05.02.23 Council Minutes – Special Meeting


At the City Council
In and For Said City
May 2, 2023

Minutes of the Richfield City Council SPECIAL meeting held on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, commencing at 6:00 pm at the Sevier County Fairgrounds, 410 East 200 South, Richfield, Utah. Mayor Bryan L. Burrows presiding.

  4. ROLL CALL. Mayor Burrows, Councilmember Gardner, Councilmember Hansen, Councilmember Street, Councilmember Thomas, Councilmember Thompson, Michele Jolley, Tyson Hansen. Others present were Brady Edwards, Carson DeMille, and Jamison Christensen.
  5. PUBLIC MEETING ON THE SWIMMING POOL PROPOSAL. Mayor Burrows gave a brief history of what had transpired during this process. He noted that the Council looked at a remodel for the existing pool but found it impossible. The focus shifted to building a new pool. He intended to be very transparent about what was happening because he was not doing this for himself but for Richfield City. He updated those present on the current condition of the existing pool, noting that it is not in good shape and is going downhill fast, and we are spending a lot of money on it to maintain it. He believes we will not have anything if we do not do something very soon.

Mayor Burrows explained that the new pool proposal also includes some fixtures for Lions Park. The estimate is a little over 14 million dollars, which is a lot of money. He is excited about this and hopes that we will be able to fund it.

Brady Edwards discussed the new pool facility, noting that it would include a patio and a splash pad for the outdoor area, new locker rooms, a laundry area, a guard station, and a first aid room. A multipurpose room could be used for party rentals or classes. The pool would consist of a zero entry with about 4 inches of water and graduate into a deeper lane pool with a diving board on one end. A small slide would be included for the littles and a larger slide for the older kids. There is also enough deck space to accommodate bleachers for swim meets.
Mr. Edwards expressed his opinion about an outdoor pool which is what people have been most vocal about, stating that he would rather spend the money on a facility that could be used all year round. An outdoor pool would probably cost 10 to 15 million dollars, and he thought that not be a wise investment of the public’s money.

Features at Lions Park would include relocating the playground and the basketball court.

Mayor Burrows was concerned about the cost and felt we needed to provide the services to the community, but it is important to him to keep the cost down because he wants everyone to use it.

Janet Siggins felt that since the people in the City would be paying for it, they should get a break, and people who do not live in the City should have to pay more to use it. Councilmember Hansen appreciated Ms. Siggins’s opinion, but he for having different prices for people who do not live in the City that what they pay helps with O and M, and then when they are here, they might stop and buy something which helps us out as well. Mayor Burrows stated that we are unique because we are the hub, and the City does come first, but we have to consider our neighbors. We want them to come here and use the facilities.

Mr. Edwards stated that most facilities run on resident and non-resident fees.

A gentleman asked about the amount the kind of bleacher setup there would be for high school swim meets. Kendrick Thomas stated that we would have portable bleachers as we have now, but there is significantly more dead space and more room for seating on three sides of the pool. This layout would accommodate that much better than our current facility.

Mayor Burrows noted that the new building would be pressurized so that you would not feel like you are in a sauna-like we have now.

A lady asked what kind of decking the facility would have, hopefully non-skid. Mr. Thomas stated that this would be a Merth, coated stainless steel pool. It costs a little more but is a better product.

Another lady asked about the ventilation. Mr. Edwards stated that was what Mayor Burrows was talking about. Being new construction, the facility would be built and controlled with positive pressure would control the two environments so that there would not be a lot of moisture in the air.

Councilmember Thompson felt that getting it back to a place people want to go is important.
Mr. Edwards asked those present if they thought the City was on track with what was being proposed. Have we accomplished a goal to appease the majority in providing something for everyone in this; some fun along with the swim meets? The swim meets, water aerobics and things in the morning, and stuff for the toddlers are not going away. Ms. Siggins stated that we will still have the Wibbet.

A lady stated that the one complaint she has heard from friends and hers is that it is closed so often for lightening, so she wondered if this would change with the new building. Mr. Edwards stated that we had not addressed that yet, but you can put in lightning rods and a lightning system. The churches are currently doing that, and an electrician in the valley is very well-versed in this.

A man asked how this design compares with the one voted on as a County for the rec center with a pool. He never really knew what we were getting there, but he wondered how that pool compared with this one regarding its amenities versus what this one has. Mayor Burrows stated that he was not sure what we were getting either. He remembered that the rec center would have been done in three or four phases and would have had an Olympic size pool.

Mayor Burrows stated that when we started looking at this thirteen or fourteen years ago, we were looking at 4 million dollars to do this, and now it’s 14 to 15 million dollars. At best, this is going to be a stretch.

Councilmember Hansen stated that regarding the aquatics portion of that other project, he believed what we discussed here would be equivalent to what was discussed there.

A man asked if we are building this in a way that we could expand for later ideas and thought to go on to a rec center potentially.

Kendrick Thomas showed a plan where we have looked at space availability like a lazy river which is more on the aquatics side. Mr. Edwards stated that building a rec center, gymnasiums, and Lions Park would not accommodate that. Parking would not be feasible for that type of facility, and we would not want to destroy the whole park either.

Mr. Edwards noted that many other projects need to be done along with the upkeep of our existing facilities. This project coming in at 14 million is more than the City’s annual budget of 8.4 million. We do not want to spend 40 million dollars and not be able to afford to run it and then not be able to do anything else for 20 to 30 years. If we can do this reasonably, we could continue working toward other things like ball fields, gymnasiums, etc.

A lady asked what the time frame for funding would be. Mr. Thomas stated that we are applying to the Community Impact Board for funding for the project. We are looking at asking for a 9 million dollar loan and the rest in grant money. That would be extremely helpful. The application deadline is June 1, and the board will likely review this project with us, and we will ask for September or October for that review. If they approve and fund the project, that would be done at their October meeting. We would work on completing the design through the winter and be ready to start construction as soon as possible next year. He would guess the construction time for a project of this size would be about 12 months.

Mr. Thomas stated that it is important for those who attended to be here because it is very important to the Community Impact Board that the community supports the project. A public hearing will be held at the next council meeting on May 9, 2023. That would help the funding case.

Mayor Burrows stated that there are a number of things in our City that need attention, and we have neglected to keep up with the maintenance in. We have put a lot of money into the older areas of town and will continue working on that.

Councilmember Gardner stated that he likes this project and felt that this is something the community needs for the quality of life that it provides.

Councilmember Street thanked Mayor Burrows and Mr. Edwards for all of the efforts they have put into this.

Lindy Spencer stated that she appreciates all the thought and efforts that have gone into this. Her concern is that she wants to see something happen. She wants their action and their motion and is wondering if this is going to happen. Mayor Burrows stated that it would happen if we could get the funding, and in the worst-case scenario, we will have to put this out for a bond. He has spent a big part of his time over the last fourteen years talking about this and does not want to discuss it anymore. He is ready to get something done. In his mind, we are as close as we have ever been. We are more prepared to go now than we ever have been. He is confident we are moving in the right direction. A lot of questions will be answered in the next few months.

Chet Thompson stated that we need to get this done and figured out. Do it as well as possible with the money we have available. We need to make the most of what we can because it is worth doing well.

Mayor Burrows does not want to downsize because he feels this is a good plan. We are not going to quit. He promised that he would go until we cannot go any further.

  1. MEETING ADJOURNED. At 7:08 pm, reconvene and adjourn.

PASSED and APPROVED this 27th day of May 2023.