09.14.21 Council Minutes



At the City Council
In and For Said City
September 14, 2021

Minutes of the Richfield City Council meeting held on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Richfield City office building located at 75 East Center, Richfield, Utah. Mayor David C. Ogden presiding.

  17. OPENING REMARKS were offered by Councilmember Gleave.
  18. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE was led by Youth City Council Mayor Hannah Steele.
  19. ROLL CALL. Present: Mayor Ogden, Bryan Burrows, Kathy Christensen, Todd Gleave, Kip Hansen, Connie Nielson, Michele Jolley, Tyson Hansen.
  20. MINUTES APPROVED. The Council reviewed the minutes of the meetings held on August 3 and August 10, 2021. Motion: Approve the minutes of the meetings held on August 3 and August 10, 2021, Action: Approved, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Kathy Christensen Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Bryan Burrows, Connie Nielson, Kathy Christensen, Kip Hansen, Todd Gleave.
  21. EXPENDITURES. The Council reviewed the warrants for August 2021. Councilmember Hansen asked about the shotgun that was purchased from Jorgensen’s Power Sports. Mr. Hansen stated that it was purchased by the police department. Councilmember Hansen was glad that we purchased this from a local vendor. Councilmember Christensen asked about the football jerseys and she wondered why we did not purchase them locally? YBA Shirts is a vendor on the State Contract and we use who they have listed. Erin Thompson was not sure why we did not purchase them locally. She indicated that if there is someone local who can do this we will look at that next time. Motion: Approve the warrants for August 2021, Action: Approved, Moved by Kathy Christensen, Seconded by Bryan Burrows. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Bryan Burrows, Connie Nielson, Kathy Christensen, Kip Hansen, Todd Gleave.
  22. MURAL ON THE WATER TANK DISCUSSED. The Youth City Council would like to change the image of Richfield and help by having something that people will post on social media to make Richfield more enticing to visit. Hannah Steele, Liesel Steele, Gabi Bruse discussed a proposal to put a mural on the City’s water tank.

Hannah Steele noted that there are so many activities that draw people to and around the water tank. Some of those include hiking, running, bike trails, the archery course, RHS senior sunset, and sunrise, and it is a great lookout spot for our valley. They proposed painting a mural on the water tank. They feel that by doing this it would invite people to visit. They think it will also boost pride in the community. They want to highlight local landscape and heritage. Mr. Mogan was contacted and he indicated that he would be in favor of this.

They reached out to some professional artists that specialize in murals. Liesel Steele presented some artists that they have reached out to.

Gabi Bruse talked about Billy Hensler who has 20 years of experience in painting murals. since they want to highlight some of the things Richfield has to offer, they thought about mountain bike trails, ATV trails, hiking, and horse-riding trails and they want to highlight the City’s new logo and name, the heart of Utah’s trail country.

Hannah Steele said the Youth City Council has already thought of ways they could raise money. They thought about applying for grants through the Utah Arts Alliance and they thought there could be others. They thought about asking for sponsors from local businesses. The Youth City Council could hold some fundraisers for it. They would ask the City and County to donate and they could use a website, GoFundMe they could use to help generate money for the mural.

As to the design, the cost could be around $2,500 and they are still working with the artists to come up with a price for this. The paint is very expensive.

Councilmember Christensen talked about a show on HGTV, Hometown Takeover, and how they go through and redo the town. They did a mural that was along the whole side of a building and they had all of the art students from the high school help paint the mural.

Councilmember Nielson asked if they were planning on painting all around the tank or just doing one on the side. It stated that they have discussed putting a mural on the front and the logos on the back for the businesses that donate to the project.

Mayor Ogden thought that the general idea is wonderful. He was a little concerned about vandalism and he wondered if there were cameras there. Mr. Mogan stated that we are getting cameras installed there.

Councilmember Christensen thought it would be great, but she would like to see someone local design it.

It was suggested that they should come up with some designs and present them to the Council. Tanner Thompson deals with designing every day and stated that he has some graphic artists that he could get to help design this for them at a minimal cost.

Councilmember Nielson felt that we should move ahead and let them keep exploring their options. She thinks this is a great idea. Councilmember Christensen also thought it was a good idea.

Mayor Ogden noted that we recently had a community clean-up project and he thanked those who participated because it was a wonderful project. There was a lot of trash and large items picked up around the tank and that whole area need to be improved and this would be the start of making it special. He thinks this is a wonderful idea and he told the Youth City Council not to lose traction. Any great idea always has detractors, but it makes the idea greater if you push through and do not give up.

  1. PLANNING COMMISSION REPORT. Greg Bean reported on the meetings held on September 1 and September 13, 2021. On September 1st, there was a public hearing for a zone change for a property on 500 West between 700 and 800 South. This is for an apartment complex that would have 5 and 8 units. They wanted to have the density so that they could do what they wanted to. They recommended that it be approved.

The transportation plan was discussed because of a request to change to designation of 100 West from a major collector to a minor collector, which would reduce the width of the road. There will be a housing development along the street so they approved recommending the Council change this.

There were 2 conditional use permits requested. One for a home occupation permit for daycare and one for an Air B and B. Neither were present, so the matters were tabled.

The internal accessory dwelling units were discussed and they recommended approval.

An Annexation request at 1300 South and 550 West. This is a small strip of land next to a larger parcel in the City that has already been rezoned for RM-24.

The Planning Commission reviewed the parking requirements for RM-11 and RM-24. They concluded that 2 parking spaces per unit should be required regardless of the size of the units. They felt that there should not be a smaller requirement than that.

Regulations for short-term rental properties were discussed. They met with the City Attorney, Eric Johnson, and the list that the Planning Commission was considering had some provisions that were not legal. The Planning Commission wanted to limit the number of short-term rentals to 5% of the number of dwelling units in three areas defined by them. Mr. Johnson told them that they had to have something to base this on because you cannot just pick a figure arbitrarily. They should base their recommendations on studies of other communities. They are pursuing this because they felt that it was something that should be addressed before it gets out of hand.

They were going to discuss the use of the old church on 300 East that the owner wants to use as a dance studio, banquets, and receptions but it is not zoned for that. There is not a provision in the Code to provide a conditional use for this. They are looking at some options. They will have a public hearing on this.

They discussed having dog kennels and allowing boarding in them in commercial areas. They are currently allowed only in industrial areas. Many dog groomers have expressed a desire to be able to board pets.
The Planning Commission is looking at using the general commercial zone to allow these opportunities because they felt that there will be more and more of a demand for it. They will hold a public hearing on this as well.

They held a special meeting to approve an ordinance for internal accessory dwelling units. Councilmember Burrows asked about the language that says they cannot be rented. He wondered if this was only a mother-in-law’s house where it had to be in the house. Mr. Bean stated that it could be, but we do have an accessory dwelling unit ordinance that allows for separate units in certain areas. This is meant to provide housing for individuals. The owner has to occupy the home and then they could rent out an accessory dwelling unit to someone else.

Councilmember Nielson asked if we could consider lot size in this ordinance. Mr. Bean stated that there is a lot size requirement of more than 6,000 square feet. It cannot be sold separately and you cannot rent the house out and have an accessory dwelling unit in the same structure.

The last item the Planning Commission discussed was that we have several operations right now where the extended stay is being allowed in motels contrary to our code and without a license in a couple of cases. We are going to look at this ordinance because they support amending it to define hotels and motels better and to put some teeth into the ordinance.

Councilmember Nielson thought that extended stay has to have kitchens facilities in the rooms. The Council is also going to be looking at this.

  1. PUBLIC HEARING ON INTERNAL ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (IADU). Mayor Ogden opened a public hearing at 7:49 p.m. to receive comments to an amendment to the Zoning Code allowing internal accessory dwelling units (IADU) and set requirements and conditions for them. Councilmember Hansen thought we should require a second receptacle for garbage if they had an IADU. There was also a discussion about charging for 2 sewers, one for each unit. The water would be metered, so it would calculate the water used for both dwellings. Mayor Ogden closed the hearing at 7:55 p.m.
  2. AMENDED PLAT FOR THE RICHFIELD BUSINESS PARK APPROVED. The Council had agreed to sell a portion of Lot 10 in the Business Park to an individual because they only want to purchase 1.5 acres and not the full 2.5 acres. The plat for the amendment also has a proposed right-of-way to the south. The road or right-of-way is where the sewer line is as well. Councilmember Burrows did not think that we could utilize the property on the southeast because of the well. We have source protection for that well Motion: Approve the amended plat for the Richfield Business Park and the proposed right-of-way to the south, Action: Approved, Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Kathy Christensen. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Bryan Burrows, Connie Nielson, Kathy Christensen, Kip Hansen, Todd Gleave.
  3. APPLICATION FOR MATCHING GRANT FUNDS FROM STATE ARPA APPROVED. Mr. Mogan stated that we have put together a project to replace water lines with the City’s ARPA funds.

Mr. Hansen explained that we received half of the funds in August and will receive the second half of August of next year and it will be a total of $933,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act. It is very restrictive as to what the funds can be used for, but water and sewer projects are very safe to use the funds for. The State also received ARPA funds and they have set aside 50 million dollars to be used as matching funds to help communities in the State make their funds go further. The application deadline is September 15, 2021. We have applied for a grant to help pay for half of the VFD for the deep shop well that we have already approved and ordered. So, we are hoping to get $42,000 from the State for this.

We are keeping $75,000 out for contingency. The proposal is to put all of the remaining funds ($890,000) for a match from the State to help fund a
2.2-million-dollar water line replacement project.

Mr. Mogan stated that the lines to be replaced include 4-inch lines, but the lines proposed for replacement are the lines in the areas where we have the most problems. Most of these lines are led joints, cast iron pipes, or small galvanized pipes. We have a couple of lines that are 2-inch galvanized lines, but the majority are 4-inch led joint lines. Mr. Mogan stated that 180 services would be replaced in this project along with setters, boxes, valves, hydrants, etc.

Councilmember Burrows stated that this is a serious issue because the fire protection in these areas is not adequate.

Councilmember Christensen stated that it would be a shame if someone’s house burned down in the areas where the water lines were not adequate to provide enough water to the fire hydrants to put the fire out.

Councilmember Hansen noted that this could affect insurance ratings and a whole lot of other things that enter into this.

Councilmember Burrows wanted to know if the costs discussed would include the patch for the roads as well. Mr. Mogan stated that it would and noted that a lot of the lines are located in the dirt shoulders. We will have asphalt patching in the intersections and the crossings. We plan to use flowable fill to try and mitigate the settling of the trenches.

Mr. DeMille stated that one of the areas is on a road that the City is planning to redo in the next couple of years so it makes sense to get this done before that.

Tanner Thompson asked what things were eligible for these funds. Mr. Hansen stated that water, sewer, and broadband were the main ones.

Jeana Ogden stated that better broadband would allow us to host more events at the SVC, depending on the internet speed. She reported that when the State Republican Party looked at the SVC to host their convention, we did not have broadband capacity.

Motion: Approve the use of ARPA funds and an application to the State for matching funds to complete a water line replacement project using the City’s ARPA funds, Action: Approved, Moved by Bryan Burrows, Seconded by Kathy Christensen. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Bryan Burrows, Connie Nielson, Kathy Christensen, Kip Hansen, Todd Gleave.

  1. PROPERTY MAINTENANCE PROGRAM DISCUSSED. Mayor Ogden stated that he has been frustrated about how people take care of their property especially rentals. He sees people just driving up on the lawn and they stop taking care of the lawn and then the weeds grow up. He has discussed this with Charles Billingsley who told him that in Salina it is simpler because the property owners are just sited and that is because they have their own Justice of the Peace. It is cumbersome for us to get anything done and get it done in a month. Mayor Ogden wondered if there is not some way to make the landlord responsible for the property. The rentals that never get cleaned up are a drag on the look on the neighborhood and then consequently our City. He is hoping that there is some way to make the landlord responsible, but we need a smoother process.

Chief Lloyd talked and he stated that Salina’s ordinance is better because it has more teeth in it. The staff will look at some ordinances and discuss this more. Brent Davis talked to Carson DeMille over the weekend and he told Carson that he misses how much pride Richfield takes in the community and our appearance.

Councilmember Burrows thinks that we should look into some incentives for water conservation too. Councilmember Hansen has had some people approach him about when the City is going to offer some incentives to take mow strips out. Councilmember Burrows felt if people are going to go to xeriscape they should be some type of an incentive. Councilmember Nielson does not think that they should be given an incentive because they will get a break on their water costs. Councilmember Hansen stated that the mow strips sometimes cause degradation of the asphalt along with those areas if people do not set their sprinklers right. Sure, we are dinging them for the water, but we are paying for it too because it is damaging our streets. He does not think that we should spend tens of thousands of dollars on incentives, but he thinks we ought to look at some kind of an incentive to encourage people to remove the mow strips. It would be a one-time rebate.

  1. PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE ZONING ORDINANCE TO DEFINE MOTEL/ HOTEL AND EXTENDED STAY REQUIREMENTS AND CONDITIONS DISCUSSED. The Council discussed problems we are having with the motels because they are renting most, if not all, of their rooms for short-term rentals and the problems that are creating. Chief Lloyd explained that we have met with the City Attorney and County Attorney to determine how we can fix this problem now and into the future. The first step is to better define what a motel is. Most of the motels in town are in commercial zones that do not allow for apartments. We wanted this on the agenda to inform the Council and let them know that the staff is working on this. We have had some discussions with the City Attorney about what we wanted the fix to be, but we have not come to a consensus yet.

Councilmember Christensen noted that she thought we had two motels that are the problem. We have 6 motels that are operating like this. Chief Lloyd stated that we are actively working with the tools that we have to fix the problem.

Councilmember Hansen stated that this is just the tip of the iceberg of the bigger problem. There is a need that our community is not serving. Those people who are using that as a place to live are opposed to living behind a dumpster or in a car. We do not have adequate, other options. We are looking at this thing and we can boot them out of here, but that problem is going to pop up somewhere else because they still have to live somewhere.

Councilmember Burrows understood that we are importing them. It is not just people from here that are living in those places.

Councilmember Gleave wondered if, as Councilmember Hansen said, are we just going to push this problem somewhere else in the City, and if the reason these businesses are still open is because this is the only way they can run the business. Chief Lloyd stated that it may be and that is a discussion for later and he is not opposed to it. The problem is that we have business owners now that are doing whatever they want and not following any of the rules, including business licensing, zoning, or anything. If they would just go through the process, he would be good with that. Right now, it is just a free for. He stated that we do not put anybody in hotels. We do not have any money for that and we do not bus anybody out of here.

Mayor Ogden noted that when we have events like the Jamboree, they will see this and go there expecting a motel and they are going to get just what one of the reviews stated.

We are not opposed to this and we are looking at allowing 25% of their buildings to be used for this type of housing. It also felt that these people who are renting these rooms are being taken advantage of. The motels that are built specifically for extended stay provide more of a suite with a kitchenette. They have an average size fridge, a cooktop, a microwave, and a sink other than the one in the bathroom. Right now, they are providing a small fridge, a microwave, and a hotplate. According to the building official, a hotplate would be illegal in some of those motel rooms.

We currently do not have enough rooms available when there are larger events that come to town. If we allow a majority of these rooms to be turned into apartments, what happens to our tourism dollars. It is also on Main Street, is that where we want them to be.

  1. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH SEVIER COUNTY AND SEVIER SCHOOL DISTRICT APPROVED. Malcolm Nash explained that this has come to light due to a financial incentive for a company to locate here and because of the experience the County had with the School District with the solar farm. The company doing that development requested a financial incentive to get that project here and bring the benefits during the construction phase and afterward. The County and the School District agreed to provide that financial incentive. This is an economic development tool that has been used for decades. Salina City has its area set up and so the that comes back is used to develop the roads and improvements in their industrial park.

This document was drafted to outline a process that three entities could use whenever a request comes in to use this financial incentive. The School District has concern because they are the largest user of property tax revenue which is the major part of their funding, and the County is the second-largest user. The County has the perspective of being cautious allowing part of the property tax revenue to be peeled away from the normal process and used to help offset the cost of development.

This document also describes the process the three entities would go through to review an application. Each entity would appoint an official and a staff person to get together and review the application and use a template or a model that would help evaluate the project. Those six individuals would meet, score the project and determine if the project is something that the agencies want to participate in. Since we would be using public tax dollars for a project for some time and a specific percentage amount, each of the entities would have an opinion as to how this would affect their agency and if the project makes sense. They would be able to identify what it would provide to our community.

This process would help us be a little more sophisticated on how these projects are reviewed and understood. It is not binding. The School Board reviewed this document last week and they are comfortable with it and so are the Commissioners.

Motion: Approve a Memorandum of Understanding with Sevier County and the School District establishing a process to fund projects through the Community Reinvestment Agency, Action: Approved, Moved by Bryan Burrows, Seconded by Connie Nielson. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Bryan Burrows, Connie Nielson, Kathy Christensen, Kip Hansen, Todd Gleave.

  1. OTHER BUSINESS. Mr. Hansen stated that the staff has discussed the City’s property up by the sawdust pits and they are all in favor of not dumping anything there anymore. We would need to haul tree limbs, concrete, and asphalt to the dump instead of dumping them there. Mr. Hansen talked with the department heads and they could all use a dump trailer. It would be easier to haul things to the dump with a dump trailer over a dump truck because of the way the gate works on a dump truck so we cannot get tree limbs and other debris out very easily.

Councilmember Christensen stated that people think this is a dumpsite because the City dumps stuff there.

Councilmember Burrows owns one of these and they are not as great as everyone thinks they are. Mr. Hansen was asked the cost and he indicated it would be approximately $13,000 and we could use the excess from the insurance payment on the backhoe to purchase it.

Councilmember Christensen mentioned that for an eagle scout project several years, lilac trees were planted around where the old stage use to be. We have the Angle of Hope memorial there now. She noted that there is a big gap where the stage used to be and it would be nice to fill that in with lilac trees this next spring.

Richfield Revitalization Roadmap is moving forward. Ben Levenger with DT Redevelopment will be here to meet with community leaders and residents and to finalize a survey that they have conducted about the revitalization of Main Street. He has set aside some time on Tuesday morning, September 21 to discuss things with the City Council and Planning Commission. A public input meeting will be held Monday at 6:00 p.m. here at the City office.

InfoWest is putting internet at the City Park on the stage and they are planning to just leave it there. In the past, they have had requests for it and they have hooked it up and taken it down several times, so this time they would like to just leave it there. They are asking the City for permission to put up a sign showing that there is a hotspot there. It will show that it is provided by InfoWest.

  1. EXECUTIVE SESSION. At 8:51 p.m., Motion: Adjourn to convene an executive session to discuss the character, professional competence, or physical or mental health of an individual(s), Action: Adjourned. Moved by Kip Hansen, Seconded by Kathy Christensen. Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yes = 5). Yes: Bryan Burrows, Connie Nielson, Kathy Christensen, Kip Hansen, Todd Gleave.
  2. RECONVENE & ADJOURN. At 9:40 p.m., Motion: Reconvene and adjourn, Action: Adjourn, Moved by Kathy Christensen, Seconded by Kip Hansen.

PASSED and APPROVED this 10th day of October, 2021.