition of the roads.  In this budget she noticed the dollar amount for road maintenance is less than in past years.  Is there a plan on improving the roads over the next few years?

 

Kyle answered that from decisions made in the past the City has bonds that have to be paid now.

We also just finished the Silver Acres Project, which was infrastructure and roads, and that was a $575,000 dollar bond.  With this being a conservative budget that was one area staff felt could be cut with the hopes that in the future we will be able to re-open the budget and put money back into it. 

 

Councilwoman Browning pointed out that there are a lot of roads that are in need of more than just a repair, they need to be completely re-done.  If it can’t be a priority this year then it definitely needs to be in the next year or two.

 

Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to approve Resolution No. R-2014-05; a resolution adopting the FY 2014-2015 Budget, second by Councilman Ken Hooten.  Roll Call Vote:  Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes, Hooten-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.    

 I.       Staff. Mayor & Council Reports: 

City Administrator- Kyle Gubler

Kyle reported the 4th of July is the next holiday.  The parade will line up at 8am at the Council Chambers parking lot.  There will be a float for the Councilmembers.  The program will be similar to what has been done in the past with most activities starting at 9am at Wanlass Park.  Claudia Pierce is heading the events.

            Silver Acres has just completed the paving portion of the project.  The new hotel has started paving today.

            There is a UDOT handout included in Kyle’s handout.  Kyle and Derek will be putting together a presentation to take to UDOT in regard to the section of SR17 on the way to Toquerville needing a side walk for pedestrians and a retaining wall for falling rocks/dirt.

            Doug is still out with no return date yet and Troylinn Benson had surgery so she too is out with no return date.

            Staff training for the past year is also included in the handout.

 

Ray Justice was able to attend the ZC3 meeting that Kyle was not able to get to.  He reported the ZC3 has received another grant for $19,000 to help with the Zion Scenic Byway Interpretive Plan.  The participation is $3,500 for the whole group of municipalities.  The Committee asked Ray to ask the La Verkin City Council if they would be able to contribute any amount to go toward the $3,500. 

            It is also the 100th year of the Utah Symphony and to celebrate that they are partnering with Utah State Travel and Tourism Board to host the Mighty 5.  The Utah Symphony will be at the 5 major National Parks to perform a free concert.  They will then be taking the music/slide show presentation with them as they tour Europe.  People must have a ticket to get in.  Right now participating hotels in Springdale are giving them out with qualifying reservations until July 1st at that time the remaining tickets will be available to the public through Zions Bank. 

 

Public Safety- Chief Ben Lee

Chief Lee reported the two new officers have been hired.  Amber Crouse and Dennis Wolsleger will start on June 7th.  Amber is coming from the County with over 10 years’ experience and Dennis is coming from Division of Natural Resources and has been in law enforcement for quite some time.  As far as education goes, three out of our four officers have received a college degree. 

He is grateful to the community as well as the other agencies for their patience and assistance while we have been short staffed.  However, it has been nice to build those relationships with the other agencies in the area and a lot has been accomplished over the last six weeks.

            The department has been working on several cases with Child Protective Services throughout the last several weeks and that too has provided for the chance to foster a relationship with them as well. 

            Officer Bulkley will be assisting Chief Lee in developing a field training program for new officers.  There has not been anything in place up to this point so they have been using programs from the County, Washington City, and Hurricane to put something together for our community.  It will be a six week training program.

 

Ray Justice knows Officer Crouse lives in La Verkin.  He wondered where Officer Wolsleger lives.

 

Chief answered Officer Wolsleger lives in Hurricane.

 

Councilman Hooten asked about the plan for coverage once the new officers start.

 

Chief Lee responded there is not enough man power for 24/7 coverage.  We will probably have a blank period from midnight/ 2am until 7am.  The County will cover during that time.

 

Councilman Hooten stated he feels the visibility during the weekend is important and he thinks the Police Department is doing a great job.

 

Councilman Hirschi asked if the County charges us for their services.

 

Mayor Gubler replied up to this point they have not.

 

Councilwoman Browning wondered the number of calls received from 2am to 7am.

 

Chief Lee answered he did not have that number with him but will get that for future reference.

He has also spoken with Animal Control Officer Kate Wadsworth about the cat issue and was informed there have been several calls this week concerning raccoons and skunks.  La Verkin is currently unavailable to deal with those animals as well.

 

Georgia Hardy lives next to the dog pound and she hopes cats are not as noisy.  She also stated that for porcupine issues people are supposed to contact DNR.  She also wondered if there are any plans for grass around the animal shelter.

 

Mayor Gubler replied there are no plans on the agenda for that.  We will improve it as we can.

 

Director of Operations-Derek Imlay

Silver Acres had their pre-final approval walk through today.  Everything looks good.  There is still some minor work that needs to be done but the project should be complete in a week.

There have been a couple of complaints, one has been taken care of and he was not sure the status of the other one.  Each property owner will need to sign off before the project can be finalized.  There is a one year guarantee on this project.  It has been a good project.

            The State was proposing to improve State Street but they have pulled that project until this time next year.  Derek did have the opportunity to discuss the drainage issues we are having along State Street and they have agreed to look into it.

            The crew just completed a couple of smaller road maintenance projects, one on 470 W and the other on 500 West.  They were able to address some drainage issues and build up the roads a bit. 

La Verkin has $10 million dollars in road assets.  The City is doing the best they can with trying to maintain them.

            The crew has started working on 100 South by the baseball field.  They are trying to reestablish the shoulder.  That will help with the asphalt chipping away.

            Nolan Hahn from American Conservation Experience attended a Confluence Park meeting to eradicate the invasive species Arundo from along the Creek Bed.  La Verkin owns a larger portion that we realized by the park in Riverwood Estates and that weed is on our property.  Staff will be down there next week removing it.  Nolan will try and coordinate with the land fill to have it dumped or it will be put in a pile until we can get permission to burn it.

 

Councilman Hooten thanked Derek for the work done on 500 West, that road had a lot of issues.

 

Mayor Gubler-Thanked Kyle for all of the work done on the budget.  He thanked Derek for all his work on both the roads and the water.  We are in a drought so the crew is trying to get the breaks fixed as soon as possible.  He thanked Chief Lee, Kevin, and Christy for all of their work.

 

Browning-Mosquito Abatement meeting reported they are trapping in all areas.  There are a higher number of mosquitos this year than in years past.  It may be because of more efficient traps or an increase of mosquitos, either way they want to remind everyone to stay covered up especially in the evening.      

 

Hirschi-The community garden could use some help weeding.  Anyone interested let him know.

 

Hooten- Nothing to report.

 

L.   Adjourn:

 

Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to adjourn, second by Councilwoman Chantelle Browning.  Motion carried unanimously at 7:15pm.

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