04.25.23 Council Minutes


At the City Council
In and For Said City
April 25, 2023

Minutes of the Richfield City Council meeting held on Tuesday, April 25, 2023,
at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers of the Richfield City office building located at 75 East Center, Richfield, Utah. Mayor Bryan L. Burrows presiding.

  21. OPENING REMARKS were offered by Councilmember Thompson.
  22. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE was led by Councilmember Hansen.
  23. ROLL CALL. Present: Mayor Burrows, Brayden Gardner, Kip Hansen, Elaine Street, Tanner Thompson, Michele Jolley, Tyson Hansen.
  24. MINUTES APPROVED. The Council reviewed the minutes of the meeting held on March 28, 2023. Motion: Approve the meeting minutes for March 28, 2023, Action: Approved, Moved by Elaine Street, Seconded by Tanner Thompson. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.
  25. EXPENDITURES APPROVED. The Council reviewed the March 2023 Warrant Register. Mayor Burrows asked about the payment to Amerigas for propane and the location of the tank. Mr. Hansen noted that the tank is located at Rotary Park and that we have looked at running natural gas, but it would cost a lot to get the gas line from 1000 West to that shop. Mayor Burrows also asked about the expense for meals to Famila Gonzalez. This was a charge for the Fire Department’s dinner. On page 19, there was a charge for a Wibet part, and Mayor Burrows wondered what that was. Mr. Hansen explained that the Wibet is the aqua track that we have at the pool, and this was for a replacement part. Motion: Approve the warrants for March 2023, Action: Approved, Moved by Tanner Thompson, Seconded by Brayden Gardner. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.
  26. PUBLIC COMMENTS. No comments were made.
  27. CANDIDATES INTERVIEWED AND APPOINTMENT MADE. The Council interviewed the candidates for the Council vacancy. Kendrick Thomas, Matthew Harmon, and David Anderson applied for that position.

Kendrick Thomas has had a couple of people whom he really respects reach out to him and ask him to put his name in because he has some good qualities to bring to the table. He recognizes this is a big responsibility and should not be taken lightly. He has served on the Planning Commission for the last four years, so he is fairly familiar with Richfield City’s issues and could hit the ground running. His work experience as an engineer has taken him to many communities throughout the state, and he has seen what makes councils run well and what makes them not run well. He used to work at the LTAP center and helped train people in maintaining and developing on maintaining and preserving infrastructure for cities and counties.

Councilmember Thompson asked if there was anything that he would like to help get accomplished. He mentioned the R on the hill and noted that he is working on a project with some high school students to install a free-standing R. This could be put up in the same location, and he believes that Richfield is worth branding and marketing. He also wants to see the City be very proactive with long-term infrastructure management and preservation.

Councilmember Hansen asked if he was appointed, would his intention be to file to run for the position in the fall? Mr. Thomas indicated that would be his intent. He thought it beneficial for a council member to serve more than one year.

Councilmember Street asked Mr. Thomas to tell them one thing he loved dearly about Richfield. What would Mr. Thomas promote? He said it would be the people because we have great people in our community. He would want to promote that.

Councilmember Gardner asked what Mr. Thomas would consider the City’s top priority. The first thing that came to his mind was fiduciary responsibility, being responsible with the taxpayers’ money and making sure it is spent wisely.

Councilmember Thompson asked if he thought that his employment would be a conflict. Mr. Thomas did not believe this would be an issue. He wants to be very open and transparent and keep everything above Board. They met with the City and discussed conflicts and how to address them. The attorney indicated that they should follow the principle of the Chinese wall, where personnel at Jones and DeMille working on City items would be separate from other personnel involved with the public sphere.

Matt Harmon said he greatly loves our community and has lived there for 46 years. It has been a while since he was involved in the public service aspect of it. 15 to 18 years ago, he served on the planning commission and as a volunteer for the fire department. His goal is to give back to the community. He plans to run in June because he feels the need to give back to the community that has given him so much.

Councilmember Gardner asked Mr. Harmon what he thought the top priority for the City was. He answered that it would be sustainable growth and managing that growth through our water resources because, without water resources, we cannot grow, and if we are not growing, then we are dying. He believes he would bring a fairly unique skill set that would be effective in that aspect. If we continue to grow sustainably, it will work where we are geographically and hydrologically to meet those needs.

Councilmember Thompson asked where Mr. Harmon sees Richfield’s growth coming from if certain growth circumstances are better than others, and if he had to help shape that, what it would look like. Mr. Harmon stated that certain types of growth are better for our community and how we live. He felt there is cleaner and ecologically friendly growth to help protect our natural resources, which are key to how we grow.

Mayor Burrows asked how his experience was in the fire department. Mr. Harmon stated that he loved almost every minute of it. Over ten years, there may have been a few minutes that he did not love it, but he loved the rest of the time.

David Anderson wanted to put his name in the hat because he would like the chance to serve. He has some background with the City, understands city government, and has a real passion for the community. He was a voice for the community for 23 years and dearly loves the City and city government. He is in a position where he would be able to serve. It would be an honor to serve.

Councilmember Gardner asked what Mr. Anderson sees as the top priority for the City. He believed that public safety is essential, and the rural police departments have difficulty retaining because it is so hard to compete with some of the other agencies. Infrastructure is a continual challenge for any city. We only have so many road funds to work with each year. Finding and prioritizing projects that maximize taxpayer dollars and give them the best outcome. It is an exciting time when we are talking about a new pool, park projects, and huge housing projects, and it would be fun to be a part of them. It also brings some challenges. As he drives past the new big apartments on his way to work, he can see that we will be addressing some transportation issues there in the near future.

Councilmember Thompson asked if Mr. Anderson had a particular project that he would like to see through. He does not come into this with an agenda. He wants to do his best to help the City reach its due diligence with each project. He is not afraid to ask hard questions and ask a lot of questions.

Councilmember Hansen asked if Mr. Anderson would intend to file for Council in June. That would be his intention at this point. Councilmember Hansen wondered what he would do if he were not appointed. Mr. Anderson stated that he was unsure and would depend on what the universe had in store for him then. It would be possible.

Mayor Burrows asked Mr. Anderson about his experience with job hunting in our area. What is the opportunity like? He felt extremely blessed in his job hunt. When he left his career, he got certified as a substitute teacher and did that for the school district for a little over a month. One of the mortuaries called him, and so he helped them out. He applied for different state positions, and then he just got a call out-of-the-blues one day that asked him to come and interview with a company, and they hired him. He felt that there were good opportunities out there. He also worked with one of the temp agencies, and although he did not have the chance to work for them, they had things they would line up for him. He thought there was the same thing that Richfield has always faced because there may be many jobs, but not a lot that could sustain a family. He noted that we have a low median income, but our real estate prices have continued to escalate, creating challenges for younger people.

Councilmember Hansen noted that there is one seat and three candidates. More than double the number of candidates would cause a primary election, so the Council voted to narrow it down to two candidates by casting two votes each.

Councilmember Gardner voted for Mr. Thomas and Mr. Harmon. Councilmember Hansen voted for Mr. Thomas and Mr. Anderson. Councilmember voted for Mr. Thomas and Mr. Harmon. Councilmember Thompson voted for Mr. Thomas and Mr. Harmon. Mr. Thomas received four votes, Mr. Harmon received three votes, and Mr. Anderson received one vote.

The Council then voted for just one. Councilmember Gardner voted for Mr. Harmon. Councilmember Hansen voted for Mr. Thomas. Councilmember Street voted for Mr. Thomas. Councilmember Thompson voted for Mr. Thomas.

Kendrick Thomas was chosen to fill the unexpired term of Todd Gleave. He took the oath of office and took his seat with the Council.

  1. IMPACT FEES FOR COVE JUNCTION DISCUSSED. Mr. JJ Lund is doing a housing project west of Home Depot. When they do big city projects, they ask for waivers of the impact fees because he partners with a non-profit housing. Mr. Lund buys the property, and then they sell the property to the non-profit. He stated that his financing was based on the prior impact fee schedule, so he is asking if there is any way to go back to the old impact fee schedule or if a medium ground would work for both sides.

Councilmember Thompson asked what the difference is. Mr. Lund stated that there is about a $249,000 difference. He said they do a lot of rural development as big cities, and even at the lower amount, they felt Richfield was on the high end. They just did a 60-unit in Salt Lake City, and their impact fees are only $213,000. He is only building 36 units here.
Councilmember Hansen felt that Mr. Lund made a valid point. Mayor Burrows asked about the next phase. Mr. Lund stated that the next phase is going to be more difficult to make the numbers work, but with him knowing in advance, they can apply and try to get more funding.

Councilmember Gardner declared a conflict because he represented the seller on this property. When we went through this last year, we spent a lot of time discussing this. He has a tough time giving a waiver. We keep coming to these challenges where we have an ordinance and find a way around them. He thought we should stick to the ordinance, and if we do not like the number, then we should modify the ordinance.

Councilmember Hansen felt that we had left way too much money on the table for many years by not using the right we had to use these impact fees that we have recently enacted. It is not a new thing. It is just something that we have not been willing to step up and do. Mr. Lund got caught in the cross-fire, but Councilmember Hansen thought we did a good thing when we adopted that impact fee schedule because those impacts are real. When the State Legislature passed the laws and set up the parameters, we were well within the legality of the fee structure that we had adopted.

Councilmember Gardner was concerned that this impact fee is going to keep causing issues with future development, so maybe it is something the Council should look at and determine whether we should modify it or stick with it.

Mr. Lund stated that he partners with a non-profit to do these projects. He has a personal connection here which is why this project is here. With a number that big of 100 units, it is $600,000 cheaper to go to Cedar City or Price, so the developers will probably go there. He wants to keep doing it and hopes to finish all the phasing, but he cannot change his current finance structure.

Mr. Lund pointed out that for the project to succeed, he does need some help. He is not saying that the fee has to go back to the old fee schedule because he is happy to throw in as much as possible, but his hands are tied.

Mayor Burrows felt we should stick to our guns on the water and sewer. There was discussion about not assessing the recreation and public safety impacts, but the case was made that this development is going to impact all of these services. Mr. Lund stated that in other communities, they had been given a waiver because this type of project was needed. He asked the Council to consider the kind of housing it is and if Richfield needs it. He is not asking for the waiver, but he would say that this is why the Council could give it to him and not to another project because it is a different product in general because of its structure, and it is a non-profit. It is not cash in their pockets. It is subsidized tax credit money.

Mayor Burrows asked how their rent works. Mr. Lund explained that they use the tax credits to more or less lower their financing, so the tenants have to pay less because they bought down their financing with tax credits from a company like American Express, which spends their tax money on Mr. Lund’s project. It is based on income and variance, so you cannot get in if you make so much money. He thought that it was a happy medium.

Councilmember Gardner asked if there would be any market-rate units. Mr. Lund answered that they are subsidized.

Councilmember Thomas stated that we had an impact fee analysis completed, and based on growth projections, this is the amount we need. If we do not get it, then his concern is that we will have to make it up from somewhere else. He appreciates that Mr. Lund is in a difficult situation, but we would just transfer a difficult problem to the City. Councilmember Thomas asked about the contingency that Mr. Lund mentioned. Mr. Lund stated that anything over $100,000 extra may kill it.

Councilmember Thompson felt that whatever the decision is, it needs to be justifiable because he is concerned about the next person that comes in. It has to be something for something, he would think. It has to be tied to something. Councilmember Gardner stated that it is just like the fence issue we dealt with a couple of weeks ago. If we keep giving variances, we need to change it. We either need to change it or stick with it.

Councilmember Hansen was not inclined to offer any waiver at all. He said there was a good reason why we adopted the impact fees when we did. It is a hard spot, but that is where he stands. Councilmember Gardner wondered if there would be a scenario where we could take the payment over time. He asked if that was an option. It was suggested that the City consult the attorney before making a decision.
Motion: Table action on impact fees for Cove Junction until the next meeting to seek legal counsel, Action: Tabled, 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, Kendrick Thomas.

  1. PUBLIC HEARING STANDARDS RM-24 ZONE. Mayor Burrows opened the public hearing at 8:13 pm to receive comments on proposed amendments to the standards for the RM-24 zone. The proposed amendments were as follows:

The minimum lot size for an RM-24 development shall be 8,000 square feet for the first unit and 1,500 square feet for each additional unit, with a maximum acreage of three acres and a maximum of 60 units.

The proximity of an RM-24 development to another RM-24 development shall be a distance of one-quarter mile (1,320) feet if the acreage for the development is one acre or less, one-half mile (2,640 feet) if the acreage for the development is one to two acres; or three-quarter of a mile (3,960 feet) if the acreage is on two to three acres.

Hearing no comments, Mayor Burrows closed the hearing at 8:14 pm.

  1. LIBRARY REPORT BY MICHELLE OLSEN. Michelle Olsen reported on the Library, noting the slump they saw during the pandemic, but we see the users returning. She indicated that 16,553 visit the Library, with some that just come in because they are intrigued by the building. Storytime is held on Wednesdays and Thursdays throughout the year, with 1,000 attendees. Summer reading kickoff is set for May 20 from 10 am to 12 pm. She has books that the Washburns put together with the names of veterans from our area. They took these three volumes, and all of the names from them are on the computer and searchable in the Library catalog.

Ryan Tholman discussed the survey that was done for the Library. They received 162 respondents and very good information about the Library’s needs and what they are doing well. When they formalize their strategic plan, it will focus on three areas, communication, programs, and physical building and resources. This past year, they have repainted the Library and installed three new furnaces. They received a $12,000 grant and a $5,000 grant for books.

  1. AGREEMENT WITH RICHARD AND MARY ANN LARSEN APPROVED. The Council reviewed an agreement with Richard and Mary Ann Larsen for the right of way along 325 West. The City needed 1.24 acres across parcels 4-298-20, 4-298-22, and 4-298-23 to construct the road around the business park. Larsens also agreed to allow drainage culverts to continue draining on said parcels as they have historically. In return Richfield City will do the following:
  2. Install a 6″ water pipe to the new ROW line as part of the roadway construction project. The value of this installation is $7,660
  3. Install a 4″ sewer lateral to the new ROW line as part of the roadway construction project. The value of this installation is $1,304
  4. City will provide a water meter for water connection when a water meter is needed. The cost of the water meter is $500.
  5. City will wave connection fees. Impact fees still apply.
  6. The Total value of improvements along said parcels for the 10′ roadway from the centerline is $58,000.

Motion: Approve the agreement with Richard and MaryAnn Larsen for the 1.24 acres needed for the right-of-way along 325 West as part of the 2630 South Business Park Project, Action: Approved, Moved by Elaine Street, Seconded by Kip Hansen. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Kendrick Thomas.

    Council reviewed a request for the City to deny the annexation of property owned by Max White at 1200 South Annabella Road. The property’s location is within the annexable boundary but not contiguous to the City boundary. The property would not meet the requirements for annexation.

Councilmember Gardner assumed that the request was to get a building permit from the County, which was the case.

Motion: Approve the request to deny annexation of property owned by Max White located at approximately 1200 South Annabella Road, 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, Kendrick Thomas.

  1. ORDINANCE 2023-2 ADOPTED. The Council reaffirmed the adoption of the annexation ordinance for the property owned by the State of Utah School Trust Lands Administration. Motion: Approve the approval of Ordinance 2023-2 annexing the property owned by the State of Utah School Trust Lands Administration, 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.
  2. ORDINANCE 2023-3 ADOPTED. The Council reviewed an ordinance to annex the property owned by Mountain State Contractors, LLC, and considered zoning the property commercial shopping (CS). Motion: Adopt Ordinance 2023-3 annexing the property owned by Mountain States Contractors, LLC, and zoning the property commercial shopping (CS), Action: Approved, Moved by Brayden Gardner, Seconded by Tanner Thompson. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Kendrick Thomas.
  3. RESOLUTION 2023-4 ADOPTED. The Council reviewed the final update to the general plan. Motion: Adopt Resolution 2023-4 accepting the updated general plan, Action: Adopted, 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, Kendrick Thomas.
  4. ALCOHOL POLICY FOR CITY FACILITIES DISCUSSED. The Council reviewed Seiver County’s alcohol policy for County facilities that they recently adopted. The purpose of such a policy is for liability. The Council considered whether the City should adopt a similar policy. The Council felt we should look at this if this were a concern.
  5. PEHP LONG-TERM DISABILITY PILOT PROGRAM APPROVED. The Council reviewed information from PEHP for a pilot program that would extend coverage for mental disability beyond two years if they cannot work. Currently, long-term disability for a mental disability ends after two years. This would increase the City’s premium rate from .5% to .68% of an eligible employee’s salary from July 1, 2023 to July 30, 2026. Councilmember Hansen indicated that in three years, we would be able to assess if the money was well spent. He thought this would eventually be mandated. Motion: Approve the election of the long-term disability pilot program, 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, Kendrick Thomas.
  6. FINANCIAL STATEMENT REVIEWED. Mayor Burrows Burrows noted that it appears the sales tax revenue is holding. Mr. Hansen pointed out that we track sales tax revenue, transient room tax revenue, highway tax revenue, recreation tax revenue, and PAR tax revenue because these five revenue sources make up over half of the City’s annual revenue. They are all at the mercy of the economy. In March, all of these revenue sources were down, but yeat-to-date, we are still up. The difference from March 2022 to March 2023 was about %4. That just means that less money was spent in our community. We have been anticipating this because these revenues are based on economics. Transient room tax is only about 1% of our annual revenue, but we track it because it gives us another marker.

Councilmember Hansen felt that just looking at March is an anomaly because we did not get spring in March. That was postponed better than a month. He thought we would probably recover some of that in April and May. People were just not out traveling and recreating because of the adverse weather we had.

Mr. Hansen explained that water revenues are out-performing projections because it has been a pretty good year overall. He pointed out that the interest earned was at 1400% of what was projected because interest rates were up. Last year, interest earned on our general fund was $24,000. This year we have earned $260,000 in interest.

Councilmember Thompson asked where the funds were. Mr. Hansen noted that a third of the funds are in the Public Treasurers Fund, and two-thirds are in Zions. In light of recent events, one of his concerns is having a large amount of cash in one bank. We have been talking about diversifying to protect our assets better. The State Treasurer has these state management companies that they have approved. They have a certified investment advisor list. Councilmember Hansen talked with an advisor, and they would suggest we take 5 million dollars out of Zions and put it somewhere else.

He asked the Council if this would be something they would support and, if so, if they would want to do an RFQ for this service. Councilmember Hansen did not have a problem with putting out an RFQ.

Mayor Burrows wondered if we would need to do an RFQ where there is already an approved list from the State Treasurer.

Mr. Hansen was going to call some of the references that he had.

Mr. Hansen referred to the financial statement and noted that some of the budgets are getting a little tight, so that we will be opening and amending some things in the next few weeks. The general fund is in decent shape, and we are running a reasonably good surplus.

The water fund shows that we have spent quite a bit on capital outlays on our water system because many of our meters are past their life span and not working correctly.

The sewer fund looks like we have quite a bit of cash and cash equivalent, but we have to remember that 4 million is committed to the sewer lagoon project. If you look at the expenses in the current year actual, we are running in the red about $2,689. Once we bill, we will be good, but then once we figure in depreciation, we will be back in the red. We will need to look at this closing at year-end because we are probably due for another rate increase in that fund.

  1. OTHER BUSINESS. Councilmember Thompson is on the County Travel Council, and they award funds that are collected through the transient room tax to different events that are going on in the County. At their last meeting, ¾ of the projects they funded that day were for the Black Hawk. Dr. Greenwood raised the concern that they fund so many projects at the Black Hawk when most of the TRT tax is collected from Richfield businesses. He wondered why they disproportionately funded projects outside of Richfield when Richfield accounts for so much of the revenue. Councilmember Thompson has a business in Richfield and Lehi, and today he was redoing his point of sale; the Lehi sales tax was 7.25%, and the Richfield sales tax was 6.75%. He believed that the only way Richfield could benefit from being the County hub was through sales tax. He wondered if there would be some way to increase sales tax and if the Council would favor that.

Mayor Burrows asked who from the County was on the Board, and Councilmember Thompson stated Commissioner Brown was. He explained that the Council is a group of business owners and hotel owners that make a recommendation to the County Commissioners, and they approve it based on the Travel Council’s recommendation.

Chief Lloyd reported that about 120 youths from a church group came and filled sandbags. Mr. Mogan had it all set up, so they were able to fill 2,500 sandbags.

Mayor Burrows reminded the Council of the open house for the pool project at the Fair Grounds on May 2.

  1. MEETING ADJOURNED. At 9:31 pm, Motion: Adjourn, Action: Adjourned, Moved by Tanner Thompson, Seconded by Brayden Gardner. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Brayden Gardner, Elaine Street, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson, Kendrick Thomas.

PASSED and APPROVED this 13th day of June 2022.