THE STATE OF UTAH
COUNTY OF SEVIER
CITY OF RICHFIELD
At the City Council
In and For Said City
August 8, 2023
Minutes of the Richfield City Council meeting held Tuesday, August 8, 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.
- OPENING REMARKS
- PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
- ROLL CALL
- MINUTES APPROVED
- EXPENDITURES APPROVED
- PUBLIC HEARING – PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE
- PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT
- ANNEXATION ORDINANCE 2023-9 ADOPTED
- ORDINANCE 2023-6 ADOPTED
- ORDINANCE 2023-7 ADOPTED
- ORDINANCE 2023-8 ADOPTED
- 100 EAST GRADING BID APPROVED
- OTHER BUSINESS
- EXECUTIVE SESSION
- RECONVENE & ADJOURN
- OPENING REMARKS were offered by Councilmember Thomas.
- PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE was led by Councilmember Thompson.
- 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).
- MINUTES APPROVED. The Council reviewed the July 25, 2023, meeting minutes and made the following changes. Councilmember Hansen stated that Councilmember Thomas and Councilmember Thompson had been mixed up in a few places, on page 6 at line 40 and page 7 at line 5. Motion: Approve the meeting minutes of July 25, 2023, Action: Approve, Moved by Kip Hansen, 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.
- EXPENDITURES APPROVED. The Council reviewed the warrants for November 2022 and July 2023. Councilmember Thomas asked about a $5,000 payment to the Utah League of Cities and Towns and if that was an annual amount we pay. Mr. Hansen noted that it is a yearly membership payment. Motion: Approve the expenditures for November 2022 and July 2023, 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.
- PUBLIC HEARING – PROPOSED PROPERTY TAX INCREASE. Mayor Burrows opened the hearing at 7:07 pm to receive comments on a proposed property tax rate increase of 26.3%.
Durell Sorenson questioned the tax situation. He retired from the power company, and since then, he has not had a pay increase. It makes it hard because it was pretty good then but has dwindled to practically nothing. Since he retired, they are looking at about $1,300 a month between him and his wife and the medication they have. With the new tax increase, he indicated that he would look at about $225 monthly on his home. There is not a lot left between the water and power bills. You want to be able to keep your house up so you end up using a little more water, and that does not leave much left. He would like to have the Council keep in mind that the Seniors’ piggy banks are getting pretty low, and there is not much left. Everything keeps going up. He knows it takes money to run the town, but we still need to consider what the senior citizens are running into.
Gates Nowers pointed out that it appears everything shown pertains to the swimming pool. He is afraid that they are overlooking the majority of the people in the area. Only a small portion use that, and maybe we should put something in that when the new subdivisions come in, they would have to pay a bond. Then the people who cannot afford this wondered if this is something that we need to slow down. Like the grants, particularly the one for the airport and the golf course. Not anything has to do with water and sewer lines. It is not a lot more money to oversize something. None of the stuff listed makes sense. Everyone here has paid for all this stuff already. Sevier County is growing, and where are all those taxes going? He said that the City is not paying any more personnel. Mayor Burrows stated that we have to hire an additional police officer.
Regarding people coming in a developing, we get an impact fee from them for water, sewer, public safety, and recreation. Mr. Nowers asked where this money was going, and Mayor Burrows replied that it was not as much as you think. He explained that the City gets a little over one million dollars from property tax. That is it. Mr. Nowers stated that it is mind-boggling to him because of the money he pays. Mayor Burrows asked Mr. Nowers if he lived in the City limits. Mr. Nowers said he was close, so Mayor Burrows pointed out that he does not pay City taxes. Mr. Nowers said that he pays the County and school district taxes, and Mayor Burrows noted that has nothing to do with Richfield City.
Mayor Burrows stated that we just did a 12 million dollar sewer project and are redoing the spring that has been in place for probably 90 years. We have to redo it because everything in there is antiquated, we are losing water as it goes around the catch basin, and he does not think it has ever made money as far as the golf course goes. He said that it is close, but it does not make money. The pool does not make money, and the parks do not make money. None of these things make money, but it is what we provide as a City for a quality of life for our residents. There are a lot of people who want these things. Right now, we have a pool that was remodeled in about 1983, and it has been cobbled and pieced together for 90 years now, and it is tired. Mr. Nowers stated that when the City does projects, they should make sure that they consider growth when they are doing projects. Mayor Burrows stated that it is a good thought, but when we go to agencies for funding, they do not want to pay for oversized lines; they want to pay for what we need. Mr. Nowers stated that we need to figure out how to short something and not do some of this stuff because we cannot do everything on the same day. Mayor Burrows stated that in the last year, we have received 11.5 million dollars in grant money, costing us 1.5 million in matches. Mr. Nowers wanted to know what the grants were for, and Mayor Burrows explained that they were for roads, water lines, sewer infrastructure, water shares, bike path extension, and a new park. He also stated that the City does try to look down the road a long way, and sometimes it is a guess.
Mike Snow stated that he rides his bike on the bike path from Rotary Park to the Cemetery twice a week, and he passes kids on there, parents with strollers, people roller skating, and other people on bikes, so it gets used a lot.
Councilmember Hansen stated that the Council is part of those who have helped pay for things. He addressed the County bond that Mr. Nowers mentioned noting that just because the joint venture with the County and the College did not pass does not mean that the City cannot do something to take care of the amenity we have.
Michelle Olsen stated that she attended many meetings and wanted to offer her support because she thinks what the Council is doing is needed. It is an increase, but it is needed for projects we need to do, the rising costs, and it is needed for our quality of life. She does not think this is exorbitant, and she believes we need this for our City.
Edward Nielson stated that he owns a couple of businesses, one of which is a shuttle business, so he goes to the airport and picks up customers. He wished we could get more customers and a little more plane activity in and out there. He questioned why we do not use the airport like they use Cedar Airport. He is for the pool because he has kids. He went there on the 4th of July and observed that the pool does need upgrading. It is falling apart. He has property in the City and the County, and he understands that taxes have to go up one way or another to pay for things. He does not use the bike path. He is happy about the pump track, and he knows it is not done but has seen many people using it. He goes to all the parks with his kids.
Debbie Waybrant and Roxanne Bobo stated that they have a lot of rental properties, so it affects them. They try not to pass this on to their tenants, but they understand because they want them to have things to do. They get it; it just sucks. Ms. Waybrant said we have to do something to get better people because we are starting to get some not-so-good people. They just wanted to hear what everyone else had to say. Mayor Burrows stated that we all know that we are going to grow, and the City has done some different things with planning and zoning to try and stir it the way we want it to grow. He pointed out that the City’s biggest investment is in the ground, so a lot of thought goes into what we are trying to do.
Councilmember Hansen stated that he was in line with a gentleman at Larsen’s, and he overheard that what he was buying would probably cost as much as the whole sprinkler system cost him to install five years ago. Councilmember Hansen stated that when the City goes out to buy those things, our costs are not frozen in time. We are dealing with the same thing, but unfortunately, on a much larger scale.
Gates Nowers said that Richfield has a pretty good police department. Mayor closed the hearing at 7:47 pm.
- PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT. Josh Peterson reported on the Planning Commission meeting on August 2, 2023. Permitted use permits were addressed. Audrey Knight requested a permit for the Dog Shop at 1075 South 75 East. It was approved.
Lexa Larsen and Dustin Rooks were approved for short-term rentals. Tyson Hansen was approved to have a short-term rental, but Mr. Peterson reported that the Planning Commission talked about it quite a bit, but they did approve it. The scary thing is that this spotlights that we are turning into a tourist community where that will start to outgrow the residents, and we will have to do our best to control that. They discussed that later in the meeting, so they will see what the City Attorney has to say about some proposed language. A conditional use permit for Emily Taylor for a business called “A Cookie A Day” as a home occupation. The Planning Commission approved that. They held some public hearings for the items the Council is hearing tonight, but no public comments were made. They recommended the adoption of the amended ordinances that they held public hearings on.
The Planning Commission reviewed and discussed amendments to the subdivision ordinance and zoning ordinance amendments. They also discussed expanding the definition of mixed-use zoning. They looked at some examples from other cities, and two members will look into this further. They are hoping to have something in place that better defines mixed uses so that it cannot be used as a way around other zoning requirements.
Councilmember Thomas knew that a year or two ago, the Planning Commission had something put in the ordinance to limit the number of short-term rentals. He thought it was 5%, and he wondered if that is what was being reviewed by the attorney and if that is still being tracked. Mr. Peterson stated that it is being tracked. The City was divided into three different zones, and both the short-term rentals that came in were in the same zone. He noted that Mr. Hansen’s short-term rental would be number 11 of 45 available in that zone. Councilmember Thompson asked if the other zones had a similar capacity. Mr. Peterson thought that they did. Mr. Peterson thought that we have about 30 short-term rentals, legal ones, in the City.
Councilmember Thompson wondered if it made sense to look at that again. Councilmember Thomas stated that when they looked at this before, the City Attorney said we had to have something defensible as far as a percentage and that there is some justification either from a study or another city that shows that once a certain percentage is reached, it becomes harmful to have that many. Mr. Peterson wondered if the City could limit short-term rentals in the affordable living zone so that we are not taking away homes that people could live in and turning them into rentals. In our housing market, many homes are available that are $400,000 or higher, but the average income for the area cannot afford that. There are only seven listings in the average income zone.
- ANNEXATION ORDINANCE 2023-9 ADOPTED. The Council reviewed an ordinance annexing the property owned by Brock and Mandy Hansen, located at approximately 2630 South 325 West, containing 2.52 acres. Motion: Adopt Ordinance 2023-9 annexing the property owned by Brock and Mandy Hansen, 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.
- ORDINANCE 2023-6 ADOPTED. The Council reviewed an ordinance to amend Title 12 of the Richfield Municipal Code, “Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Places,” to be consistent with the Land Use Code. Motion: Adopt Ordinance 2023-6 amending Title 12 of the Richfield Municipal Code, “Streets, Sidewalks, and Public Places, Action: Adopted, Moved by Elaine Street, 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.
- ORDINANCE 2023-7 ADOPTED. The Council reviewed an ordinance to amend Title 13, Chapter 13.16 of the Richfield Municipal Code, “Stormwater Quality and Enforcement,” to be consistent with the Land Use Code. Motion: Adopt Ordinance 2023-7 amending Title 13, Chapter 13.16 of the Richfield Municipal Code, “Stormwater Quality and Enforcement,” 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, Kendrick Thomas, Kip Hansen, Tanner Thompson.
- ORDINANCE 2023-8 ADOPTED. The Council reviewed an ordinance to amend Title 15 of the Richfield Municipal Code, “Building and Construction,” to be consistent with the Land Use Code. Motion: Adopt Ordinance 2023-8 amending Title 15 of the Richfield Municipal Code, Action: Adopted, Moved by Kendrick Thomas, 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.
- 100 EAST GRADING BID APPROVED. The Council reviewed a bid from Hales Sand & Gravel to grade 100 East between 1300 South and 1500 South and bring in approximately 6″ of road base for $17,780.00. Councilmember Hansen asked about the mag chloride treatment and if it is effective. Mr. Mogan stated that we do not have much experience with mag in the City, but the County has laid that on 1000 South which gets a lot of use. Councilmember Hansen wondered if this is something we could do or if we have to contract that out. Mr. Mogan stated that we would have to contract it out. Councilmember Hansen wondered how much that would add to this cost. Mr. Mogan thought it would cost approximately $3,000 to $4,000. Motion: Approve the bid of $17,780.00 to grade 100 East and bring in 6″ of road base, Action: Approve, Moved by Kip Hansen, 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.
- OTHER BUSINESS. Councilmember Hansen reminded the Council of the County Fair to check it out.
Councilmember Thomas reported that they are working on getting some pricing for geotechnical tests for the property we are considering for the new pool. We will ensure the site is buildable before going through the CIB process. Councilmember Thomas is close to having some renderings for the Richfield “R.”
The grant application we are looking into for the Library to complete an assessment of the structure; there is a pre-application deadline at the end of this month. He will be looking into that.
City Staff is working to put together a plan to redo some of the areas at Centennial Park. We are also looking into a grant to help with the cost of the sidewalks.
The Council was informed of equipment problems with two of the City’s backhoes. The 2014 Case needs a new motor, so it is being transferred to Cedar to have that installed. The CAT is leaking antifreeze, so it is being taken to Salina to be fixed. We will rent a backhoe for $2,000 monthly, so we are not without one.
The recent flooding was discussed. Chief Lloyd stated that the Flat Canyon settling ponds are full of silt, so we will have some issues if it rains hard. Councilmember Thompson asked who maintains it. The City and the County maintain it, but Chief Lloyd noted that there is no way you could get in there and clean it out because it is too muddy.
Mayor Burrows stated that the Council had been invited to an open house for the Sandstone Care Facility on August 15. He was unsure of the time so he would tell them the time.
- MEETING ADJOURNED. At 8:17 pm, Motion: Adjourn, Action: Adjourned, Moved by 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.
PASSED AND APPROVED this 22nd day of August 2023.