La Verkin City Council Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:00 p.m.

Council Chambers, 111 S. Main, LaVerkin, Utah

 

Present:  Mayor Ken Hooten, Council Members:  Richard Hirschi, Steve Leavenworth, Micah Gubler and Randy Reeve; Staff: Kyle Gubler, Kevin Bennett, Derek Imlay, Chief Ben Lee, Troylinn Benson and Christy Ballard; Public: Christy Webb, Phyliss Terrana, Judy Abraham, John Valenti, Judy Schultz, Debbie Lee, Fred Stump, Sydnie Jensen, Chief Tom Kuhlmann, Blair & Jilene Gubler and Patty Wise. 

 

Councilmember Chantelle Browning was excused. 

 

A.  Called to Order – Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance were given by Randy Reeve at 6:00pm.   

              

B.  Recognition:

            1. Debbie Lee-July 4th Celebration

Mrs. Lee had not arrived.  

 

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.       Minutes:  May 17, 2017 and June 7, 2017 work meeting, May 17, 2017 and June 7, 2017 regular meeting

3.       Review Invoices and Checks:  $469,822.06

 

Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to approve the consent agenda as written, the minutes of the May 17, 2017 and June 7, 2017 work meeting, May 17, 2017 and June 7, 2017 regular meeting and checks and invoices in the amount of $469,822.06, second by Councilman Randy Reeve.  Roll Call Vote:  Reeve-yes, Gubler-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Hirschi-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

B.  Recognition:

            1. Debbie Lee-July 4th Celebration

Debbie Lee was given a certificate of appreciation and a La Verkin City collector coin for her work in coordinating the annual July 4th celebration. 

 

D.  Committee Reports:  

1.      Planning Commission-Councilman Hirschi reported the planning commission is discussing changes to the vacation rental ordinance.  There will be a public hearing scheduled and then it will come before the City Council.      

2.      Water Board- Kyle reported the quarterly water board meeting was a standard meeting.  Water delivery contracts and the budget were discussed.  The Board also discussed time of day watering and low water pressure caused by the water cannons used by field owners to irrigate.

Derek will report further on culinary and irrigation water during his report.        

3.      Sewer Board- Blair reported cleanup around the lagoons had been completed.  The equipment for the bar screen should be here the first week in August. 

4.      Fire District-Chief Tom Kuhlmann reported HVFSSD participates in a nationwide process that allows certified firefighters to fight fires in other locations.  The local firefighters that are part of the program have been to numerous places in Utah, Nevada, Arizona and California.   

            

  E.  Citizen Comment & Request for Future Agenda Items:

Fred Stump-He mentioned La Verkin is getting a lot of hotels and wondered if the City was pursuing any restaurant chains that would serve the locals. 

 

Mayor Hooten commented the City is always looking to attract new businesses, including restaurants.  A new economic development board has been established, the Hurricane Valley Tourism Board, and part of their job is to attract new businesses. 

The local news reported in 50 years Washington County will have 500,000 people in it. 

 

Mr. Stump asked how the County will handle the water supply situation, he doesn’t feel the County has enough water to take care of the people in the area. 

It also bothers him to see people in La Verkin watering in the middle of the day.  That is a waste of water. 

 

Mayor Hooten explained the City does have the ability to impose water restrictions.  They have not done it yet this year but are constantly watching the water usage. 

He invited Mr. Stump to meet with him to go over some of the proposals to deal with the water issue. 

 

Mr. Stump asked about enforcing the weed nuisance in the City.  He feels it is a fire hazard when people don’t take care of their weeds.

       

Phyllis Terrana-She stated she has been complaining about neighboring properties weeds for 10 years and nothing has happened. 

She would like to be able to go out of town without coming back to a bad surprise.  It’s interesting how the City knows when she is out of town.  In the spring of 2016 she went out of town and came back to her trees dead from lack of water.  This time she left for a week and came back to a fence running from her northeast corner to her south corner.  It’s only on her property but the block wall goes further than her property. 

She did not put the block wall up.  It was put up against her will and destroyed her yard, 17 years of work.  The issue today is they didn’t weed before they put the new fence up.  There are 20 inches of solid weeds that she can’t reach. 

 

Mayor Hooten asked Ms. Terrana to schedule a time to meet with him after he has had time to review the situation.     

     

F.  Business:

1.       Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2017-11; A resolution setting the Property Tax Levy for La Verkin City.

Motion was made by Councilman Micah Gubler to approve Resolution No. R-2017-11, a resolution setting the Property Tax Levy for La Verkin City, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi.  Hirschi-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Gubler-yes, Reeve-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.    

          

2.        Discussion and possible action to approve Resolution No. R-2017-12; A resolution approving the designation of two representatives to serve on the Administrative Control Board of the Ash Creek Special Service District for calendar year 2017 and for such time thereafter until successors thereof have been designated and appointed.

Mayor Hooten explained the Mayor sets on the Board and recommends a councilmember to fill the second seat.  Randy Reeve was recommended for that position. 

   

Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to approve Resolution No. 2017-12; A resolution approving the designation of two representatives to serve on the Administrative Control Board of the Ash Creek Special Service District for calendar year 2017 and for such time thereafter until successors thereof have been designated and appointed, second by Councilman Steve Leavenworth.  Roll Call Vote:  Reeve-yes, Gubler-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Hirschi-yes.  Motion carried unanimously. 

 

Mayor Hooten thanked Councilman Reeve for his willingness to serve on the Ash Creek SSD Board and feels he will be a great asset. 

       

3.       Discussion and possible action to set a public hearing on the proposed Ordinances establishing, revising, and /or increasing the Salary Schedules for nonelective statutory officers and nonstatutory officers and employees.

Mayor Hooten explained after reviewing the salary range ordinance he realized the ordinance is very outdated, that most of the employees would not be eligible for a salary increase.  This new ordinance would increase the salary range and allow for possible wage increases.

 

Kevin explained this ordinance does not affect a one time “bonus”. 

 

Councilman Reeve clarified the motion is only to set the public hearing, not to approve the ordinance. 

 

Kevin asked the Councilmembers to review the ordinance and get him any changes before the public hearing. 

 

Councilman Reeve would like the ranges lowered because of the budget restraints La Verkin City has. 

The Council does not control wage increases only the pay ranges.  

 

Councilman Gubler asked about the steps involved in giving raises.

 

Mayor Hooten explained a director raise goes through the city administrator with approval from the mayor, although ordinance does not require mayor approval. 

With recent salary increases, the Council was asked to ratify the increase. 

Kyle likes to make sure the Councilmembers are aware of any proposed increase, that it is discussed with them and possibly approved by them before it is ever done.    

The ranges are looking to the future.  Salary ranges have not been changed for more than 6 years. 

Changes with the cost of living index and changes with personnel in terms of positions available, all affect salary ranges which was the reason behind this item.  It does affect a lot of the employees right now.  They would not be able to get a salary increase even though they deserve one with the current salary ranges. 

 

Kyle explained a director will submit a proposal to the city administrator who will then deny, modify, or agree with the proposal, he then takes the proposal to the mayor for final approval.

Proposed wage increases do need to be included in the budget or a budget amendment.

Director increases are submitted to the mayor by the city administrator. 

The salary ranges in the proposed ordinance were determined by comparing La Verkin City wages with surrounding community wages and similarly sized communities within the State.    

 

Councilman Gubler agreed with Councilman Reeve that he would not be in favor of moving all employees to the top of their salary range immediately.  He would be fine with approving the ordinance with the idea of flexibility for the future.

 

There was a discussion on different programs that could be implemented for pay increases.

 

Mayor Hooten feels pay increase programs are something that should be discussed in the future.  It is a competitive business trying to hire and maintain employees and increasing the salary ranges is the first step in the process. 

 

Kevin mentioned it is important to have up to date job descriptions when comparing wages.

 

Motion was made by Councilman Steve Leavenworth to set the public hearing on the proposed Ordinances establishing, revising, and /or increasing the Salary Schedules for nonelective statutory officers and nonstatutory officers and employees for the August 2, 2017 City Council meeting, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi.  Hirschi-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Gubler-yes, Reeve-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.    

 

There will be a work meeting before the August 2, 2017 meeting at 5pm to discuss the salary ranges.

                 

4.       Discussion and possible action to set a public hearing on a request or proposal for the City Council to authorize certain nonmonetary assistance and/or the waiver of certain required fees to be paid by the

La Verkin Community theater for FYE June 2018.

Kyle reported that staff met with representatives from the La Verkin Community theater to discuss the issues brought on by them changing to a 501(c)3 (nonprofit) organization.  Both parties were willing to work together in coming up with a solution that would work for both.  It was determined at that time a public hearing would need to be held for input on the options regarding the use of 111 South Main.  The public hearing can be held at any time but he would not like any action taken on the item until the theater has met all the requests made by the City.  Those requirements are that the theater will remove their items from the 3 rooms in the basement of 111 South Main by August 15th.  They will stop using the City’s charge accounts and will return all building keys and fobs by August 15th.

Staff would like the City Council to consider an in-kind donation to the La Verkin Community theater of two, seven-day periods, that will be scheduled in advance, for performances.  This will include clean up time. 

The theater has always been willing to put on a play during Winterfest, this would not be included in the two-week period.

The theater will be required to pay a $200 cleaning deposit at the beginning of each period that will be fully refundable if the building is clean at the end of those seven days. 

The public hearing is a state requirement for any in-kind donation given to a 501(c)3 entity and will be an annual requirement.                  

 

Kevin pointed out that unlike a lot of other nonprofit programs who cater to a certain segment of the population the theater is open to everyone in the community as either participants or viewers.

 

Motion was made by Councilman Randy Reeve to set a public hearing on a request or proposal for the City Council to authorize certain nonmonetary assistance and/or the waiver of certain required fees to be paid by the

La Verkin Community theater for August 2, 2017, second by Councilman Steve Leavenworth.  Reeve-yes, Gubler-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Hirschi-yes.  Motion carried unanimously. 

        

5.       Discussion and possible action to approve Proclamation 2017-03; A proclamation designating July 1-7, 2017 as Independents Week.

Kyle said this item rolled over from the last cancelled meeting as a showing of support for the proclamation.   

 

Motion was made by Councilman Micah Gubler to approve Proclamation 2017-03; A proclamation designating July 1-7, 2017 as Independents Week, second by Councilman Richard Hirschi.  Hirschi-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Gubler-yes, Reeve-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

6.       Discussion and possible action to authorize the Mayor to award the contract for the fire house addition.

Kyle reported Nichols Building LLC has been selected to extend the bay and build a shell around the living quarters for future use. 

 

Kevin said while the contract is not typical to La Verkin City contracts, it is enough and the project needs to move forward.

 

Councilman Reeve asked how the contract went from La Verkin City being the sponsor of the project to overseeing the project. 

 

Kyle explained the project had a completion date of end of year 2017.  The City may be able to file an extension but Nichols felt like they could have the project finished on schedule.      

 

Chief Tom Kuhlmann said La Verkin City started the process a number of years ago by applying for a grant under the name of La Verkin City.  The Fire District agreed to provide the matches to the grant and provide additional funding. 

The roll of La Verkin City was to apply for the grant, accept the grant, and extend the grant.  It is no cost to the La Verkin citizens, only to the District.

 

Mayor Hooten recommends approval. 

    

Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to authorize the Mayor to award the contract for the fire house addition, second by Councilman Steve Leavenworth.  Roll Call Vote:  Hirschi-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Gubler-yes, Reeve-yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

                       

K.  Staff, Mayor & Council Reports: City Administrator, Public Safety, Director of Operations, Treasurer, Mayor and Council as follows:

City Administrator-Pioneer Day/Founders Day is Monday.  He went over the event schedule.

The end of summer water day is August 4th

The Washington County Fair ribbon cutting ceremony is Wednesday, August 9th

Kyle included a copy of the work order spread sheet.  This is a new program that will help the process run more efficiently.  Randy Slack will contact the citizens once a week to update them on the status of their work order.

Tonya Rivera is the new sports director. 

The La Verkin City Police Department participated in the 2017 Law Enforcement Torch Run.    

 

Public Safety-There are two crossing guard positions open and the part time police officer position is still available. 

There is a monthly chief meeting that Chief Lee attends.  At the last meeting, the Drug Task Force reported an upswing in the use of heroin.  Heroin is much more dangerous than meth so our officers have begun carrying naloxone which counteracts heroin.  Chief has noticed an increase in overdoses in the last month.

The naloxone was a grant from the Health Department.  

There have been two fraud cases targeting the elderly this month.

The animal shelter is averaging about 5 dogs per week.

Several flatbed trailers have been stolen in Hurricane and La Verkin.                 

The statistical data from June was included in his emailed report.

 

Director of Operations­-Derek passed out a summary of the meeting between the City and Interstate Rock on the 300 West road improvement project.  The project is ahead of schedule and should finish about the time school starts. 

He included pictures of a break on 590 W and Center Street with a repair cost of $3,500 and an irrigation break with a repair cost of $2,500.  It is only two weeks into the new budget year.

Centurion Park, Zion View Estates Phase 2 and Cherry Orchard Phase 2 all have the substandard pipe discussed in previous meetings.  Instead of repairing those lines the crew has begun replacing the lines from the water meter to the main line to prevent additional breaks. 

Derek went over the new procedure for work orders and included a copy of the progress that has been made on them. 

Derek and Kyle have met with the County to receive their assignments for Confluence Park.  The contract requires

La Verkin to put in 20 hours a week or 80 hours per month in the Park.  The City will be compensated for that time. 

 

Mayor Hooten suggested the Councilmembers meet with Derek to view some of the issues his crew is dealing with. 

 

Derek mentioned along with the increase in breaks and work orders his crew is also inspecting the 300 West project, Sunset View Estates and the Cottonwood Hollow project.         

 

Treasurer-Troylinn thanked Derek for the new work order system.  Having Randy specifically handling them has alleviated a lot of calls. 

The number of shut offs has steadily been decreasing each month.      

   

Mayor Hooten-County Commissioner Iverson has been pushing to improve Confluence Park and there have been a lot of changes over the last several months on both the La Verkin and Hurricane side of the Park.        

                 

Hirschi-Nothing to report.         

 

Leavenworth-Nothing to report. 

 

Gubler-suggested educating the elderly somehow about the Do Not Call list they can sign up for.

A representative from Zion National Park spoke to the Council several months ago about the overcrowded situation. 

The item has been in the newspaper this past week and he went on to comment and noticed a spot where you could comment as an official city representative.  He wondered if the City wanted to take a position on the situation and have the Mayor comment. 

The choices they have put out for public comment are one, leave the Park as it is.  Two, make a daily reservation to Zion National Park and the third is to reserve a specific area of the Park. 

Councilman Gubler pointed out two of the three options are restricting and feels that is the way they are leaning.  He personally feels they need to take more time before they restrict.        

 

Kyle mentioned the decision they make does not affect just the Park but the entire corridor.  

 

The Councilmembers will email Mayor Hooten their opinion and he will put something together, get their approval and then submit it. 

 

Mayor Hooten mentioned this is not a problem unique to Zion National Park.  It is a challenge for the National Park Service to retain what the parks were set apart for at the same time providing a good experience to people from all over the world.       

 

Reeve-Nothing to report.

 

H.  Adjourn:

Motion was made by Councilman Richard Hirschi to adjourn, second by Councilman Micah Gubler.  Hirschi-yes, Gubler-yes, Leavenworth-yes, Reeve-yes.  Motion carried at 7:39pm.

 

 

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

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