THE STATE OF UTAH
COUNTY OF SEVIER
CITY OF RICHFIELD
At the City Council
In and For Said City
October 19, 2020
Minutes of the Richfield City Council special meeting held on Tuesday, October 19, 2020, at 4:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Richfield City office building located at 75 East Center, Richfield, Utah. Mayor David C. Ogden presided.
1. ROLL CALL
2. DRAINAGE ISSUE ON SOUTH MAIN DISCUSSED
3. WATER AND SEWER RATE INCREASES DISCUSSED
4. WATER, ANNEXATION REQUIREMENTS, AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT MATTERS DISCUSSED
5. MEETING ADJOURNED
1. ROLL CALL. Present: Bryan Burrows, Kathy Christensen, Todd Gleave, Kip Hansen, Mayor David Ogden, Michele Jolley, Tyson Hansen. Excused: Connie Nielson.
2. DRAINAGE ISSUE ON SOUTH MAIN DISCUSSED. Scott Hyatt, the owner of the new car wash and the property across the street from Larsen’s Ace Hardware, was present to discuss some drainage issues on south Main Street that affect his developments. Mr. Hyatt explained that the drainage coming off the road and draining on to his property. Two 24-inch culverts are coming out from under the road and draining onto his property. The property across the street where a strip mall is located is also draining their wastewater and storm drainage into those culverts, so it is also draining onto Mr. Hyatt’s property.
He is ready to have the asphalt laid on his parking lot, but the contractor will not lay it because the drainage is coming out under the asphalt. As long as that continues, it will just erode the road base and cause the asphalt to fall.
Mr. Hyatt noted that he had to spend quite a bit of money in engineering and development to contain his wastewater, which is what the City ordinance requires. However, that is not happening with the property across the street to the west. We met with UDOT and they stated that their responsibility ends once the water leaves their right-of-way.
He is seeing water drain there almost every day and he indicated that it is coming from the lawn that is being watered on the other side of the street. He also explained that there is a drainage manhole right in the middle of the grass, so any time they water, it runs into the culvert, under the road, and onto Mr. Hyatt’s property. Councilmember Hansen did not think that there should be a manhole in the middle of the lawn.
Councilmember Burrows asked what is going to happen once the asphalt is down and if this was just an issue to get the asphalt laid. Mr. Hyatt stated that there is a short-term and long-term solution. He has to do something now to get the asphalt down and he is running out of good weather for that to happen. Long-term would have to be a culvert installed to take the water to the south to the storm drain on 1300 south that this could tie into.
Councilmember Burrows asked if the long-term plan would affect the asphalt and cement that he is going to put in now. Mr. Hyatt stated that he has to put some type of a concrete box to stop that water so that when it comes out of the culvert it will run to the south and not percolate under his asphalt. He has a temporary box that will work for now.
Mayor Ogden stated that there is a high-power gas line located in the same location, which only compounds the problem. Mr. Hyatt stated that because of the gas line Dominion Energy will not allow a ditch to be dug, so there would have to be a culvert installed.
An option discussed was to run the water to 100 East and divert it to 1300 South on the north side of the road. The problem is that the water would flow into the retention pond that Tractor Supply constructed and it would not be large enough to handle that amount of water.
Mr. Hyatt stated that he will utilize the old sewer box to capture the water for now so that he will be able to get his asphalt installed. He does not feel that this is his problem because it is not his water. He had a price to put in a culvert of $41,000.
Mr. Hyatt indicated that he has asked UDOT to provide him with a copy of the law that says they can evacuate the water onto someone else’s property. He will move forward with his attorney to try and get a long-term solution to this problem.
3. WATER AND SEWER RATE INCREASES DISCUSSED. The Council had previously discussed increasing the sewer rates by $4 now, with an increase of $1 per year for the next four years. Councilmember Burrows asked how the overage is charged for commercial users. Commercial users are allowed 9,000 gallons before they get a cost increase of $1 per 1,000 gallons after that, and this is based on their water usage.
Councilmember Burrows does not have a problem with a rate increase, but he indicated that raising the base rate hits everyone. We cannot continue to raise the base because in his opinion it is not fair. He thought we should increase the overages.
The problem with just raising the overages is that it is hard to project what we will collect. Councilmember Burrows is not against raising the base but felt that we need to increase the cost of the overages.
Councilmember Nielson stated that those individuals who take pride in their yards are going to continue to use the water.
Councilmember Hansen stated that raising the rates would show that we are trying to encourage water conservation.
Mr. Hansen indicated that raising rates will show the CIB that we are trying to be proactive in paying for our sewer improvements.
Councilmember Burrows stated that for the last 10 years we have been on the hunt for water and every time we get close to purchasing some, we have to stop and try and figure out how we are going to pay for it. We need to put money away to make sure that we can continue to purchase underground water.
Councilmember Christensen is concerned about the apartments not paying an additional base rate for each unit.
Councilmember Nielson noted that we need to look down the road to the high density to see if we can determine how that is going to affect our water. Councilmember Peterson wondered if we needed to check with some larger cities to see how they bill apartment complexes.
Councilmember Nielson is concerned about the higher density developments coming in and the water and sewer lines and if we actually have the capacity to support it.
Brayden Gardner stated that the market will correct a lot of the concerns that are being expressed because the market will dictate the number of units that are sustainable.
Councilmember Burrows stated that another piece of the high-density problem is how it affects the schools. If it does, they are not going to be willing to allow tax credits because they will need the money to operate the schools.
Mr. Gardner noted that this very thing is happening in South Sevier this year. All of the growth is happening there because of the affordable property prices. They have a huge influx and it is putting a strain on the schools.
4. WATER, ANNEXATION REQUIREMENTS, AND OTHER DEVELOPMENT MATTERS DISCUSSED. The water requirement for annexation is a concern. For example, the annexation in progress for CSS Composites has the owner a little frustrated because the property they purchased comes with surface water and they would like the City to accept that instead of requiring them to go out and purchase underground water to give the City.
Councilmember Burrows stated that if their development remains just the composite business then he thinks the City could work with that them on that. If they are going to develop the whole 15 acres the surface shares would not be adequate.
Councilmember Burrows suggested that we could make a change for how water for annexations for commercial developments are determined. Mr. Gardner suggested that the City could accept the value of water share for the value of underground water that is required for the annexation.
3. MEETING ADJOURNED. At 7:03 p.m., Motion: Adjourn, Action: Adjourned. Moved by Kathy Christensen. Seconded by Connie Nielson. Vote: Motion carried on Vote: Motion carried by unanimous roll call vote (summary: Yea = 4). Yea: Bryan Burrows, Kathy Christensen, Todd Gleave, Kip Hansen. Excused: Connie Nielson.
PASSED and APPROVED this 26 day of January, 2021.