Centerville City Hall
250 N. Main Street
Centerville, UT 84014
(801) 292-8034 fax
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
March 17, 2015
Minutes of the Centerville City Council meeting held Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Centerville City Hall Council Chambers, 250 North Main Street, Centerville, Utah.
Mayor Paul A. Cutler
Council Members Tamilyn Fillmore
MEMBERS ABSENT Ken S. Averett
STAFF PRESENT Steve Thacker, City Manager
VISITORS Curtis Koch, County Clerk/Auditor
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
PRAYER OR THOUGHT Steve Thacker, City Manager
NEW POLICE OFFICER INTRODUCTION
Police Chief Worsley introduced the Centerville Police Department’s new police officer, David Davis. Officer Davis’ previous experience includes six years of service in the United States Air Force, and five and a half years with the Davis County Correctional Facility.
Lee Skabelund – Mr. Skabelund expressed appreciation for the Centerville Police Department. He stated that in the 25 years he has lived in Centerville he has never had a negative encounter with the Police Department.
Phil Sessions – Mr. Sessions is a Centerville resident. He said he is perturbed with the changes that are taking place on Main Street. He stated he feels that the owners of the property on Main Street between 300 South and 400 South should not be allowed to do what they want to do. He referred to the amount of parking currently available at some of the commercial properties, and said he thinks sufficient parking should be required. Mr. Sessions reminded the Council that they were elected to protect the citizens.
Robyn Mecham – Ms. Mecham stated that she heard from Mr. Sessions of an agreement between the Pitt group and the City that the property referred to by Mr. Sessions would be purchased for additional parking. She asked that the City research the possibility of such an agreement. Ms. Mecham said she feels the Planning Commission is there to look after rules and regulations, and the City Council is to look after the interests of the citizens. She said she has done a lot of research regarding Main Street, and she believes most small towns do not zone by building rather than acreage. She stated the only reason to zone by building would be for high density. Ms. Mecham said that when the overlay was looked at she was told the density is necessary to support the commercial. She said things have changed, and developers, the Planning Commission, and residents are all saying that commercial is not viable on Main Street. If commercial is not viable, she feels the density should be lowered. She also said that, with recent developments in Centerville, the City does not have the same need for affordable housing that existed in 2007. Ms. Mecham stated that she does most of her shopping online, and in five to seven years she believes there will be less commercial business on the streets. She asked if the historic corridor is really the place for high density. She pointed out that Centerville Junior High students walk past the property in question every day, and suggested that student safety should be considered. Ms. Mecham provided the Council with copies of her comments.
Nancy Smith – Ms. Smith said she feels she was not properly notified of the discussions taking place regarding the proposed change to the City core area. One public notice indicated that chapters or sections of the Main Street Plan were being looked at, and the other public notice was specific to the two residential properties being rezoned from Residential-Low (R-L) to Commercial. In reading the minutes, Ms. Smith said she realized that the City center was being discussed. She does not feel her neighborhood fully understood the scope of what was being considered. She said she feels that one notice is not sufficient for an eight-block radius. Ms. Smith said that more people would have participated in the discussion if they had realized the full scope. She said she believes there was a lot of confusion amongst the Commissioners about the full area they were voting on. She asked that the Council reopen the matter for consideration if they believe due process did not take place.
Rick Bingham – Mr. Bingham thanked the City Council for their vote two weeks ago on the non-debt version of the Drainage Fee increase. He also asked if it would be possible to provide a moment for public questions after the Davis County Election Manager presentation. Mr. Bingham asked that the candidate election packet be brought up to date to accurately inform candidates about the process.
Mayor Cutler closed the open session, and stated that the proposed changes to the Main Street Plan have not been brought before the Council for consideration.
MINUTES REVIEW AND ACCEPTANCE
The minutes of the February 17, 2015 Council meeting, February 24, 2015 Special meeting, and March 3, 2015 work session and regular Council meeting were reviewed. Mayor Cutler requested an addition to the February 17, 2015 minutes, and Councilwoman Fillmore requested an amendment to the March 3, 2015 regular meeting minutes. Councilman Wright made a motion to approve the February 17, 2015 minutes as amended, the February 24, 2015 Special meeting minutes, the March 3, 2015 work session minutes, and the March 3, 2015 Council meeting minutes as amended. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0).
PUBLIC HEARING – PARK HILLS SUBDIVISION PHASE 3 – FINAL SUBDIVISION PLAT
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, explained the application for final subdivision of the property located at 2130 North Rock Manor Drive. The project consists of two developable lots within the Park Hills Phase 3 Subdivision and a larger remnant parcel that will not be eligible for development at this time. Although a physical street exists at this location, it has not been officially dedicated. Now that two lots are being platted, the street area located along the proposed lots must be dedicated to meet the lot frontage requirements of City ordinances. Mr. Snyder stated that the Planning Commission recommends approval of the proposed subdivision for the creation of two lots.
At 7:33 p.m. Mayor Cutler opened a public hearing, and closed the public hearing seeing that no one wished to comment.
Councilman Wright asked who maintains the road. Mr. Snyder responded that the City maintains the road as a public thoroughfare. Mayor Cutler asked why a portion of the road will remain an easement. Mr. Snyder responded that the applicants do not intend to develop the remnant portion at this time, and dedicating that portion of the road would involve further subdivision and fees.
Councilman Wright made a motion to approve the Final Subdivision Plat for the Park Hills Subdivision Phase 3 located at approximately 2130 North Rock Manor Drive, subject to the following conditions and findings. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0).
1. Park Hills Phase 3 shall consist of Lots 1 and 2 as depicted on the final plat and shall not allow any development to occur on the remnant parcel at this time. The remnant parcel shall be
a. The remnant parcel may not be developed without the proper City approvals [Section 15-2-101].
SOLID WASTE CONTRACT WITH ACE DISPOSAL
Blaine Lutz, Finance Director/Assistant City Manager, reported on a comparison of solid waste services, cautioning that it is impossible to directly compare waste service costs between cities because of differing terrain and markets. Mr. Lutz stated that Ace Disposal has provided excellent service to the City, offers competitive rates, and uses natural gas vehicles. Councilman Wright asked how much citizens will save from the concessions offered by Ace for contract renewal. Mr. Lutz responded that staff recommends rates be held constant this year, using additional savings to build up the City’s reserves that were diminished during recession years when the City covered increases in cost without increasing rates. The City will provide the traditional spring green waste pickup, which is an expense of the Sanitation Fund.
Councilman Wright made a motion to approve Amendment No. 1 to the Amended Solid Waste, Green Waste, and Recycling Collection Agreement with Ace Disposal through July 1, 2016. Councilwoman Fillmore seconded the motion. Councilman Wright pointed out that Ace offered two concessions: no fuel surcharge, and no inflationary increases to the current charges. The motion passed by unanimous vote (3-0).
Steve Thacker, City Manager, briefly described the analysis and consideration process used by the City Council prior to making a final decision regarding drainage fees. The no-debt, 112% increase chosen by the Council is intended to fund drainage needs through the next ten years, will be effective June 26, 2015, and will be included in the billing statements issued at the end of July. The City website has extensive information about the research and scenarios considered by the Council, the front office at City Hall will have the inserts that were previously sent to citizens available for anyone with questions, and the special email address for drainage fee questions/comments will continue to be available.
Mr. Thacker explained that staff have identified seven residential properties that, in staff’s opinion, should be included within the Subdrain District and, therefore, assessed the higher monthly subdrain fee. He recommended an effective date of March 26, 2015, which would make the change visible on the April billing statement. The property owners were notified by mail and invited to meet with staff to discuss this matter, but to date no such request has been made.
Councilman Wright made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2015-03 adding seven lots to the Subdrain District Map. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0).
Councilman Wright made a motion to approve Resolution No. 2015-04 increasing Drainage Utility Fees in the Centerville Fee Schedule. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0). Mayor Cutler stated that, while it is always difficult to increase fees, he is confident that everyone can agree having a high quality drainage system is a core function of government.
ENERGY SAVINGS PROPOSALS AND INCENTIVE OFFERS FROM ROCKY MOUNTAIN
In-depth analysis and proactive management of the City’s water system power usage have reduced the annual power cost of the system. Randy Randall, Public Works Director, explained innovations that could reduce this even further. The Water Fund would bear the upfront cost for materials/equipment needed, off-set in part initially by Rocky Mountain Power’s “Incentive Offer” of approximately $13,000. Mr. Randal estimates the remaining materials/equipment cost would be recovered within one year with the reduction in power costs. Water Department employees would provide the labor needed to install materials and equipment.
Mayor Cutler expressed support for the proposed innovations. Council members Fillmore and Wright thanked Mr. Randall for his hard work and his efforts to improve service and savings in the City. Mr. Randall said he also believes the advances in LED lighting technology now make it cost-effective to convert some of the City’s public lighting to LED. Bruce Cox, Parks and Recreation Director, has said he is supportive of the proposal to convert the Freedom Hills Park parking lot lights to LED, utilizing an incentive offer from Rocky Mountain Power for a portion of the cost, as an opportunity to confirm (after a period of evaluation) whether similar conversions to LED lighting should be considered at other City facilities, such as City Hall parking lot. Mr. Thacker explained that the net conversion cost of approximately $2,500, after applying the Rocky Mountain Power incentive, should come from the General Fund.
Councilman Wright made a motion to move forward with the energy savings proposals as set forth by the Public Works Director, and to accept the incentive offers from Rocky Mountain Power related to the proposals. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0).
RIGHT-OF-WAY ON 500 EAST STREET
The City issued a stop work order for a retaining wall that was being reconstructed on property located at approximately 1514 North 500 East because the retaining wall was being constructed without a permit (necessary for a retaining wall exceeding four feet in height), and was within the right-of-way. Lisa Romney, City Attorney, explained the situation with photographs and recommended the City vacate the right-of-way to the edge of the sidewalk to allow the property owner to reconstruct the retaining wall as a private improvement on private property. She showed a photograph of the property immediately to the north, owned by Michael Kelley, which has a shorter retaining wall within the right-of-way. Ms. Romney stated that the City would retain a Public Utility Easement (PUE), and staff thinks vacating the right-of-way would be a good compromise to a difficult situation that was created approximately 30 years ago. The property owners would need to pay for a survey of the properties, prepare a legal description, and pay any noticing and recording costs.
Mayor Cutler invited Michael Kelley to address the Council. Mr. Kelley stated he is willing to pay the survey cost and other costs for both properties. Ms. Romney stated there are not many properties with that type of situation, and other property owners are able to petition the City for a review if desired. The Council members in attendance indicated approval for the direction suggested by staff. Staff will bring back the matter for formal approval of right-of-way vacation after the required steps have been completed, as set forth in State law.
ELECTION PROCEDURES AND VOTE-BY-MAIL
Curtis Koch, County Clerk/Auditor, presented the vote-by-mail option to the Council for the 2015 election. The vote-by-mail option would involve additional cost to the City, but Mr. Koch stated he believes the benefits are worth consideration. He stated that issues involved in an election and the method used influence voter turnout. The County experienced a higher voter turnout in the 2014 elections with the vote-by-mail option than would have been expected with the traditional option. Mr. Koch stated that the County recognizes the need to have multiple options available to meet different needs, and is proposing Centerville use a hybrid system with a traditional polling location on Election Day. Mayor Cutler asked what percentage of those who voted last year used the vote-by-mail option, and what the County would do to make sure the City does not experience the long lines at the polling location that were experienced last year. Mr. Koch responded that the County was surprised by the number of voters at the polling location last year. They intend to do a better job of educating the public that a vote-by-mail ballot can be dropped in a specified box at the polling location on Election Day. Mr. Koch said that during the primary election approximately 4.5% of participants chose to vote at a polling location rather than return a by-mail ballot. The County had anticipated 7%. Due to the lower participation in the primary at polling locations, the County adjusted the projection to 5% for the general election, but nearly 18% of the voters participated at polling locations on Election Day, resulting in long lines.
Mr. Koch stated the County estimates that a traditional election would cost the City $8,135.82, and the vote-by-mail option would cost the City $13,036.61 per election. Mr. Koch stated that, although the cost of the vote-by-mail option is higher, voter engagement and voter experience is greatly improved with vote-by-mail. The City could save $1,400 by not paying for return postage.
Mayor Cutler said he feels it is important to engage more citizens in the voting process. Councilwoman Ivie stated she feels the vote-by-mail option would result in more uninformed voting. Councilman Wright said he thinks a number of people would get more involved with the vote-by-mail option, stated he would be in favor of it, and suggested including postage on the ballot if the Council chooses the vote-by-mail option. Marsha Morrow, City Recorder/Election Official, said she would love for the City to do vote-by-mail. Although the cost would be more, she said she thinks there would be a better turnout, and voters would be more informed. The Mayor allowed members of the audience to comment as well.
Rick Bingham – Mr. Bingham said he has been voting by mail for the last couple of elections, and he appreciates the time to research candidates and become familiar with the issues before voting. He stated that his wife, however, is scared to vote by mail because she is afraid that someone will steal the ballot and vote for her. Mr. Bingham asked what safeguards are in place to protect against voter fraud.
Nancy Smith – Ms. Smith stated she has been through the voter registration list for her district, and there are many people listed that have moved away or are no longer living. She asked what the County can do to avoid unintended votes being submitted.
Mr. Koch responded that there is no forwarding on a vote-by-mail ballot. Completed, returned ballots are sorted by batches as they come in, not by area. The signature on the outer flap is compared to the voter’s signature from registration. If a difference is noticed, the voter is contacted to verify authenticity. The signature flap is then discarded and the sealed ballot is opened and processed. If a citizen has submitted a vote-by-mail ballot, they will not be able to vote at the polling location on Election Day.
Lee Skabelund – Mr. Skabelund stated that he is a registered poll manager. He said he does not think Centerville has wide-spread voter fraud, but he thinks vote-by-mail would open it up to more voter fraud. He added that no right comes without responsibility, and it is not too much to ask someone to come to the polls to vote. Mr. Skabelund said he feels that when the costs are compared, the value is not there. He stated that, to him, City funds are sacred, and the Council has a responsibility to be frugal.
Councilman Wright said he appreciates Mr. Skabelund’s comments, but he personally feels the Council has a sacred responsibility to made sure the City has an electoral process that represents the will of the people. He said he would like to at least test the program to give as many people as possible the opportunity.
Steve Allen – Mr. Allen asked if a voter would be able to cancel a vote after submitting a ballot by mail and then vote on Election Day if something comes up during the course of an election season that prompts them to change their mind. Mr. Koch responded that a ballot cannot be cancelled after it has been submitted, but the voter could hold onto the ballot and “walk-and-drop” it at the polling location on Election Day. Mr. Allen said he is concerned that voters might vote extremely early in the season and later change their minds. Mr. Koch said the County would prefer a shorter voting period, but they follow State statutes.
Paula Tinnabi – Ms. Tinnabi works for the Postal Service. She said that political mailings receive top priority. Postal workers know who lives at each address. Ballots are not delivered to incorrect addresses. Ms. Tinnabi said that a lot of ballots are returned to the County.
Councilman Wright said his one concern with the vote-by-mail option is the length of time given to return ballots. He said he feels there should be an opportunity for voters to hear the issues and interact with candidates before they can fill out and mail a ballot. Mr. Koch agreed that voter engagement needs to occur. He responded that his office can improve the website and make it easier to find information about the candidates. The timing is established by State law – ballots are sent out four weeks before Election Day. Mr. Koch said the County would prefer three weeks. He is hoping for legislation that would narrow the vote-by-mail window.
Mayor Cutler said he would prefer to wait until all Council members are present to make a final decision. Mr. Koch stated he would be willing to be a little flexible on the April 1st deadline, allowing the City Council to make a decision on April 7. Mr. Skabelund stated that candidates need time to campaign. He feels there are disadvantages for some candidates with the vote-by-mail option.
CURRENT SOUTH MAIN STREET CORRIDOR PLAN
Council members Ivie and Wright requested a briefing on the current provisions of the South Main Street Corridor Plan be placed on the agenda. Ms. Romney cautioned that the application currently pending has not been noticed for discussion at this meeting.
Cory Snyder, Community Development Director, explained that in 2007 a significant public process was initiated to examine Main Street between Parrish Lane and Pages Lane. The resulting South Main Street Corridor Plan identified Pages Lane to Porter Lane as a residential area, Porter Lane to 100 North as the core commercial area zoned Commercial-Medium (C-M), and 100 North to Parrish Lane as the civic area. An overlay is in place to make it possible to add different features to each area. The two gateways are allowed high intensity mixed-use, with less intensive mixed-use in the City Center (core) C-M Zone. The South Main Street Corridor Plan includes a form-based code, which is not concerned as much about uses as it is maintaining an overall feel. Councilman Wright expressed concern with a loss of density control. Mr. Snyder responded that intensity is set with the number of units per building and the form of the building. Density per acre is not part of form-based code. He listed several cities in Utah, including Park City, Midvale, Kanab, and Panguich, that have utilized form-based code on their main streets to preserve a desired ambiance. Councilwoman Fillmore stressed that form-based code provides controls in the size of the buildings and the number of units. Mr. Snyder stated that the intention of the South Main Street Corridor Plan was to synergize deteriorating commercial, and create an active street with people. Mr. Thacker suggested the Council read the South Main Street Corridor Plan and the Zoning Ordinance in preparation for the April 7 Council meeting. Councilman Wright thanked Mr. Snyder for the briefing, and suggested that it might be time to refresh the Plan.
At 9:19 p.m. the Council took a brief recess, returning at 9:35 p.m.
FENCING ON PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AND ALONG NORTH SIDE OF PARRISH LANE
City Manager Thacker presented a Betterment Agreement and a Maintenance Agreement with UDOT for the Pedestrian Bridge Project. He recommended the Council include in the motion the ability for staff to seek non-substantive changes in the Agreements. The City will be responsible for maintaining the pedestrian bridge fencing and snowplowing upon completion. Councilman Wright said he feels that fact underscores the need to ensure quality work. Mr. Thacker responded that the City Engineer will be involved in the inspection of the work related to the betterments.
The UDOT cost summary dated December 12, 2014 included fencing on the east side of the bridge. However, there is not currently a contract for the work on the east side. Mr. Thacker expressed displeasure with the cost summary dated March 17, 2015, which does not include costs for fencing on the east side, shows a higher cost for the bridge fencing, and reflects a higher, two-step markup. The RDA previously authorized the use of up to $120,000 for bridge betterments. Mr. Thacker advised that the project will exceed $120,000. Councilman Wright said, in his opinion, the City should move forward.
Mr. Thacker reported that UDOT will present an earth-tone color pallet to the cities. Councilman Wright complimented Councilwoman Fillmore for her role in ensuring a uniform color scheme. Mr. Lutz said it needs to be understood that the RDA will be paying for a substantial amount of the City Engineer’s time. Mr. Thacker estimated $10,000-$15,000 for engineer time should be added to the amounts on the cost summary, and noted another Betterment Agreement would be needed in the future for the east-side fencing.
Councilwoman Fillmore made a motion to approve the Betterment Agreement and the Maintenance Agreement with UDOT for the Pedestrian Bridge Project, allowing staff to seek non-substantive changes, and conditioned upon approval of RDA funding. Councilman Wright seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0). Councilwoman Ivie asked if there is a way for the cities to band together in complaint about the mark-up costs being higher than reported earlier. Mr. Thacker suggested the Council remember that the City is currently hoping to accomplish two other goals with UDOT, relating to use of the pipe at Chase Lane compromised by a UDOT contractor, and relining of several drain pipes under the freeway to be funded by UDOT. Therefore, he recommended the Council approve the proposed Betterment Agreement on the agenda tonight.
Blaine Lutz, Finance Director, presented a financial report for the 8-month period ending February 28, 2015. He stated that Sales Tax Revenue is close to the budgeted amount, and Franchise Tax Revenue is lower due to the warmer winter weather, but could catch up if air conditioning units are operated sooner than usual. Mr. Lutz suggested the City can expect lower vehicle fuel costs when putting together the FY 2016 Budget.
• Mayor Cutler updated the Council on the SB 160/HB 362 Tax compromise, which would have a percentage base and be effective January 1, 2016. County Commissioner Millburn added to the discussion by explaining the breakdown of the local-option County-wide increase: 0.10% would go to the cities, 0.10% would go to the transit authority, and 0.05% would go to the County to be used within the County for transportation purposes. The 0.10% percent for the cities would be in addition to funds already allocated by the cities for transportation purposes, and is not to be used as a substitution. Mayor Cutler thanked Commissioner Milburn for his support.
CITY MANAGER’S REPORT
• UDOT will begin pile driving in Centerville for the I-15 project this weekend between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.
• The ULCT Mid-Year Conference in St. George will take place April 8-10, 2015. Mayor Cutler expressed a preference to follow employee policies regarding reimbursement of hotel expenses. The Council indicated agreement. This means the City will pay for two nights of lodging for Councilmembers attending the ULCT Conference in St. George.
Mayor Cutler recommended the Council reappoint Vivian Talbot to the Landmarks Commission. Councilwoman Ivie made a motion to reappoint Vivian Talbot to another term on the Landmarks Commission. Councilwoman Fillmore seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0).
At 10:43 p.m. Councilman Wright made a motion to adjourn the meeting and move to a meeting of the RDA. Councilwoman Ivie seconded the motion, which passed by unanimous vote (3-0).