02.13.24 Council Minutes

THE STATE OF UTAH
COUNTY OF SEVIER
CITY OF RICHFIELD

At the City Council
In and For Said City
February 13, 2024

Minutes of the Richfield City Council meeting held on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Richfield City office building located at 75 East Center, Richfield, Utah. Mayor Bryan L. Burrows presiding.

  1. OPENING REMARKS
  2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
  3. ROLL CALL
  4. MINUTES
  5. EXPENDITURES
  6. OTHER BUSINESS
  7. EXECUTIVE SESSION
  8. RECONVENE & ADJOURN
  9. OPENING REMARKS were offered by Police Chief Trent Lloyd.
  10. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE was led by Councilman Brayden Gardner.
  11. ROLL CALL. Present: Bryan Burrows (not voting), Brayden Gardner, Kip Hansen, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Tanner Thompson, Michele Jolley (not voting), Tyson Hansen (not voting).
  12. MINUTES APPROVED. The Council reviewed the minutes of the meetings held on January 9 and January 23, 2024. Action: Approve. Motion: Approve the minutes of Jan. 9 and 23. Moved by Kendrick Thomas, Seconded by Elaine Street. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.
  13. EXPENDITURES APPROVED. The Council reviewed the January 2024 Warrant Register. Mayor Burrows asked about one item on page 13 of the warrant register a Christmas display at the City Park. City Manager Jolley said the charge was for a decoration that was used on the park that needed to be replaced. It was ordered in June, but wasn’t received until it was too late for the holiday. Motion: Approve the warrant register for January 2024. Action: Approve. Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Brayden Gardner. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.
  14. Business items

a. COUNTY COMMISSION CANDIDATE BRAD DUFFIN TO DISCUSS THE UPCOMING ELECTION. Mr. Duffin is running for county commissioner for the south end of the valley. He explained some of the things that he has done, including volunteering for Search and Rescue for 30 years, serving as a guardian for the Utah Honor Flight and organizing a public meeting for Congressman Chris Stewart to come to the area. He said he has a couple of items on his agenda he would like to work on.

First, he said the area needs more business. He said he would like to bring more businesses to the area to make the tax base stronger in the county – to help transition from the Sufco Mine and the oil field east of Sigurd. He said production is going down, and leases are not a sure thing. The mine has also moved into Emery County in what it’s extracting. He said the county is exporting its youth.

Mr. Duffin said the county also needs to have a better/more affordable housing market. He would also like to see the city and county work on things, such as a rec center, that would benefit the entire region. He said as a commissioner, he would follow up on things consistently.
Mayor Burrows asked if Mr. Duffin was aware of where the PAR [Parks Arts and Recreation] tax currently goes. Mr. Duffin said he wasn’t, but he would learn more about it.

Councilman Thompson said there is a feeling in the county that Richfield has enough money, so most money and effort is focused on areas outside of the city. He asked Mr. Duffin what his stance was. Mr. Duffin said funds and efforts need to be expended in the way that creates the most benefit, but give businesses all the options. Mr. Duffin said Sevier County is in the center of six major cities in the U.S.

Mayor Burrows thanked Mr. Duffin for spending the time with the council to explain his views.

b. CONSIDER APPROVING THE RENTAL OF AN OFFICE SPACE AT THE VISITORS’ CENTER AS REQUESTED BY NATHAN CONDER.
Nathan Conder explained his position with the State of Utah if the foreman of a new crew that is the result of a state expansion of its recreation program. The yard will be based out of the county road department, but Mr. Conder doesn’t have an office. He thought it would be mutually beneficial to work out of the visitors center during the winter months. He stated that he would run the visitors center’s day to day operations, while utilizing the office space for his state job. Conder said the only thing he would need from the city is Internet access, and he also wondered if there were cost concerns about heating the building in the winter.

Councilwoman Street said one thing the visitor’s center needs is additional shelving. She said having Conder’s office there would be a good meld. Mr. Conder stated that the state was going to help the county with a fence project, but it had already been completed, which means some funds are available. Councilman Thomas asked what the duration would be. Mr. Conder would need the office November thru April paid crew for five years. Mr. Conder said his crew would be working with the Forest Service, BLM, State Parks, county, city and any volunteer organizations that have any trail needs free of charge. Councilman Hansen said he felt that it would be a good fit with Sevier County’s branding of Trail Country. He said he doesn’t see a downside to it, and it’s a great example of public entities working together. City Recreation Director Brady Edwards said if the Internet is upgraded at the visitor’s center, it would also benefit city hosted events at its pump track.

Mr. Conder asked how the visitor center is staffed in the off-season when he plans to use the office. Councilman Street said it depends on the traffic, but it’s generally staffed from April 1 to October 31. She also encouraged anyone with an interest to considered volunteering at the center.

Mr. Conder’s crew would be seasonal, and from May through October, he’d be based at the county road shed. Mayor Burrows said the area bike trails have been a good example of cooperation across government entities working well.

Councilman Hansen asked what the state would offer for rent. Mr. Conder said he was hoping his rent would be covered by the in-kind donation of him running the visitor center in the winter months.

Councilman Gardner asked if the city would have to put this proposal out for bid, which it doesn’t. Mayor Burrows asked about liability insurance. City Manager Jolley said if he’s considered a volunteer, he would be covered by the city’s current insurance policy. Councilman Hansen said as long as the insurance company and city attorney has no issues with it, the city has a lot to gain.

Motion: Approve Mr. Conder’s proposal of utilizing office space in the visitor’s center during the winter months subject to the city attorney’s opinion. Action: Approve. Moved by Councilman Gardner. Seconded by Tanner Thompson. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.

c. Consider approving a cooperative agreement with Sevier County for claiming and maintaining Class B and Class C roads.
City Manager Jolley said there has been an issue cropping up where both municipalities and counties claim they are maintaining the same roads and both get money for them. She said the state is cracking down on that practice. She said city staff has met with the county to determine which roads are maintained by which entity. The entity defined as the one responsible will get the class B or C funds for the specified roads. This list would then be submitted to the state so that funding can be appropriated correctly. Motion: Approve the cooperative agreement with Sevier County for claims and maintenance of Class B and C roads. Action: Approve. Moved by Councilman Tanner Thompson. Seconded by Kendrick Thomas.
Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.

d. Consider awarding the bid for the Utah Beef Producers sewer line project. Kendrick Thomas declared a conflict. Engineer Carson DeMille was excused due to a conflict in schedule. Jones and DeMille Project Manager Parker Vercimak discussed the bid tabulation and the bids received.

In all there were nine bids received, which is an unprecedented amount of interest in the current climate, according to Mr. Vercimak. There were very favorable bids received. Advanced Excavation based out of Cache Valley delivered to low bid. The company has approximately 10 years of experience, with positive references. The engineer’s estimate was $707,000. The accepted low bid was $465,000. The biggest discrepancy was the highway boring portion of the project. Due to the degree of the difficulty, and the atmosphere at the time, the engineer estimate was considerably higher than what was included in the low bid. The number provided by Advanced Excavation was a bit of an outlier at $300 per foot. However, as the engineers dug into it, they felt that it wasn’t an out of line number and that Advanced does have the experience level to support the lower amount in its bid.

One of the references provided, Valley Implement – a large agriculture and irrigation company – provided an extremely positive review of Advanced and its boring subcontractor. Valley has worked with Advanced several times, boring underneath rail tracks.

Logan City has also provided a very positive reference. Advanced had executed a sewer bore for Logan City where a 2 percent slope was critical to the project’s functionality. Advanced was able to maintain the correct slope.

A letter detailing the company’s experience, as well as the experience of key personnel was also provided. Of those included in the letter that have been followed up on, they have all checked out well.

Councilman Hansen asked if there were any issues with projects not being completed on time. Mr. Vercimak said if there were those types of issues, they would have come out considering the amount the contractor had been utilized by the references.

Councilman Gardner asked if the sub that is doing the boring was included as part of the bid of any of the other general contractors. Mr. Vercimak said no, although the bids submitted by the second and third place bidders did use the same driller, which would be six to eight weeks out. Advanced is ready to start as soon as the paperwork is complete.
City manager Jolley said Newman Construction is almost exclusively a boring company. Some of the contractors tried to get a bid from Newman’s, but they were so far out they decided to submit their own to the city. They provided a price of $280,000 for the bore. Carsen DeMille is confident that the boring price is realistic.

Mayor Burrows said Newmans is utilized by the company he works for and they do a good job. He asked if the lower bid of $465,505 lowers the city’s match. If the project does indeed come in at the bid amount, it would lower the match – 20 percent of the total.

Councilman Thomas asked about the $600,000 grant the city acquired for the project and how it could be spent. It would have to be spent on the project for which it was approved.
One option would be to expand the width of the bore, but all the studies said six inches would work. Due to the grade involved, a larger line may actually not work as well, according to project developer Henry Barlow.

There is another lot south of the meat packing facility in the county that would also be able to utilize the sewer line, which would open it up to future development. Most of the other land in the area is federal.

Councilman Hansen asked if there is an advantage to approaching the other entities in the are that are on septic and asking them to join the project. There is one other property that has expressed interest in connecting to it, but the city would have to stub it out to them. The further north from the line, the less likely they would be able to connect.

Motion: Award the bid to Advanced Excavation for the amount of $465,505. Action: Approve. Moved by Kip Hansen. Seconded by Elaine Street.
Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5).
Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.

e. PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT. Planning Commission Chairman Josh Peterson detailed the discussions at the last planning commission meeting, hosted Feb. 7.

Tyson Curtis asked for approval to install a drive thru at the former Pizza Hut building, which the commissioned recommended for approval.

Taylor Dunbar, Skyler Perry and Brittany Morris were approved for home occupation permits.

Mark Dean requested closing in a carport located on a property line. The issue was tabled while the commission evaluates it.

The commission also hosted four public hearings, but no commentary was offered.

The commission recommended the removal of RM-24 expansion from the City’s future zoning map. The commission also recommended a modification to the zoning code that would remove the 3,000-square-foot size restriction on canopies for gas stations. Instead the property setbacks would be used to govern canopy size.
The Commission also recommended some zoning changes for parcels included in the Laura Nowers Trust, as well as a plat amendment for the same property.

The commission also moved to table a discussion concerning the redefining of RM-11 in the city’s general plan as a high-density residential zone. Peterson said the commission would also talk about a limitation for RM-11 so that it doesn’t become an ever-growing area in the City.

f. CONSIDER APPROVING THE NOWERS SUBDIVISION AMENDMENT AFFECTING PARCELS 1-7A-5, 1-7A-6, 1-7A-9, 1-8A-19, 1-8A-5, 1-8A-75, AND 1-8A-7 AS RECOMMENDED BY THE PLANNING COMMISSION. Councilman Garder declared a conflict. Gardner presented on behalf of the property owner. It’s a handful of odd parcels, so the idea is to clean up the boundaries turn it into usable parcels. The was a question about access to parcel 7, but there is access off from Cove View Road and it is under contract with Jorgensens, so it could also be accessed through their property. It’s essentially creating a giant U around the Jorgensen property. The zone change will be addressed at a later date.

Councilman Thomas asked if all the Jorgensen property would be combined into one property. Gardner said he is not at liberty to discuss the specific plans of the Jorgensens, but there is a need for another building for their businesses.

Motion: Approve the plate amendment as presented by Councilman Gardner. Action: Approved. Moved by Tanner Thompson. Seconded by Kip Hansen.
Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5).Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.

g. CONSIDER APPROVING A DRIVE-THRU AT THE OLD PIZZA HUT BUILDING. The addition is to make the building more marketable at this point. Motion: Approve the proposed drive-through addition at the former Pizza Hut. Action: Approve. Moved by Elaine Street, Seconded by Brayden Gardner.
Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5).
Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.

h. REVIEW AND DISCUSS A COOPERATIVE USE AGREEMENT WITH SNOW COLLEGE, SEVIER SCHOOL DISTRICT, RICHFIELD BASEBALL AND RICHFIELD CITY. This is an agreement spelling out which entity is responsible for what at the ball fields located on the Snow Richfield campus.
City Manager Jolley said she and Parks and Recreation Director Brady Edwards feel the proposed agreement is a good place for the city to be in. Richfield’s Babe Ruth Baseball has taken on some additional responsibility.

Councilman Thompson asked what the price would be for renting out the fields, or if pricing has been set. Heidi Stringham, representing Snow College, said the rates haven’t been set yet.

Mr. Edwards said surrounding communities’ recreation programs have a much more in-depth process for renting out fields. Richfield generally rented out fields for one lump sum, while others were charging for field prep, lights, personnel and other assorted items. Right now, it would be approximately $200 per day, per field to rent them. The thought process is for the rental fees to go back into the maintenance of the fields.

Richfield High School would still be able to use the fields.
Stringham said this is the first time so much has been formalized in the use of the fields. Snow College does not have staff to maintain the fields, so if the city doesn’t do it, the fields would go away, Jolley said.
The maintenance still represents a challenge for Richfield City’s limited parks staff, Edwards said.

Mayor Burrows said even though it’s not the city’s program, it still has an interest in providing a venue for the youth baseball program. The youth baseball program is stepping up its commitment to helping with the fields, Mr. Edwards said.

Councilman Hansen said he knows the school district has people who mow lawns throughout school properties in the county. It’s a big commitment for the city crew to mow it twice a week. Asking the district to do it wouldn’t be out of line as they already have a crew that is outfitted for that very thing.

Councilman Thompson said Snow has been nothing but altruistic in its approach to the field arrangement. They’ve let the city use the ground, and the city does thank Snow for its willingness to allow the fields to be used.

Councilman Thomas asked which Richfield Recreation programs are hosted on the field. There are none, which means the city is also being very altruistic in playing the role it has in maintaining the fields. Thomas said Richfield is coming on as the groundskeepers, but also biting off the liability according to the agreement. He said he understands Snow’s desire to remain indemnified from legal liability, but he’s not convinced it’s the city’s role to accept the liability.

That’s a discussion that needs to be had, Edwards said. Any event that is hosted at the fields would have to provide its own liability insurance.

Councilman Hansen said he would like to see someone at the district office level of the school district participate in the discussion of who plays which roles at the field. Hansen said maybe the old agreement that has never been renewed may have made sense at the time, but it needs to be readdressed with the district.

The agreement between the district and the city for reciprocal use of facilities only applies to the city’s facilities, according to Jolley. The baseball fields do not belong to the city.

Mayor Burrows said for now, the focus needs to be on the agreement for the ball fields. He said the city is the only entity in the county with an interlocal agreement with the school district that is providing services.

i. CONSIDER APPROVING THE MUNICIPAL WASTEWATER PLANNING PROGRAM SURVEY.
Public works director Keith Mogan said this is an annual survey the city is required to fill out each year. Motion: Approve the wastewater planning program survey. Action: Approve. Moved by Brayden Gardner. Seconded by Tanner Thompson.
Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5).
Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.

j. DISCUSSION ABOUT THE 4TH OF JULY EVENTS AND WHO WILL BE IN CHARGE GOING FORWARD.
Kevin Arrington addressed the council and presented a packet highlighting each even hosted as part of the Independence Day celebration.

This past year a windstorm hit and destroyed most of the city’s 12’ X 12’ canopies. The option for a canopy has been removed from booths. Arrington said most vendors who travel from event to event likely already have their own canopies.
Marketing and promotion starts as early as March as Pahvant Elementary School is approached about coming up with a theme. Social media, posters and local media are also approached.

Sound and lights will likely be provided by the same vendor, Howard Western. Make sure all specific needs are met prior.

Arrington assigned himself to organizing this year’s concert, which will feature the band Imagine, a Beatles tribute act.

Traffic control for children’s parade and the regular parade falls under Chief Lloyd’s purview. The person in charge of organizing the children’s parade is undetermined.

Tennis tournament and three-on-three basketball both function independently. However, this year Marc Peterson is retiring, so there may be a new person in charge of the basketball tournament.

Diaper derby was a hospital sponsored and organized event, but last year the hospital backed out. Michele Jolley took it over.

Last year the 5K was moved to the fairgrounds, which made for a much easier event to host. The recreation department runs this event.

Justin Jepson is in charge of the parade again this year. He always tries to include new ideas. Councilman Hansen said he has volunteered to help with the parade this year.

Entertainment on the park is organized inhouse by Terianne Hill, providing a few hours of entertainment on the park during the celebration.

The fish grab, Cove River Ranch donates the fish, last year the city purchased the plastic. Janet Siggins (pool manager) stepped in to keep it going last year. However, this year the fish grab will need someone to be in charge. Councilman Thompson said he could help with it.

Pool events are organized by Mrs. Siggins, with a free swim and coin toss. She also is in charge of the teen dance, hosted on the pool patio. Horse races are organized by Vicki Utley, but also function independently.

The Fire Department takes care of the fireworks display.

Arrington said anyone who is interested in co-directing the event is welcome to join the committee.

In the past the children’s parade was something that was organized by the LDS church stake primary, however, it opted out of it a few years ago. Councilman Hansen suggested the youth city council, but it is in flux during the summer months. Jessica Hutchings has tried to help, but it does involve a lot of work. One of the main things that is needed is people to hand out punchbags at the end of the route.

Arrington said the various royalties are usually the ones who hand out refreshments at the end of the children’s parade.

The Patriotic Program is organized by Anne Ogden, while the Field of Stars’ organizer Glenn Stoneman has already reached out as well. Both function without a lot of need for input from the committee, Mr. Arrington said.

Councilwoman Street said a backdrop is needed for the stage during the entertainment.

k. REVIEW AND DISCUSS THE CAPITAL PROJECTS LIST FOR 2024.
Councilman Thompson said the interlocal agreement issue discussed earlier in the meeting would essentially be solved by the recreation center/gym space that is currently on the bottom of the long-term list.
He suggested moving the gym space to the medium-term portion of the list. Councilman Hansen said a recreation center gym would be in addition to the school district gyms, and would allow greater flexibility for programs and tournaments.

Mayor Burrows asked about the 100 E. bridge, and if it is really coming up in 2025. He asked if the city has money for the property acquisition for the bridge.

Councilman Gardner asked what the scope of the library is. It would encompass a new library building. Councilman Thompson expressed concern about keeping the current iconic Carnegie Library.

Librarian Michelle Olsen said the new library building concept has a lot of options. She said other communities, there is a mini-library used in conjunction with a warehouse. Olsen said either a warehouse, or other buildings in other communities that are tied together through inter-agency agreements. Olsen said there are always going to be people using the library, either books or computers/printers.

Councilman Thomas said one item he’d like to see included is the bridge on 300 West near the cemetery, as well as the one on Highland Drive. He said the city should consider improving and widening them to enhance safety for pedestrians.

l. REVIEW AND DISCUSS THE CURRENT FINANCIAL STATEMENT.
Financial Director Tyson Hansen explained where the various sales tax revenues currently sit. Year to date sales tax revenue is up 5.4 percent, highways tax is up 7.7 percent, transportation tax is up 4.95 percent, PAR Tax is up 7.74 percent, transient room tax is up 15.48 percent.

Class C road funds have been committed to couple of large projects including $1.1 million for preservation and $838,000 for road improvements near the Centennial Park. This fiscal year was started with $2.1 million in Class C road funds, as of now there is approximately $600,000 left.
Councilman Thompson expressed surprise that transient room tax has grown so much. There are some new activities in the area that are helping boost transient room tax.

The city’s general fund’s balance is currently $4.8 million. Some 66.67 percent of the current fiscal year has expired. Mr. Hansen said revenue is ahead, which is a good thing. Expenditures want to be under where the city is on its fiscal year, but all the departments are doing well in tracking where they are at. The general fund has a total change in position shows that the city has brought in $2.3 million more than it has spent so far this year.

The capitol projects fund has seen some activity this year. Some of the projects are being wrapped up, so the city will have to follow up to make sure the grant reimbursements are processed.

The operations and maintenance on water fund has seen $240,000 in income so far this year. The sewer fund has $4.3 million in cash in cash equivalents, but $4 million of that is earmarked for the lagoon project. The city did just implement a $1 per month increase. Hopefully the sewer fund will continue to grow. The water fund does have a better balance with $1.2 million currently.

Refuse collection and landfill funds are basically in and out funds.

m. COUNTY COMMISSIONER RALPH BROWN TO DISCUSS THE UPCOMING ELECTION.
Brown said the county has dedicated $1 million from the solar project’s tax revenue to helping establish student housing on the campus of Snow College Richfield. The goal is to help increase enrollment at the Richfield campus.

The commission has also worked with all the various fire departments to standardize equipment across the county. This year on the three-day weekend, EMTs worked on 10-transports to the Wasatch Front. Brown said the county is working to keep up, and has added more full-time paramedics and is up to 10 now.

As far as taxes go, the centrally accessed properties have the biggest effect. Accessed value has gone up, but the tax rates have actually gone down. Brown said the county is encouraged by all the growth, and expressed appreciation to Richfield City for it’s efforts to bring business to the area as well as the bike trails.

Mayor Burrows asked about how the CIB loan funds work, and if there is a balance sheet, and if the revolving fund is healthy.
Commissioner Brown said the fund is healthy and growing, with all interest paid going back into it.

n. OTHER BUSINESS.
Mayor Burrows said the spring project looks like its going to make it on time.

Henry Barlow thanked everyone in Richfield City for their support of the meat packing plant. He said a party is being hosted March 30 to celebrate the plant’s grand opening. There will be an open house. He said there are already 1,000 local cattle lined up for the new plant.

Mayor Burrows said he would like the see the feedlots that were once a very important part of the area economy make a comeback. Mr. Barlow said his plant would be the missing component to help that happen.

Mr. Edwards gave an update on the construction of bathrooms near 300 North and College Avenue. He also said the city would be hosting some softball state tournaments for the 16u-18U youths in July. He said these tournaments would be an ongoing event for the city.

Chief Lloyd said the two new stop signs have been placed on 400 West and are functioning.
Mayor Burrow said he has heard some positive commentary about the stop signs.

  1. EXECUTIVE SESSION and ADJOURN. Motion: Close the meeting and move into an executive session. Action: Approve. Moved by Tanner Thompson. Seconded by Brayden Gardner.
    Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.
    At 9:20 p.m., adjourn and convene an executive session to discuss the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of individuals.

PASSED and APPROVED this 27th day of March 2024.