Confluence Park Executive Board and

Technical Advisory Committee Minutes

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 4:00 p.m.

435 N. Main, LaVerkin, Utah

Present:

Board Members:

Bob Sandberg                          Washington County – HCP

Darren Cottam                         Toquerville City

Kerry Gubler                           La Verkin City

Clark Fawcett                           Hurricane City

 

            Others:

Lucy Ormond                           Hurricane Trails Committee

Ken Hooten                              La Verkin City Council

Kathleen Nielson                     Grant Writer

Dennis Kay                              VRLPA

John Bramall                            Hurricane City            

Christy Ballard                         La Verkin City

Cory Martin                             Friends of Confluence

Casey Lofthouse                      Friends of Confluence

Susan & Chip Chapman          Hurricane

Dee G. & Lisa Atkin               Omni Solution, Inc

Marva & Brody Stevens          La Verkin

Brandi & Trey Johnson           La Verkin

 

                       

       I.            Meeting Called to Order:  Kerry Gubler called the meeting to order at 4:04pm.

 

  1. Approve Minutes: 

            Motion was made by Bob Sandberg to approve the January 21, 2015    minutes as written, second by Darren Cottam.  Bob-yes, Darren-yes, Kerry-yes, Clark-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

  1. Business:                            

E.     Community Service/ Eagle Scout Projects-Bob Sandberg

Mayor Gubler introduced Brody Stevens; he is interested in doing an Eagle Scout project in Confluence.  Brody read a list of ideas for his project.  Bob explained the pros and cons of Brody’s list and gave him some additional suggestions.

Brody was given approval to do a project in Confluence Park.  He will contact Bob for final approval once he has decided on which project he would like to do.

 

 

 

A.    Discussion of non-profit proposal-Casey Lofthouse/ Cory Martin

Casey introduced Dee Atkin, who has a presentation for this meeting that shows the direction they would like to go along with their plans and goals.  They also brought an MOU for the Committee to review.

 

Dee showed a two-minute introduction video to the process they would like to propose for a five-year plan for Confluence Park.  Restore the historical farm and power plant restoration, a living community farm with public gathering places, and a world-class education forum. 

The question may be asked how you create a living legacy at Confluence Park.  They believe it takes great ideas, a dream team of the right professionals and expertise, and leadership.  They also know it will take resources.  They propose, through the 501c3 non-profit, that they manage profitable enterprises on the Confluence Park area in keeping with the design that has been put in place by the Master Plan. 

The distillation of that is the final plan mandates that we interpret and preserve the historical settings, develop permanent agriculture and cultural events there, and restore and maintain the habitat.  Also, part of the final plan mandates are to manage profitable, sustainable enterprises on the Confluence that will help it be sustained for years and years to come and to create magical public spaces and a world-class educational site.  That is what they believe Confluence Park can become, Mother Nature’s best, by design. 

In the design process, they talk about zones 1-5.  Zone 1 being intense human input units and zone 5 is few, if any, human input units.  Zone 1 and the first approach in the five-year plan would be to preserve the historical settings, restoration of the dairy farm. 

The next project would be the power plant restoration. 

Agriculture Development would be zone 2 where pasture and food forest development is created.

Restoring and maintaining the habitat:  Remove the invasive species and restore the natural species in developing the River and camping areas where appropriate, low impact camping would be. 

Manage profitable, sustainable enterprises such as reenact the historical turn of the century farming along with world-class education for grade schools and visitors. 

There is a need for the project, a lot of vandalism, time and elements are taking it’s toll.  Vegetation concerns; there are people on their staff that are NRCS trained for restoration and know how to work with different groups such as Dedicated Hunter.

The sustainability mandate: Confluence Park shall be environmentally and financially sustainable by design.  Project constraints are the structural integrity of the historical buildings.  Ben Rogers, from CRSA is part of the team and has done many restorations throughout the State.  Conservation easement requirements have to be adhered to according to the Plan.  They suggest a 5-year plan to start, with a 25-year plan with performance mileposts to guide them.

The project benefits are; promote food security and local agriculture, historical participation, provide for community gathering, teach respect for natural resources and ask what if. 

Dee presented a list of people interested in helping with this project that included a biologist, many different architects, 501c3 experts and people from the community. 

One of the things proposed is the 501c3 Memorandum of Understanding.  

Their goal is to raise 5million dollars over the next five years to deploy this design. 

In order to accomplish this they need authority and responsibility through the MOU.  They will also need money and in order to get that the 2007 Plan needs “more flesh put upon it” of design guidelines and principles for the philanthropic people and grant writers.  They also need local, State, and Federal agency support and good will. 

 

Dee and Lisa Atkin reside in Hurricane.  They started the community garden there.  They work with high school students and the FFA creating educational programs for the students.  They live here, want to stay here and do projects here.  Lisa feels this project would be a great opportunity to create programs that would be beneficial and beautiful for the neighboring communities.

 

Casey passed out a copy of the sample Memorandum of Understanding to the Board and Committee members with bio’s on some of the people involved. 

One of the biggest issues is going to be money and they would like to start working on that as soon as possible.  That will take a Comprehensive Plan beyond the 2007 Plan with a high-end design plan engineered by people savvy in restoration projects.  They are aware of the conservation easement and know there are reserved rights that will need to be interpreted by the County with the other parties that have signed the agreement, that allow certain buildings with a certain design.  It would be a cooperative effort in making sure none of the conservancy easements were violated.  Before any major projects were started, they would need to make sure it didn’t violate any of the conservation efforts or the Conservancy Agreement.

 

Dee stated their proposal would be to move forward first to do the design guidelines and documents so all of those concerns were addressed.  In order to lay a foundation for legacy, you have to plan for the next 300-800 years.  You start appropriately, adhering to the principles laid down in the 2007 Plan and everyone in this meeting participating in the design shred, with experts making sure what is built is appropriate.    

 

Kathleen feels it is a good approach by doing the suggested project in little pieces and having a design shred. 

 

Casey pointed out it is the same idea as city planning.  As things change and progress there needs to be a comprehensive plan in place that has been designed and engineered so you are able to work around the obstacles that come up.   The engineered plan and design have to be in place for the project to be successful. 

 

Bob asked if the MOU needs to be in place before the 501c3.

 

Casey replied a lot of the funding that is available for projects like this is not available to government agencies.  In order for corporations to qualify for that money, they have to show they have a lease or Memorandum of Understanding on the property the funding will be used for.  That is the struggle, finding the balance of an MOU that everybody is comfortable with.  It will still be a cooperative effort.  The last thing he wants is for this Board to feel they don’t have any input on the project once the MOU has been signed.  That’s why if this moves forward and the comprehensive plan is put into place and the design issues and other concerns people have are written and engineered into that plan, it will be successful. 

The MOU does need to be in place for many of the funding options available.  The Friends of Confluence 501c3 and Washington County will be the signers on that MOU.

 

Dee stated the MOU would have to come after the 501c3.

 

Casey stated the draft MOU was written by Trent Segmiller who volunteered his time to work on the legal aspect of the 501c3.  He is very experienced in land leases and MOU’s. 

 

Bob mentioned the people interested in this project that were listed in the presentation would need to be paid.

 

Dee said he has been involved with similar projects that cost about $510,000 to create design guidelines and standards.  The people on the team will greatly reduce their fee because they do have an interest in Confluence Park so he thinks it will cost about $200-$250,000 for the guidelines and standards that will take this project all the way into the legacy.

 

Casey said the important aspect of this is to address all the concerns and make sure the design doesn’t violate the Conservancy Agreement and that everyone is okay with it before the project moves forward.

 

Dee said Friends of Confluence feel that if they can get the initial design guidelines and standards they can get the contributions. 

 

Mayor Bramall suggested starting with a conceptual plan and have each of the surrounding cities and the County put a little bit of money toward it for engineering.  Money is tight for everyone but once there is a plan, the 501c3 could “run with it”. 

There are people who look for green projects to offset their taxes.

 

Mayor Gubler would like time to absorb the information and see how the County Commission feels about it, and then we will get back to Casey and Cory.

 

Daren Cottam asked if the 501c3 had its board members.

 

Casey replied they have people interested in being on the board but nothing has been decided.  Some people listed in the bios are interested in being on the board for the 501c3 but there are other qualified interested people as well. 

 

Mayor Bramall has read over the agreement and it states Confluence Park will be kept in a farming state.  The people that donated the land could say the cities have defaulted on keeping it in a farming state.  On the other hand, once the County got involved there has been a lot of improvements made in Confluence Park.  Let’s finish the project now.  It’s a liability to have any asset. You need to decide what you need to do to keep that asset in as good of shape possible. 

 

Lisa said the 5-year plan and over view is a rough draft.  A true, comprehensive five-year plan will be developed later. 

 

Casey thanked the Board for their time.                                             

                

B.     Access Points Grant-Kathleen Nielson

Kathleen reported she has been meeting with Hurricane on their trailhead.  There has been a morph of the design.  The restroom and kiosk will be a single unit.  Kathleen passed around a copy of the footprint of what the building will consist of.  What will be seen on the approach is the restroom door, which is a single unit, and the storage room.  There is a 5-foot porch on the front and the kiosk will be under an overhang that will be 10 feet off the back.  It will have a smooth face with the block so signage can be put there.  The geology panel will not be on the wall, it will be a panoramic photograph done in the same material as the map signage.  It will start with Pine Valley Mountain and see all of the geological points over to the Hurricane Mesa, including what is inside the Park. 

There will be a timeline telling the geology.  There will not be a lot of text but will be pullouts that make comments about what things are and how old they are.   It will be on two posts and she thinks it will be about 5 feet long and 18 inches wide.

It will be facing the area that is being looked at and will be under the overhang.

The map will be in the same orientation as the La Verkin Creek Trailhead.  It will be smaller and will not have the pictures.   The thought right now is that they will try to incorporate some of the smaller signage like what is located on either side of the map panel at La Verkin Creek.

Reprinting some of the existing panels is not as expensive as creating new ones so they discussed reprinting some of the panels, like the history panel, for the blank wall. 
            The panels for the SR9 and Center Street Trailhead will be permanent and will be in full sun.  The company making them said black background with silver writing is the easiest to read in those conditions.  They are going to try a photo, either a subdued photo of the Park outline or a line art of it.  They will do different symbols for the Trails but the other information will still be on it.  The signs will be right over the River so Kathleen thought information about the River would be a good idea.  The signs will not be huge but big enough to read. 

 

Darren Cottam left the meeting at 5:05pm.

 

Kathleen suggested, on the building front at the Hurricane Trailhead, to explain how the Confluence area became a park instead of listing the contributors.

 

Kathleen is going to order the signage.  It is all on budget and the Board members were all okay with what had been presented.

 

Work has been started at the Hurricane Trailhead.  The parking area is going to be rectangle.   

              

C.    Feed barn removal-Bob Sandberg

Bob has talked with Chief Tom Kuhlmann about burning the old structure on the south side by the dairy barn if the railroad ties were removed.  Chief Kuhlmann thought they could do that but was going to look at the structure and get back with Bob.  Bob has not heard back from him yet.

      

D.    Land exchange/ acquisition update-Bob Sandberg

Bob reported the County Commission sent a letter to the Director of DWR requesting the ability to modify the easement and to pursue an exchange of property with Mr. Blackmore on the Hurricane side.  It would include picking up the property where the monument is located.   

Bob has not heard back from the Director.

Bob explained where the parcels are located.  He has talked to Larry Crist from the Fish and Wildlife Service as well as Henry Maddix and they are supportive.  There is some question about whether the easement can be modified.  In the easement it states that it can be modified as long as both parties agree.  The question is whether or not once the easement has been established if it can be lifted.

 

Mayor Bramall mentioned the NRCS has money for private entities and non-profit groups to help fund projects like what was presented earlier by Casey and Dee.

 

Mayor Gubler would like Bob to get with the County Commission and find out their thoughts on the Friends of Confluence.   He thinks the concept is good but is still unsure.

 

Kathleen said when she came on board, Confluence Park was a nature park and she isn’t sure how what Friends of Confluence is proposing will be a nature park. 

The farming aspect of the project is good.

 

Mayor Bramall asked about the water situation in the Park.

 

Bob replied there has been a proposal made for purchasing water shares over time.  The County Attorney is looking into that right now.  The price quoted to Bob seemed high to him.

 

Mayor Bramall stated if a water share in La Verkin is 51/2-6 acre feet per share, it would be some of the cheapest water he has heard of at $2,500 a share. 

 

Mayor Gubler suggested inviting Commissioner Victor Iverson to attend the next meeting.                  

          

F.     Public Concerns for Board Consideration:

No comments were made.

 

G.    Board members concerns:

Kathleen did talk to the State Trails Committee concerning getting more money, the answer was no, but he did have some good suggestions for future grants. 

 

H.    Adjourn:

Motion was made by Clark Fawcett to adjourn, second by Bob Sandberg.  Bob-yes, Kerry-yes, Clark-yes.  Motion carried at 5:19pm.

 

Minutes taken by Christy Ballard

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