01.27.22 Council Minutes – Special

THE STATE OF UTAH
COUNTY OF SEVIER
CITY OF RICHFIELD

At the City Council
In and For Said City
January 27, 2021

Minutes of the Richfield City Council meeting held on Thursday, January 27, 2021
at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Richfield City office building located at 75 East Center, Richfield, Utah. Mayor David C. Ogden presiding. City Council special meeting held on Tuesday, January 27, 2022, at 5:30 p.m.

  1. ROLL CALL
  2. APPLICANTS FOR COUNCIL VACANCY INTERVIEWED
  3. STUDENT HOUSING COSTS DISCUSSED
  4. OTHER BUSINESS
  5. MEETING ADJOURNED
  6. ROLL CALL Present: Mayor Burrows, Todd Gleave, Kip Hansen, Elaine Street, Tanner Thompson, Michele Jolley, Tyson Hansen. Absent: Kathy Christensen.
  7. APPLICANTS FOR COUNCIL VACANCY INTERVIEWED. The Council interviewed the 5 applicants to fill the unexpired term of Councilmember Kathy Christensen. Mayor Burrows asked the applicants to come up in alphabetical order. He asked them to explain what they think a council member does.

Brayden Gardner stated that he felt that an important function for a council member is to listen. He indicated that he has a good handle on real estate and feels that his background would be beneficial to development. Councilmember Gleave was curious why he had chosen to run now and not during the election. Mr. Gardner stated that the idea of running a campaign given his business was not appealing. Since he has stepped down from being a broker, he has a lot more free time.

Councilmember Street stated that we seem to have more people that are downtrodden in our community. She asked Mr. Gardner how he would handle this. Housing is an issue and he thinks that there is a hybrid model that could be done. There is help out there for developers. Having the right management is key.

Councilmember Hansen stated that he was appreciative of all of the applicants being willing to put in for this position.

Kevin Arrington was grateful that his family could grow up here. He told the Council about his background including education and service for congresswoman Enid Green. He has served on the Council before and felt that it was an honor to serve. He answered the Mayor’s question stating that a council member has the responsibility to approve ordinances and the budget. The challenge sometimes is that we live in a small town and as issues come up, people call and want to know why certain decisions were made.

Councilmember Thompson asked if there is something that Mr. Arrington would like to see done. Mr. Arrington stated that planning is important. Housing is an issue and recreation in our community is important. He would like to see something done with the pool. It was something that still needs to happen and needs to be done in the right way.

Councilmember Hansen asked Mr. Arrington about his thoughts about the existing pool. He wondered about how he would feel about upgrading what we have or if he had other ideas. Mr. Arrington thought we could have a different approach similar to what the School District did when they built the new high school in Richfield. They bonded for these expenses, but it was not just Richfield that got something out of approving the bond. North Sevier got a new school and so did South Sevier. He wondered about putting something together that would include all communities to get Richfield’s pool done, Salina needs work on their pool, and then something for South Sevier.

Councilmember Street asked Mr. Arrington what his thoughts were about Main Street. Mr. Arrington said that it is always a challenge to keep Main Street viable. He thinks that we should have someone with enthusiasm to spearhead that program.

Councilmember Gleave asked what Mr. Arrington would say if someone said that he has had his turn. What would he say? He felt that he needed to take a break, but he felt that when you have had some time away, there is also value in being on the Council again because of his experiences and background.

May Anderson stated that she is not someone who is well known in the community and that is why she did not run for Council. She felt that in the past few months she was at a point where she had some time to serve. She thinks about her children and the future and the climate across the country. She felt that we live in a wonderful community.

Politics was never something that she was interested in. She does not necessarily want to be under the spotlight like some politicians are. She feels strongly that with her background, and experience she could bring something of value to the Council.

Councilmember Thompson asked if there were things that she would want to change. Ms. Anderson stated that what we have is good and we are in a good position. She would like to get started and understand where we are in the process of updating the general plan. She would want to sit down with everyone and get a comprehensive idea of where we are. Then she would like to brainstorm and she felt that we can be creative with our budget and invest in our people. She wants to put things in motion so that we have the power to make decisions.

Councilmember Hansen asked how she viewed her engineering background in relation to this position. We do not want developers to come in and create problems for us, but she thinks it is important not to run them off. She felt that her experience would help the Council by reviewing engineering reports because she speaks that language, so that could give us a better grasp of what is being proposed.

Mayor Burrows asked if she has been involved in any grant writing. She has not but money is out there and we need to find it.

Mike Snow stated that he has lived here for 26 years now. He has worked at radio stations and when he moved here, he had to come to council meetings and he has always found it interesting. As for what a council member does, they wear 3 hats. Looking after the tax dollars of the people and making sure it is spent in the best way. Another hat is when you have to tell people no. The third is the hat where you tell people yes.

Councilmember Thompson asked what his vision for Richfield is. Mr. Snow stated that we need to grow. He noted that our business park sat for a long time while Salina’s is growing. Councilmember Thompson asked why he thought that was so. Mr. Snow felt that it was because of the freeway access Salina has and their visibility. Where ours is located is not a good place.

Councilmember Gleave asked why he did not run for Council. Mr. Snow stated that he tried once but he is not known and he was running against someone who was very well known. He saw this as a problem.

Councilmember Street asked what would happen if we received a million-dollar grant and what would he would do with it. The first thing he would do is build a pool. He would keep the old pool and build a recreational pool. He would also sign an agreement with the School District for the maintenance and use of the old pool.

Councilmember Hansen asked given his background how it would benefit him in this position. Mr. Snow stated that there is a procedure to follow. The more experience you get the easier it is to make a decision.

Will Jolley stated that he loves the people of Richfield which is why he is here. He wants to see Richfield grow because he would love to be able to create jobs for his grandchildren to be able to stay here and raise their families. It took a lot of creativity by his children with their jobs to be able to stay. He wants to serve to the point that we can keep our children in town. With his experience, he knows how to run a meeting and to budget, and keep a good school running. Not always do we do things that people like. If something is worth doing, it is worth putting the effort into it. He is a strong proponent of the walking/jogging paths and he would like to see that extended. He has been involved in lots of activities and he is a proponent of having things to do to keep kids out of trouble.

He has worked as a guide for the ATV jamboree. He speaks Spanish. He thinks if we receive our new packing plant we could see a lot of need in that area.

Councilmember Gleave asked why he did not run for Council. He has been managing a credit union. Because of that management and with his wife still teaching, it was not his time. Now she has retired and he has retired and he finds he is wanting to do something.

Councilmember Thompson stated that high-density housing is a hot button and he wondered how Mr. Jolley would feel about that. He stated that to keep the children here, there needs to be housing for them. He thinks that we should develop slowly enough that we do not overwhelm our infrastructure. He is for it, but it needs to be controlled.

He thinks it would be beneficial to work with other communities.

He was asked what concerns he has with what Richfield is facing. He is concerned that people are going to want to leave California and come here. If we do not have the right things in place, they could inundate us.

  1. APPOINTMENT TO FILL UNEXPIRED TERM OF COUNCILMEMBER KATHY CHRISTENSEN. Councilmember Hansen stated that each council member should vote and narrow it down to two candidates. The Council narrowed it down to Brayden Gardner, with Kevin Arrington and Will Jolley. Mayor Burrows broke the tie by voting for Kevin Arrington. The Council voted again and Brayden Gardner received the most votes. Motion: Appoint Brayden Gardner to fill the unexpired term of Councilmember Kathy Christensen, Action: Approved, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Elaine Street. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.
  2. STUDENT HOUSING PROJECT DISCUSSED. Mayor Burrows explained that the developers and the College are struggling to get the funds to come together. There are some options that they are looking into, but there are some big expenses with infrastructure because they have to bore the sewer line under 1300 South or put in a lift station. He does not think that a lift station is even an option. They have asked if we would consider looking into some ways to help them. We have looked at some information from the County for a PID which could help offset some of the taxes and CRA. Mr. Nash is looking into that to see if he could help us with that.

One of the requests was for the Council to consider waving the impact fees on the student housing portion of the project. In the past, it has been our policy that we have not given water or sewer connections away for free. He looks at this as the same thing. He does not know what the ERCs would be on this.

Councilmember Hansen agreed that this would be a bad precedent.

Councilmember Thompson wondered where the most benefit coming to the City would be. Is it going to help establish the College?

Mayor Burrows stated that his understanding from President Cook is that there is a lot of room for student growth both on the Ephraim and Richfield Campus.

Councilmember Thompson asked if this is the College’s project or a private project. Mayor Burrows stated that the College is partnering with a private developer. They had tried to do this several times.

Councilmember Thompson would like to how much they are short. Councilmember Hansen would tend to lean toward finding other alternatives besides impact fees. He would support helping with the infrastructure. He thinks this would be a very good way to approach it.

One of the reasons they are having so much trouble is because of the cost of supplies. If they would go down even 5%, they would not have this problem.

  1. OTHER BUSINESS. None
  2. MEETING ADJOURNED. At 7:21 p.m., Motion: Adjourn, Action: Adjourned, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Tanner Thompson. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave. PASSED and APPROVED this 8th day of February 2022.