02.28.23 Council Minutes


At the City Council
In and For Said City
February 28, 2023

Minutes of the Richfield City Council meeting held on Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers of the Richfield City office building located at 75 East Center, Richfield, Utah, with Mayor Bryan L. Burrows presiding.

  11. ROLL CALL. Present: Mayor Burrows (Not voting), Brayden Gardner, Todd Gleave, Kip Hansen, Elaine Street, Tanner Thompson, Michele Jolley (Not voting), Tyson Hansen (Not voting).
  12. AIRPORT GROUND LEASES APPROVED. The Council reviewed Airport Ground Leases for Alexander A. Ponomarev and Jared Jensen. Motion: Approve Airport Ground Leases for Alexander A. Ponomarev and Jared Jensen, Action: Approved, Moved by Tanner Thompson, Seconded by Elaine Street. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.
  13. PHASE I COVE JUNCTION SUBDIVISION & PHASE I OF THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT APPROVED. Jeff Albrecht discussed the housing project, which will include 36 units and a clubhouse in the first phase. Councilmember Gardner asked about stormwater detention, noting that he did not see that on the plans. Mr. Albrecht stated that the retention area is outside phase I but will be built to accommodate this and future phases. When asked if it would be landscaped with rock or grass, Mr. Albrecht stated that because it is out of the phase I description, that has not been finalized. However, there is adequate open space to include all the drainage for the entire project. They would like to start the project by April 1. Councilmember Hansen noted that even though the thought today is to get rid of grass, this would be an excellent place because it would provide an open recreation area. It is something to maintain, but those areas become valuable to us over time. Mr. Albrecht stated that they are not building out the retention area right now, so they do not want to put in a bunch of sod and rip it out. He thinks this is something that could be addressed in the next phase. Motion: Approve Phase I of the Cove Junction Subdivision and Phase I of the housing development, Action: Approved, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Elaine Street. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.
  14. BID FOR THE 500 NORTH ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT AWARDED. Micklane Farmer was present to discuss the 500 North bids received last Thursday, February 23. The total roadway funding amount was 1.465 million dollars from the Joint Highway Committee, meaning we were short about $411,000. Three bid items stood out to them. First, the road was designed using a cement-treated base course. Doing this helps reduce the cost of excavation and allows for a better surface to pave on. Second, he explained that the price since they bid cement-treated base last year nearly doubled. The cost went from $212 per ton to $340 a ton. He talked to the contractor today and asked what the reason was for the increase, and he was told that they could not find anyone to truck it, so the trucking company they hired to get the cement powder has to come from Roosevelt. Third, the asphalt price was also high. Three years ago, when the bid was put together, it was significantly lower.

Mr. Farmer noted that the bid includes 1,000 cubic yards for soft-spot repair, which is a lot. He thought we could reduce this by at least half or more. We will remove the wheel stops from the project, and the City will purchase and install those instead. That will reduce the project by $10,000. We will also move some items into the water and sewer projects. That would eliminate about two blocks of water lines in the water project and approximately one block from the sewer project. The total contingency is roughly $58,000, and he hopes we do not need that; it could be another reduction. The total amount required from the class C road fund would be $351,000. The match by itself was $86,000, but the road fund also has to cover the cost of the concrete on 100 East, $89,000, because the sewer project cannot pay for that.

Mayor Burrows asked if Mr. Farmer thought the amount set aside for soft spot repair was adequate. Mr. Farmer stated that the contractor awarded the utility work will be hauling in some untreated base to mix with the native when he is backfilling, so he will be taking care of a lot of the soft areas when he does the utility work. Once we cement treat and if it is soft, we can cement treat again. Even 500 yards is a lot. It has been a wet year which could be a concern. Mayor Burrows’ concern is the amount of water we are losing from the spring that is going somewhere.

Motion: Award for the 500 North Road Improvement Project to Hales Sand and Gravel with a bid of $2,512,671.28 and the caveat that we still look for any potential cost savings as they become available, Action: Awarded, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Todd Gleave. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.

  1. RFP FOR A HEALTH INSURANCE BROKER & BENEFIT CONSULTING SERVICES APPROVED. It was noted that the last time we did an RFP for a health insurance broker was back in 2014. Therefore, once we choose a broker from the RFP, we would like them to give us different proposals for the insurance package we offer our employees. Councilmember Hansen noted that it does not cost us anything to do this. Motion: Approve an RFP for a Health Insurance Broker & Benefit Consultant Services, Action: Approved, Moved by Todd Gleave, Seconded by Elaine Street. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.
  2. AGREEMENT WITH JONES & DEMILLE ENGINEERING APPROVED. The Council reviewed an agreement with Jones and DeMille Engineering for the design and construction management of the Richfield Business Park project.

Micklane Farmer noted that the Council awarded the RFQ for the Business Park Project to Jones & DeMille at the last Council meeting. Once the agreement is in place, they can start the design for this project. However, the deadline for this project is tight. The bidding for this project has to be finished and awarded by May 15 because the contractor will need to start in July to complete the project by October.

The agreement has been submitted to EDA for their review, so the Council’s approval should be conditional based on EDA’s approval.
Motion: Approve an agreement with Jones and DeMille for the design and construction management of the Richfield Business Park project, Action: Approved, Moved by Brayden Gardner, Seconded by Kip Hansen. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.

  1. FUTURE LAND USE MAP DISCUSSED. The Council discussed the areas designated on the future land use map for the general plan. The Planning Commission and the Council have discussed high-density and medium-density zones because of recent developments. The updated draft of the general plan that has not been adopted yet defines high-density as multi-family, including RM-11 and RM-24. This map designates areas for future development regardless of the current zone. The map will be used as a guide going forward; if someone wants to rezone property and it is not anticipated to be zoned for what the request is, then the Council could deny the request or consider changing the future land use for the area.

Councilmember Gardner noted that there are a lot of RM-11 zoned areas currently that are different from the future land use map. He is concerned about lumping the RM-11 into high density with the RM-24. The future land use is simply a guide and is not binding because it can be amended.

Councilmember Thompson wondered what is classified as medium density, but the draft of the general plan does not specify what that is. Mayor Burrows stated that he would like to see the RM-24 go away or be reduced to an RM-18 or something with a lower density because he felt that the current development by WalMart has a lot higher density than anticipated.

Councilmember Hansen felt that RM-11 is a good zone. To him, this is more of a medium density. He would like to see the RM-11 and RM-24 separated. Councilmember Gardner felt that there was enough RM-24 at this point. We need more vertical construction, but he thinks they will somewhat self-regulate themselves. He does not believe there is a demand for everything zoned RM-24 to be built out. Councilmember Hansen would like not to designate any more RM-24 areas.

Councilmember Gardner recalled the comments made by Kendrick Thomas of the Planning Commission and how they are looking at regulating the RM-24 zone. Planning Commission is considering requiring 1 acre, but no more than 3 acres for an RM-24 zone, and limiting the number of units. They have also discussed a 1,000-foot buffer between projects, but after looking closer at this, that would only be a separation of approximately 2 ½ blocks, and they would like to see more space between the RM-24 projects.

Councilmember Hansen wondered if we should revoke the RM-24 zone and consider what Mayor Burrows talked about. Councilmember Gardner noted that there is a lot of RM-11 in town, but it is in the existing area, so it will create a lot more effort to generate more RM-11 in existing parts of town. He felt that the RM-24 development will self-regulate to some extent, especially when you get into income based/tax credits, because they have to do feasibility to get funding. He does not think we will get overrun with these projects. The funding sources are competitive, and there must be a need. He believes we need to limit RM-24 and that RM-11 should be in medium density. It is more conducive to townhomes, condos, 4-plexes, etc.

Councilmember Hansen stated that he would like to see the definition for high density be any density higher than RM-11. Councilmember Thompson thought this speaks to what he and Councilmember Hansen discussed last week. We hoped that some of this higher-density development would alleviate our housing issues in the area. But, unfortunately, the reality is that this will not be the case. If that is not the case, then we need to be proactive about finding solutions for starter homes and small families.

Councilmember Gardner would like to see a second map beyond the current annexed portion of the City. He thinks that it would make sense. For example, on the south end of town, commercial and manufacturing would be conducive to having a medium density or a low density next to it. It would be nice because people wonder what could go where in his world if the Planning Commission and the City Council met to identify what kind of growth we would like in these areas.

  1. ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR A FRONT-END LOADER APPROVED. The staff is in the process of bidding on one. Mr. Hansen said we auctioned off our 1972 or 1973 loader and received $20,000, which we can use to help pay for this one. We have been watching for one to replace it and found a 2002 loader with 3,300 hours in Centerfield City that they are auctioning off. We think that it will probably go for around $40,000. Mayor Burrows figured we should give staff the leeway to bid more than $50,000. Mr. Hansen stated that the bad thing about this public surplus auction site is that the way they make their money is they charge a 10% auction fee. Mayor Burrows would hate to have to walk away from it for $4,000 or $5,000. Motion: Allow City staff to negotiate on a front-end loader using their discretion on how much to pay for it, Action: Approved, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Brayden Gardner. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.
  2. RICHFIELD CITY POLICE ANNUAL REPORT. Chief Lloyd discussed the annual report for the Police Department. He gave the Council a copy of the stats and asked if there were any questions about them. Councilmember Thompson asked about the increase in the number of sex offender registry cases. Chief Lloyd stated that the State law has changed so that more have to register, but there are more here as well.

Based on the statistics, it appeared to Councilmember Hansen that more and more people are using the police to solve all their problems. He sees that this is becoming a trend; if that is the case, that is a big problem.

Councilmember Gardner noted the increase in alarms and asked if they were home alarms. Chief Lloyd pointed out that we have more home alarms and businesses alarms, and just figuring the addition of the 52 alarms, at an average of 20 minutes per call which is 17 manhours throughout the year, is just on the increase.

Councilmember Gardner asked about civil issues. Chief Lloyd indicated that goes back to what Councilmember Hansen said. Two days ago, he had a phone call from a subject that bought a home, closed on it, and the other person would not move out. That is not criminal. It is a civil issue, and there is nothing the police can do about it. We talk to people and try to convince them, but there is nothing else they can do.

Councilmember Thompson asked about the increase in the resists of arrests, noting that they have gone up 1,000% from 2021. He wondered if this was due to people’s attitudes toward police officers now.

GRAMA requests have also increased significantly, so much so that at the first of the year, Chief Lloyd asked his secretaries to keep track of the number of requests received. This is partly due to the change in State law that makes it so easy for anyone to request records. They take a lot of manhours because much of the information has to be redacted.

DUIs also increased. Councilmember Thompson asked if this was because there were more of them or if the officers focused more on them. Chief Lloyd said that it was both. He always has a goal of getting 100 DUIs in a year. He showed stats of how many DUI arrests we had before and after he became Chief. He stated that this is an arrest that makes a difference to him. It is an important one.

The number of cases the City has handled since 2005 has increased steadily. In comparison, the City’s caseload was less than the County’s until about 2017 or 2018. He attributes much of this to the housing projects built in the City since that time.

We had fewer arrests this year, but that was because they were four guys short.

Chief Lloyd explained how they had improved an area near the southeast corner of the sewer lagoons for a shooting range. But unfortunately, the one they have been using at the sewer treatment plant can no longer be used because of the extension of 1300 South.

Chief Lloyd also reported on a speed trailer he was able to get a grant so that it was no cost to the City. It is an $11,000 trailer, and it is solar-powered, so we only have to replace the batteries. It also tracks so you can download the data showing speeds, traffic counts, etc. He is going to write another grant for another trailer.

Chief Lloyd worked with UDOT on the intersection of 1300 South and Main Street. There have been a lot of accidents there, and UDOT said it was due to people running the light, but it was not. It was people turning left in front of people. So we got them to realign the lights so that they all lined up with the lanes, and then they stalled the left turn signal so that it stayed red for a couple of seconds after the light went green. So in the first part of the year, we had two accidents with two injuries. Since the light went in, we have had one accident.

Chief Lloyd stated that we have lost five officers this year due to employment issues. When he says employment issues, he means they went to another agency for a lot more money. Peter George went to the National Guard for $6 per hour more; Aaron Pallenson went to the State Prison for $8 per hour more, plus overtime; Robert Crose left to become a paramedic with Salt Lake Fire for less money, but in 7 years will be making far more money. Marshall Roundy went to the Highway Patrol for $12 more per hour plus a $7,500 sign-on bonus, so the $5,900 he had to pay us for his training did not matter. Riley Blackham is leaving to go to Cashe County for $4 more per hour. Two of the officers we lost were a detective and an SRO. Both positions are difficult positions to fill because of the amount of training they require.

The City has paid to put all but two new officers hired through POST. He figures that the City is in the hole of over $100,000 after just training two of the officers. One recently hired officer was working for Wayne County Sheriff, the one agency in the State paying less than we are.

Chief Lloyd stated that losing so much experience all at once has been really difficult. In addition, it is incredibly stressful having such inexperienced officers out on the street.

The State has changed the requirements for their radios. He showed the Council a radio, noting that it was a $2,200 radio and the least expensive one he could get. He has purchased some radios through a grant with the County. He tried for another grant that the State had just put out, and he was able to purchase another 12 radios and four car radios at the cost of $182,000. It will cost the City $12,000, and he has already paid half from of his current budget.

Part of the reason that Chief Lloyd stresses DUIs is that we can work these overtime shifts with the funding that we received from the State. This last year the officers worked 764 hours of overtime. So, of all the overtime that was worked, the State paid $30,000 of it. The money collected from beer sales tax can only be used for enforcement or enforcement-related equipment. He has bought cameras and radars, but most are used for overtime shifts.

Last year the State legislature mandated that all agencies provide a wellness program for all first responders. Chief Lloyd has worked with the CJC in the valley and partnered with Salina City, Wayne County, and Piute County for a grant. With this grant, we will contract with a therapist who will come in a couple of times a month, talk with the officers, and do a biannual assessment. It is entirely between the officer and her. They can visit her any time or anyone who works with her.

Our challenge for the upcoming year is the current job market. There is not anyone wanting to come into law enforcement. That has caused wages to go through the roof. Chief Lloyd sees an end to that because they have outpaced it too fast. We are hurting right now because we are at the bottom of the totem pole, but there will be another significant influx in 3 years when the Highway Patrol and the prison have many employees retire.

He worries about the safety of the patrol officers out on the road with a combined experience level of 2.1 years between them and the liability this could create. The road experience level keeps getting lower and lower each year. Another big thing he also worries about is growth. He thinks Snow College will grow, and they have their police department, but the trick is getting them to come down here and control the campus once it grows. We need to start laying some groundwork between the agencies now for how the agencies will work together.

  1. OTHER BUSINESS. Mr. Hansen gave the Council a spreadsheet showing sales tax collection for January 2023. He noted that we are seeing some red numbers on primary revenue sources compared with last year. We will see if it continues, but he is considering projecting everything pretty flat when we start budgeting for next year.

Mr. Edwards reported that the pool is still closed. We are hoping for some parts for the pump tomorrow.

Michelle Olsen stated that the survey for the library is out. They will present the results to the Council once they are available.

Councilmember Gleave reported that next week’s Chamber of Commerce luncheon is at the golf course. Richfield City is the sponsor, and someone from the City should come and talk about what is happening here. If not, that is okay. Mayor Burrows indicated that he would be willing to do that. Councilmember Gleave stated that Representative Albrecht might also be there to report on the legislative session.

The City’s application to the Joint Highway Committee for extending the bike path has been passed on for funding. So has the application for 400 West reconstruction. They will both be funded in October. The bike path will be funded this October, and 400 West will be funded in 2026. This past week, the Joint Highway Committee reviewed our application for funding for the 100 East bridge. That application was also passed on for funding, and we should know when the funding will be available in October. It is scheduled for 2026.

The City is working on some grants for Community Project Funding through Congressman Chris Stewart’s office. The application will be 3 million for a reconstruction project and another application for micro surfacing.

Mayor Burrows noted that the City’s share of funding for the JHC grants is a 6.77% match. The match for the Community Project Funding will probably be 80/20, depending on which department the funds are disbursed through. Mayor Burrows noted that we would probably have to acquire some property for 100 East in connection with the bridge.

  1. MEETING ADJOURNED. At 9:39 pm, Motion: Adjourn, Action: Adjourned, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Brayden Gardner. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Todd Gleave.

PASSED and APPROVED this 28th day of March 2022.