La Verkin City Council Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, September 3, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Council Chambers, 111 S. Main, LaVerkin, Utah


Present:  Mayor Kerry Gubler; Council-Members:  Richard Hirschi, Ken Hooten, Chantelle Browning, and Randy Reeve; Staff: Kyle Gubler, Derek Imlay, Troylinn Benson, Kevin Bennett, Chief Ben Lee, and Christy Ballard; Public: Josh & Kristy Jackman, Chandler Jackman, Ray Justice, Lynn Bjorkman, and Blair Gubler.


Councilman Stephenson has been excused.


A.       Called to Order – Invocation by Randy Reeve at 6:00pm


B.        Presentation:

1.      Mayor Gubler presented Ray Justice with a certificate and thanked him, his wife and family for doing the seed display for the last several years at the Washington County Fair.  They represented the City very well.   


C.        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.      Minutes:  August 20, 2014 regular meeting minutes

4.      Review Invoices and Checks:  $47,792.43


Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to approve the consent agenda as written including the August 20, 2014 regular meeting minutes and checks and invoices in the amount of $47,792.43, second by Councilman Randy Reeve.  Roll Call Vote:  Hooten-yes, Reeve-yes Hirschi-yes, Browning-yes.  Motion carried unanimously. 


D.      Committee Reports:  

1.      Planning Commission – No meeting. 

2.      Water Board – Kyle reported the water usage was discussed and they went over the unpaid contracts and the people wishing to sell their shares.  There is a position open on the Water Board.  The Mayor also discussed water conservation.  They will be again asking the citizens to only water between the hours of 6pm-10am.                

3.      Fire District-No meeting.

4.      Sewer Board- Blair reported that each year the Sewer District tries to do a Capitol Improvement project.  This year it was on the East side of Hurricane.  The project has been completed but it was over budget about $60-$70,000.  They had to haul in additional backfill. 

            As they were doing maintenance an issue was found at the pump well by Walmart.  They will be going out to bid for that next week.

           They will also be replacing the pipe in Hurricane by Brentwood which will be a big project as well.  These two projects may take the place of next year’s Capitol Improvement project.

           There were also minor operational items discussed at the meeting.

           The project on 100 East in Hurricane has been completed as well. 


Ray Justice asked if Ash Creek knew why the pipe by Brentwood deteriorated so quickly.


Blair answered they know what causes the pipe to deteriorate but they aren’t sure why it happened so fast, they thought it had 15 more years left. 

5.      Community Garden- Richard reported the garden was a good experiment.  They are looking for a fenced area for next year.  It will be starting again in the spring.   


E.       Citizen Comment & Request for Future Agenda Items:

No comment.


F.      Business:

1.      Discussion, Council action of support, signing, and presentation of Mayor’s Proclamation in support of the week of Sep. 8-14, 2014, as National Suicide Prevention Week in LaVerkin.

Lynn Bjorkman is the Co-Director of Reach 4 Hope.  Reach 4 Hope is pleased that La Verkin is taking this action because suicide is a public health problem that affects every community.  Reach 4 Hope has been around since 2012.  They are a coalition that is helping Southwest Utah prevent suicide.  There are 17 agencies, as well as concerned citizens, that make up the coalition. 

            An average of 85 people per day commits suicide.  It is a topic most people are reluctant to talk about.  1 out of 62 people have a loved one who has died by suicide.  Suicide is a death like no other and the people left struggle with it confronting a pain like no other.  Reach 4 Hope commemorates those loved ones with an “Out of the Darkness” walk, this year it will be September 27th at Highland Park in Washington City.  They are also trying to educate citizens on ways to prevent suicide by offering trainings.    

Lynn thanked La Verkin City for the Proclamation. 


Mayor Gubler stated that he works in a business where he deals with individuals who have committed suicide and that it affects all types of people.  It is an issue we all need to be aware of. 

Mayor Gubler presented Mr. Bjorkman with the Proclamation.  


Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to approve the Mayor’s Proclamation in support of the week of September 8-14, 2014, as National Suicide Prevention Week in La Verkin, second by Councilwoman Chantelle Browning.  Motion carried unanimously. 


2.      Discussion and possible action to receive, accept, and approve for recording (when signed) the proposed Deed of Easement (Access and Public Utilities) for the Hotel Property located adjacent to Main Street and SR-9.

Kevin explained at the time the Subdivision Plat was recorded there was not an anticipated water line where it is now located.  The hotel is almost complete and staff wanted to make sure the waterline is in our possession so we can have access to it and to maintain it.  This will also take care of some easements on the north side of the property as well.  Rather than amend the subdivision plat at this time this allows us to move forward with what we need and the hotel to move forward with opening and then at some time in the future we will amend the plat and record it with the County.  All parties involved with this are in agreement that it is the most expeditious way to handle the issue. 


Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to receive, accept, and approve for recording when signed the proposed Deed of Easement, access and public utilities for the Hotel Property located adjacent to Main Street and SR-9, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi.  Motion carried unanimously. 


3.      Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2014-08; A resolution revising the City’s Personnel Policy to establish a City Driver Qualification Policy, and providing an effective date.

Kyle reported the Trust came to him with what at first was an optional thing to give the City a copy of staff’s driver’s license for insurance purposes, now it is mandatory. 

It will also make us eligible for a Safety Grant from the Trust for $1,200 if we adopt this resolution.


Kevin said the concern is if a City employee is about city business in their own vehicle their personal insurance may not cover any issues.  If staff is in city vehicle or equipment and there is an issue, the Trust is who will deal with that. 

If the employee has a citation of any sort it will get reported to their personal insurance but not the Trust which could cause the Trust a problem.  This allows them to be advised of any potential problem.


Mayor Gubler explained if staff is in their own car and get in an accident and an attorney can prove they were on City business they can sue the City, this will help protect the City. 


Councilman Hooten asked if Exhibit A was already in force. 


Kevin replied it is not.  The resolution will approve the insertion of it into the Personnel Policy.


Councilman Hooten commented that this will allow a City employee who has infractions while driving a city vehicle or his own personal vehicle to have action taken to suspend their driving privilege.

If an employee lost their license and their job required them to drive could/would the employee lose their job?


Mayor Gubler answered that yes action could be taken but not because of this policy, action could still be taken.


Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to approve Resolution No. R-2014-08; a resolution revising the City’s Personnel Policy to establish a City Driver Qualification Policy and providing an effective date as written by Kevin Bennett, second by Councilman Ken Hooten.  Motion carried unanimously.


4.       Discussion and possible action to approve the proposed professional services agreement with Rees CPA (RCPA) for auditor services for the City of LaVerkin for fiscal year ending (FYE) 2014 through FYE 2018.

Mayor Gubler explained that Hinton Burdick has been the City’s accountant for several years and have become quite expensive.  Caleb Rees has worked for Hinton Burdick and gave staff a proposal.  Shimmery Naegle also put in a bid, who also has worked for Hinton Burdick.  Caleb Rees is $12,000 less than Hinton Burdick and Shimmery Naegle was $6,000 less. 

The Mayor would like approval from the Council to sign the contract with Caleb Rees.  The contracted price will stay the same for the next 5 years. 

Staff has contacted the other communities Mr. Rees works for they gave him very good references. 


Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to approve the proposed professional services agreement with Rees CPA for auditor services for the City of La Verkin for the fiscal year ending 2014 through fiscal year ending 2018, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi.  Roll Call Vote:  Reeve-yes, Hooten-yes, Hirschi-yes, Browning-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.     





G.    Staff. Mayor & Council Reports:

City Administrator- Kyle Gubler

Kyle passed out his handout. 

1.      The first page is a proposed Winterfest schedule.  Winterfest will be December 6th

2.      The hotel has tentatively booked their rooms for the Red Bull Rampage which is September 21st.  He does not think they will be open in time and the owners may come to the City Council for permission to open without items being complete.  Some of the items are on the inside and have to be completed for the State Code and the Fire Code.  There are some items on the outside that don’t necessarily have to be completed but staff is concerned if they are allowed to open with them not being complete they may never get finished.

3.      The Cross Creek Main Campus has a youth home called the Three Point Center coming in sometime this month. 

4.      A different youth center will be going in at the Manor Campus sometime this month as well.

5.      Included in Kyles handout is a River’s Edge Resort conceptual plan that he attended a meeting for.  

6.      There is a proposed restaurant hoping to go in at the property directly north of the Post Office.

7.      The last handout is the vacation report.

8.      Kyle met with members of the Five Counties Area Association of Governments.  They are considering a St. George to Zion transit plan.  It has been considered before and a study was done but they are still trying to figure out how to fund it.  La Verkin would have two stops.  It will cost money and he told them the decision would have to be made by the Council.  They will be coming to the City Council at some point in the future. 

9.      Waters of the United States is something the Federal Government is trying to do with the EPA and the Army Corp of Engineers to define a scope of waters and how they are protecting them with the Clean Water Act.  This would make it so they would have control over all of the washes whether wet or dry and in Kyle’s opinion would not be a good thing. 

10.  The Forest Service Groundwater Resource Management Directive would expand the federal authority into areas that were traditionally regulated by the State.  It seemed to be the consensus at the meeting to eliminate as much of that as possible.

11.  There has been a bird found that may end up on the endangered species list that would effect this area of the State. 

12.  Most of the cities in the County, due to budget issues, have not set aside money for infrastructure repair.  That was a concern discussed. 

13.  Beautification Committee met before this meeting to discuss the State Street Clean up in October. 

14.  The idea of a quarterly newsletter has been presented to staff.  It would cost $1200-$1500 per mailing.  It would be a good idea to get information out to the citizens but is not currently in our budget and would be a lot of work.


Councilman Hooten commented that the hotel, with this event and others, would bring economic incentive to the community.  He is hoping we can work proactively to get the projects completed in time to pull the events off.  Possibly by letting them know up front they will not get approval until the projects are complete. 


Kyle agreed and said that John Postert has been very good about emailing the contractor as well as the owner of everything that has been required. 


Councilman Hooten thinks Kyle should continue his efforts on the internet with the

La Verkin page.  He is doing a great job and doesn’t cost the money that a mailer would cost.               


Public Safety- Chief Ben Lee

Chief Lee introduced the new animal control officer.  Her name is Patti Dekker; she has worked for many years with rescue groups and at shelters so she has a vast array of experience. 


Patti thanked the Mayor, Councilmembers, and Chief Lee for the opportunity to serve in this capacity.  She will make every effort to do the best job as she can.  This is the first time she has been an animal control officer. 


Chief passed out a handout. 

Work crew inmates from the County have been coming to work at the animal shelter for several weeks.  There have been 1-2 inmates a day for a full 8 hour shift.  They have been doing great work walking the dogs, cleaning the shelter and building a dog run.

            Officer Crouse was able to respond in 45 seconds to a woman who had stopped breathing.  Officer Crouse performed CPR and was able to save her.

Chief thanked Derek’s crew for getting the crosswalks painted.

Chief’s handout is of the requested statistics comparing last year to this year.  The first 4 pages are from the beginning of last year to the end of August.  It has the amounts and percentages of the different incidents.  The next 3 pages are from June 1st to the end of August for both years. 

The next report is of total traffic citations from January to August of both years. 

The last two reports are statistical analysis for this year from January to August.       


Councilman Hirschi commented that the only expense for having the inmates working at the shelter is transporting them to and from Purgatory. 


Chief stated the inmates are on a program where they do not need to be supervised 100% of the time.  The officers check on them throughout the day.  There is a screening process the inmates have to go through.  They are people who only have a couple weeks to a couple of months left and need community service hours and who only have certain types of offenses. 

Chief is planning on using the inmates as long as they are available and the program continues to benefit the City. 


Councilman Hooten would like to recommend police officers being at the crosswalk during the peak time of school getting out.  People seem to drive better when there is a police presence.


Director of Operations-Derek Imlay

Water breaks have decreased immensely.  The crew has been getting caught up with the patching.

Derek passed out the irrigation report for August.  This was the best month the City has had since August 2010.  Some of that is probably from the rain, but a lot he feels is from the citizens following the watering schedule.

The District had the irrigation offline for a couple of days last week because the turbidity of the River so we were off as well.  We are back on now.

Derek’s crew will be taking the inmates on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have them help with sweeping the curb and gutters out.  He thanked Chief for letting them do that.  It will save on the expense of a sweeper and Derek’s crew will take them back to Purgatory on those days.


Treasurer-Troylinn Benson

Troylinn stated that now the auditor has been approved she will be getting him all of the   paperwork he will need.  Staff likes to get all of that taken care of before the rush starts.  Hinton Burdick will not turn over all of La Verkin’s information so it will take a little bit longer but she has met with Caleb one time and feels he will do a good job.


Mayor Gubler-Would like to continue to encourage the citizens to conserve the water.  If anyone sees sprinklers running continually, try to let the people know about the suggested watering schedule. 

He would also like to start having a Mayor’s Walk quarterly beginning in December for Winterfest.  So if anyone has any ideas on where to walk to, let him know.


Browning-Julie Davis is the president of the Associations of Youth Councils and contacted her to invite the YCC to half day training on October 25th in Washington City.  She was wondering if anyone could take them to that training, her baby is due on the 20th.               


Hirschi-Nothing further to report.


Hooten-Commended Chief Lee and his staff on the great job they are doing.  He feels they are really making a difference in the community.


 Reeve-Nothing to report.  


H.   Adjourn:

Motion was made by Councilman Randy Reeve to adjourn, second by Councilman Ken Hooten.  Motion carried unanimously at 7:09pm.



            Minutes were taken on behalf of the City Recorder by Christy Ballard.

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