La Verkin City Council Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 6:00 p.m.
Council Chambers, 111 S. Main, LaVerkin, Utah
Present: Mayor Kerry Gubler; Council-Members: Richard Hirschi, Ray Justice, Ken Hooten, Randy Reeve, and Chantelle Browning; Staff: Kyle Gubler, Derek Imlay, Troylinn Benson, Kevin Bennett, Chief Ben Lee, and Christy Ballard; Public: John Valenti, Blair Gubler, Judy Abraham, and Debbie Lee.
A. Called to Order – Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was given by Chief Ben Lee at 6:00pm.
Mayor Gubler has asked Sherm Howard to serve as Alternate 2 on the Planning Commission to finish out the calendar year for Michael Hinckley. One of the Commissioners may be leaving to serve an LDS mission so Mr. Howard may be asked to replace him.
Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to approve Sherm Howard as Alternate 2 for the La Verkin City Planning Commission, second by Councilman Ken Hooten. Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes, Justice-yes, Hooten-yes, Reeve-yes. Motion carried unanimously.
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
3. Minutes: May 20, 2015 and June 3, 2015 regular meeting minutes
4. Review Invoices and Checks: $108,055.57
Motion was made by Councilman Ray Justice to approve the consent agenda as written including the regular meeting minutes for May 20, 2015 and June 3, 2015 and the checks and invoices in the amount of $108,055.57, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi. Roll Call Vote: Reeve-yes, Hooten-yes, Justice-yes, Hirschi-yes, Browning-yes. Motion carried unanimously.
D. Committee Reports:
1. Planning Commission-Councilman Hirschi reported the Commissioners are discussing a possible transition zone. They appear to be getting close to a decision, then it will come to the City Council.
2. Community Garden-Councilman Hirschi reported tomatoes have been planted. The youth homes have been helping with the weeding. The squash has been sprayed for bugs.
3. Water Board-Will meet next week.
4. Sewer Board- Councilman Hirschi reported the new Director started on Monday and will work with Darwin for about two weeks.
5. Fire District-Councilman Hooten reported the make-up of the Board was discussed. Hurricane will be officially back in the Fire District in July.
They are also discussing the equipment needs for each city in the District.
The La Verkin Fire Station remodel was also discussed.
The District is talking a lot about the future needs and funding for each city.
E. Citizen Comment & Request for Future Agenda Items:
Judith Abraham- She moved to Kissimmee Florida before SeaWorld and Disney, when it was still a small town like La Verkin. A County Commissioner stated Kissimmee would remain a “one horse town” even after those companies came in, he was wrong. That is what she is afraid will happen with La Verkin. Regarding the rules and regulations for vacation rentals and Bed and Breakfasts, Kissimmee didn’t have any of that and the City is terrible. She feels we need the rules and regulations, even if they seem strict. It doesn’t mean they need to be enforced but that they are there in case something does need to be enforced.
The next thing deals with the police officers. She has mentioned in previous meetings her concern over our police officers leaving for other areas that offer more money. Hurricane is hiring part time police officers starting at $15 per hour. She doesn’t know how much our part time officers are being paid but she doesn’t think it’s that much. We will lose the best police officers to other cities that will pay more and she is concerned.
Judith wondered if the Councilmembers have contacted other cities to find out what their rules are for vacation rentals or even asked La Verkin’s police department what they feel the rules should be.
These are things that need to be done so La Verkin doesn’t end up like Kissimmee.
F. Public Hearing:
1. FY 2014-2015 Budget Amendment
The public hearing opened at 6:10pm.
No comments were made.
The public hearing closed at 6:10pm.
2. To declare certain property surplus and to sell and/or exchange said property.
The public hearing opened at 6:11pm.
No Comments were made.
The public hearing closed at 6:11pm.
1. Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2015-07; A Resolution opening and amending the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 budget.
Kyle explained it is common for cities to amend the budget one last time before the end of the fiscal year to make the necessary changes.
The revenues exceeded our original budget so that adjustment was made. The Capital Project Fund (fund 48) is being zeroed out. This Fund was for the Silver Acres Project, some of the bills came in after July so it wasn’t able to be closed last year.
The Water, Irrigation, and Drainage Funds all had income that exceeded the original budget.
The money for the State Street Project is available so it will be paid this year, if the amendment is approved.
One of the findings last year from the auditor was not charging ourselves for the water we are using. To fix that finding, money was adjusted in the General Fund budget to show we are charging ourselves the same rate as the citizens for the water we are using. The revenue from the charge was put into the Appropriation of Fund Balance as recommended by the auditor. This item has been fixed for next year’s budget.
The line Class C Roads is money the City received from the Gas Tax that is collected six times a year.
Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to approve Resolution No. R-2015-07, a resolution opening and amending the FY 2014-2015 budget, second by Councilman Ray Justice. Roll Call Vote: Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes, Justice-yes, Hooten-yes, Reeve-yes. Motion carried unanimously.
2. Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2015-08; A Resolution declaring certain property to be surplus property and providing for disposition by public sale.
Councilman Reeve asked about the price difference between the two backhoes.
Derek replied the newer backhoe that we are going to keep was $25,000-30,000, the older one that we are surplusing is listed as $12,000-18,000.
Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to approve Resolution No. R-2015-08, a resolution declaring certain property to be surplusesd property and providing for disposition by public sale, second by Councilman Ken Hooten. Roll Call Vote: Reeve-yes, Hooten-yes, Justice-yes, Hirschi-yes, Browning-yes. Motion carried unanimously.
3. Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2015-09; A Resolution setting the Property Tax Levy for La Verkin City.
Mayor Gubler reported this is an annual business item that will be sent to the County.
Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to approve Resolution No. R-2015-09, a resolution setting the Property Tax Levy for La Verkin City, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi. Roll Call Vote: Reeve-yes, Hooten-yes, Justice-yes, Hirschi-yes, Browning-yes. Motion carried unanimously.
4. Consideration, discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2015-10; A Resolution regulating the use of fireworks within the city limits of La Verkin.
Mayor Gubler explained the two resolutions in the packet. Option 1 is restricting fireworks to public streets located farther than 100 feet from the hillside and to Wanlass, and Vintage Park, Option 2 restricts fireworks to Wanlass and Vintage Park only.
Last year had worse drought conditions so fireworks were restricted to the Parks, this year we have had rain.
Councilman Reeve asked if Chief Kuhlmann had voiced any concerns either to Staff or during the Fire District meeting.
It was reported the topic of firework restrictions was not discussed during the meeting.
Kevin mentioned the Fire Chief would never agree to no-restrictions because of the risk, but he mentioned to Kevin that some restrictions would be nice. The main concern is with the outlying areas.
Kevin said he did go to the Park last year and he felt it was unsafe. It is a lot of people trying to set off fireworks in one location. Whenever possible he would allow them in public streets and the Parks.
Councilwoman Browning agreed with Kevin on the Park not being safe.
Councilman Hooten asked Chief Lee how enforceable restricting fireworks are.
Chief replied there is one officer on duty so it is more educating the citizens rather than citing them.
Councilman Hirschi mentioned he has a background with the fire department and the issue with allowing fireworks in the street is people will often light them off in their driveway or backyard and that is a fire hazard.
Motion was made by Councilman Ray Justice to approve Resolution No. R-2015-10 option one, a resolution regulating the use of fireworks within the city limits of La Verkin to public streets and to the two major Parks, second by Councilman Randy Reeve. Browning-yes, Hirschi-no, Justice-yes, Hooten-yes, Reeve-yes. Motion passes.
5. Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2015-11;A Resolution supporting the HB 362 authorized .25% Local Option General Sales Tax dedicated to transportation, encouraging Washington County to submit the proposal to voters in November 2015, and encouraging voter support; and providing an effective date.
Mayor Gubler reported the County has required this item have individual votes listed on the resolution. The County would like to know which cities support the tax before they decide whether to place it on the ballot.
Kyle reported most of the cities have passed the resolution, but not all of them. If a councilmember votes yes it is implied they are in favor of both the tax and placing the issue on the ballot.
Kevin explained this is the only time cities can voice their opinion on the tax itself. Once an item is determined to be a ballot measure, cities cannot take a position.
Councilman Justice asked if the Unified Transportation Plan stipulates how the money is distributed.
Kyle replied this is a .25% Sales Tax increase. The amount we receive will be based on population. The cities will receive 40%, transportation receives 40% and the transit system/County receives 20%.
Councilwoman Browning mentioned while she is in favor of improving our community, between the RAP Tax that just passed and the possible recycling program charge she is not in favor of adding another tax to our citizens.
Councilman Hirschi will vote yes on this item so the citizens can have the opportunity to vote on the proposed Local Option General Sales Tax.
Motion was made by Councilman Ken Hooten to approve Resolution No. R-2015-11, a resolution supporting HB 362 authorized .25% Local Option General Sales Tax dedicated to transportation, encouraging Washington County to submit the proposal to voters in November 2015, and encouraging voter support; and providing an effective date, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi. Roll Call Vote: Hooten-yes, Justice-no, Hirschi-yes, Browning-no, Reeve-no. Motion does not pass.
6. Discussion and possible action to (a) approve the proposed Water Planning Grant Agreement with the State of Utah, and (b) authorize the City Administrator to sign the Agreement on behalf of the City.
Councilwoman Browning asked if Staff pursued this grant.
Kyle replied Sunrise Engineering came to Derek because they know the City needs to re-evaluate its water every five years and they knew about this grant. Sunrise Engineering prepared and submitted the grant knowing they would receive payment only if the City received the grant.
Kevin said it is important to stay current on the water plan. If any changes need to be made to either the rates or impact fees, an up to date plan is required.
Councilwoman Browning wanted to give her appreciation to whoever was responsible for this grant.
Kyle mentioned the money coming in and going out will be on the first budget amendment in the next fiscal year.
Kevin explained this grant if for culinary water only and Kyle needs the authority to sign the agreement.
Motion was made by Councilman Ray Justice to approve the proposed Water Planning Grant Agreement with the State of Utah and authorize the City Administrator to sign the Agreement on behalf of the City, second by Councilwoman Browning. Roll Call Vote: Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes, Justice-yes, Hooten-yes, Reeve-yes. Motion carried unanimously.
7. Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2015-12; A Resolution revising the City’s Personnel Policy to establish a Return To Work Policy regarding city employees injured on the job, and providing an effective date, as requested by the Utah Local Governments Trust.
Kyle explained this item is updating what the Trust is requiring to qualify for a grant.
Motion was made by Councilman Ray Justice to approve Resolution No. R-2015-12; a resolution revising the City’s Personnel Policy to establish a Return to Work Policy regarding city employees injured on the job, and providing an effective date, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi. Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes, Justice-yes, Hooten-yes, Reeve-yes. Motion carried unanimously
8. Discussion and direction to City Staff regarding the text of a proposed Bed and Breakfast and Vacation Rentals licensing, operations, maintenance, and safety ordinance.
Councilwoman Browning said it is getting closer but there are still some items she would like to change.
Number 3 under section C, she does not have an issue with a guest register being kept current but questioned if it was even legal for a police officer or City official to be able to demand that information.
The next item is number 8 under section J, other business owners are not required to post a sign with twenty-four hour contact information. This ordinance requires letters to go out to all surrounding neighbors with that information on them and the City will have the information on file.
She also doesn’t think a sign in the front yard keeps with the residential look.
Councilman Hirschi agrees with Councilwoman Browning’s comments.
Those were the only issues he had with the proposed ordinance.
Kevin explained those items came from a code given to him by a Councilmember. He did add to J-8 items a and b. This item is required so if neighbors are having issues with the renters, or if the Sheriff’s office responds, the property owner can be contacted.
Councilman Justice pointed out J-8 states “on the exterior of building”, not the yard.
He suggested adding a minimum requirement to the size of the sign along with the maximum.
Councilwoman Browning feels that if the contact information is required to be posted then J-2 should be removed so the property owner doesn’t have to do both.
Kevin would prefer leaving the sign and removing requiring notice to the surrounding property owners.
Councilman Reeve would leave them both commenting the sign will be mainly for the responding police officers.
Councilman Justice mentioned the letter is a onetime only thing. If the house was sold, the new owner would not have the contact information. He would leave in item 8 and remove 2, b.
Chief Lee said if a neighbor has an issue with the business, they would file a complaint with the City and the information will be on file. If police are dispatched to the property, they too will have access to the contact information.
Councilman Hooten doesn’t think there will be any issues with vacation rentals, he has a vacation rental on his street and it hasn’t caused any problems.
Councilman Reeve said he agreed that most vacation rentals will not be a problem but the neighbors need to be protected if there ever is an issue.
Councilwoman Browning feels the regulations already in place protect the neighbors.
Councilmembers Reeve and Hooten are fine with the proposed ordinance.
Councilwoman Browning asked how the Councilmembers felt about section C number 3, the guest register being kept and immediately available. She is fine with the records being kept and allowing the police department to request them, but they should not be allowed immediate access.
Chief Lee explained he has more experience with the hotel industry, not vacation rentals but when they have been called out to the hotel, the information is given voluntarily to the police. He does see a need for accurate records to be kept if there ever is a crime committed, but as far as a police officer requesting to see the information without probable cause, he is unsure of the law.
Councilman Justice said his understanding is that it is not law that information be provided without a search warrant. Some hotel management will cooperate with the police department for the health and safety of their customers.
Councilman Reeve would add “upon demand of police officers with probable cause or warrant”.
Councilman Hooten asked Kevin what City position would be considered City Officials in this item.
Kevin answered he is not sure what the intent was, but to him a City Official is the elected Councilmembers and the Police Department.
Councilman Hooten said he would be fine with removing City Officials but leaving police officer.
Kevin suggested changing it to “the register shall be kept current and available for review by emergency services” and then they can go through the lawful process to get that information so not to infringe on anyone’s first amendment rights.
It was decided to change the wording for C-3 to “requiring the record be kept current and available for review by emergency services”.
Mayor Gubler asked the Councilmembers opinion on J-8.
Chief Lee explained La Verkin shares their information with the Sheriff’s Office. When a business license is pulled for a vacation rental, he will make sure the contact information is put into the system so it will be available to the responding agency. He also suggested requiring the property owner to keep their business license information up to date. That would help with ordinance violations also.
It was decided to remove item J-8 but add the requirement that all vacation rental business licenses need to be kept current of any contact information changes.
Councilman Justice mentioned his biggest concern is that the person renting the home is paying the 1% transient room tax like the person staying in a hotel.
Kyle replied the business owner will be required to get a tax ID number.
Councilmembers Reeve, Justice, Hooten, and Hirschi support the ordinance with the two suggested changes.
Kevin mentioned this is one section out of an entire chapter for Transient Lodging. He wondered if the Councilmembers would like this section to be in lieu of the regulations for the other types of transient lodging or just a more specific section for vacation homes and bed and breakfasts with the transient room tax covering both.
Councilwoman Browning doesn’t feel vacation rentals are the same as hotels.
Kevin explained they are the same and mentioned these types of rentals are objectionable to the hotel industry giving the example of the regulations for a restaurant verses a regulations for a food truck.
This is transient lodging in a different form.
Councilman Justice agreed, stating he doesn’t feel the City should discriminate whether a person is staying in a home or a hotel, they should have the same expectations.
Councilman Hooten would like to see this chapter in context with the other regulations before he gives approval.
Kevin said he tried to do that the last time the proposed regulations were discussed. The issue was, the same regulation will affect the vacation rentals and the bed and breakfast facilities differently. Vacation rentals and bed and breakfasts either need to be treated differently by listing their regulations separately or the first section of the chapter is going to look technical as he is trying to make them apply under the entire chapter.
Mayor Gubler stated Kevin will make the two changes mentioned and the entire Transient Lodging chapter will be included for the Councilmembers to review and decide if this section will need to be separate.
Councilman Hirschi requested having a work meeting.
Mayor Gubler explained Kevin has tried to do that by sending the information to each Councilmember but is not getting a response until the meeting.
H. Staff, Mayor & Council Reports:
City Administrator- Kyle Gubler
Kyle emailed his report to the Councilmembers.
There will be a float in the July 4th parade for the Councilmembers.
Mr. Murset has agreed to chair the next Founders Day.
Kyle included an updated copy of the Community Service Hours report.
There are six candidates running for three seats for City Council. There will not need to be a primary election. The candidates are; Micah T. Gubler, Richard M. Hirschi, Darshan Joshi, Ray Justice, Debbie Lee, and Randy Leo Reeve.
The City collects public safety impact fees and part of those fees is for fire safety protection. Up to this point, the City has not been passing that along to the Fire District so the City does owe the Fire District.
The District is talking about collecting their own impact fees like Ash Creek and WCWCD but until then the City will pass the money along to them.
The money the City owes the Fire District will be paid by covering some of the bills from remodeling the fire station. Kyle is not sure yet the amount the City owes the District.
Kyle included a letter from the National Park Service informing the City fees in the Parks have increased.
Public Safety- Chief Ben Lee
Chief said Judy Abraham volunteers several times a week in the police department. She worked for the Kissimmee Florida Police Department in the 1960’s. In the past several months, she has been digitizing the records for Chief, which has been a huge help. He wanted to thank her for doing that.
Officer Crouse was in a jury trial, which doesn’t happen very often, but the defendant was found guilty on all counts. Chief listed those charges.
Toquerville City Council approved the animal control agreement. It will be presented to the City Council as soon as Kevin has had a chance to review it.
Councilwoman Browning asked how many hours Officer Crouse spent on the trial.
Chief replied she was at the trial all day Monday and most of Tuesday plus the trial prep time was an additional 6-7 hours.
Mayor Gubler thanked Judy for her work with the police department.
Director of Operations-Derek Imlay
Doug Gubler had triple by-pass surgery two weeks ago. He will be out at least 8 weeks.
The crew will finish the drain line from the State Street project tonight so the irrigation water can be back in the system. The irrigation water has been out since 7am today and should be in by midnight.
Interstate Rock will start roto-milling the east side of State Street and working on all the corners making them ADA compliant. The east side will have new asphalt but will not need to be over excavated like the west side. The plan is to have one lane going north and one going south open on their respective sides while they work on the concrete collars by August 8th. The date of completion is still the end of August.
The City sent out 108 door hangers on Thursday, we had 16 shut offs on Tuesday and as of today 3 are still off. The door hangers seem to be working.
Browning-Her committees have not met since the last meeting.
Hirschi-Nothing to report.
Justice-Nothing to report.
Hooten- Nothing to report.
Reeve-Solid Waste approved the contract to pick up the waste with Dixie Recycling. They also approved the bid for Rocky Mountain Recycling to handle what Dixie Recycling picks up. The next step is for a resolution from the City deciding which option, mandatory or opt out, they would like. Once that resolution is passed, the City has sixty days to notify the citizens. At the end of those sixty days, the Solid Waste District will count and if the participation rate is 50% or less, County wide, the program will go away. If participation is above 50% the price will be locked in at opt out- $3.89, or mandatory-$3.69. Dixie Waste will then have sixty days to get their equipment ready and then sixty days from that point they will start picking up recycling. The resolution needs to be passed as soon as possible. Kyle has a copy of the letter from Solid Waste giving instructions for the resolution. Randy went over the two most common options. Mandatory is less work for the cities and staff but has the most grief with the citizens. The opt out option is the one Councilman Reeve is in favor of and gives the citizens sixty days to opt out. Under this option, a variance can be given to citizens that can prove hardship. If a person moves, the new homeowner will be automatically enrolled in the program and the person moving will follow the rules of their new city. A city can come up with their own plan, but these are the two options Dixie Waste has approved. The binnies will remain with either option.
Mayor Gubler suggested preparing both resolutions to present to the City Council for a decision.
Councilman Reeve will follow up with Mr. Schwendiman on the definite deadline, but he thinks they would like the resolutions completed by August 15th.
Motion was made by Councilman Ray Justice to adjourn, second by Councilman Ken Hooten. Browning-yes, Hirschi-yes, Justice-yes, Hooten-yes, Reeve-yes. Motion carried unanimously at 7:37pm.
Minutes were taken on behalf of the City Recorder by Christy Ballard.