Tuesday, January 24, 2017

City Council 10-Jan-2017: Road Plan, Youth Council, R-1-30 Moratorium, Spring Road Projects,

If you support the construction of the Murdock Connector (an east-west road between Alpine Highway and North County Blvd) please indicate your support by signing an online petition (click here to sign). This petition will be shared with Utah State legislators as they will need pass a bill this year to allow the road to cross state owned property. Also, our new State Senator, Dan Hemmert, and State Representative, Mike Kennedy, both have short constituent surveys that include a question on this issue. Please let them know how you feel on this and other issues such as education, internet sales tax, medical marijuana …. Click on their respective pictures to complete their survey’s .

Dan Hemmert - 1 Mike Kennedy - 1
State Senator Dan Hemmert State Rep. Mike Kennedy

Now on the the meeting. It was a productive meeting with a good exchange of information. Two residents attended the Roads Work Session and over sixty were present for the Council Meeting. Most of the Council Meeting attendees were there to support the 2017 Highland City Youth Council members who were sworn in. It is great to see so much interest in local government.

Work Session: Road Plan

Pavement Condition Index (PCI) and Cost to Maintain / Repair Roads
2017-01-10 PCI Diagram

PEPG, the consulting firm we hired to analyze our roads, walked through their assessment our roads. The report (click here to view the report and here to view their presentation) was done in two phases.

  • Phase 1: An assessment of our roads which are in poor condition.
  • Phase 2: An assessment of our good roads.

Their assessment included taking core samples of road segments throughout the city not just a looking at the surface of the road. The net of the report is that whereas the 2011-12 road study showed that $16-19M (depending a which version of the report was used) were needed repair the roads which were in poor condition, this report shows that only $5.6M will be required.

I thought the report was excellent. It is thoroughly researched and provides us with the information we need to put together a plan that optimizes whatever budget we can get to work on roads. Note, the report does not include costs associated with adding curbing and sidewalks to areas where they don’t exist (e.g. 10400 N near Mountain Ridge Jr. High), updating traffic controls  (e.g. adding traffic light at the intersection of Highland Blvd & 11800), future road expansions (e.g. widening Highland Blvd) … .

The report recommends that we spend $8M over the next five years to get our roads back on track while continuing our current crack sealing and seal coating program. In terms of our budget this means we need to add $1M a year to our current road budget.

  1. We could delay the road work which could double the long term costs.
  2. We could fund the costs using a 10 or 20 year bond (I am biased against increasing our debt). This would lower the annual increase required to pay for work but increase the total cost. Plus we would still need to raise money to pay for the bond.

Unfortunately, I don’t see a scenario where the city will not need to raise additional funds for roads at some point of time. The sooner we raise the funds and start the  work the less it will cost us in the long run.

Below is my summary of the estimated annual cost. Note, I will update this if new information comes to light.  Click here to display the entire spreadsheet, including charts and graphs in a separate window:

Below are charts showing the breakdown in terms of cost of the type of work which is needed over the next five years and the cost per year of the work.

Click here to go to the Google spreadsheet which has additional data and charts in it. This is a working spreadsheet for me which means I may update it from time to time.

This is an item staff and council will be working on over the could of few months. We welcome any input with respect to the report, costs, how and when to pay for the roads … . There are a few questions on this year’s annual city survey which address the road issue. If you haven’t completed the survey please take a few minutes to do so. Click here to take the survey.

Council Meeting AGENDA / MINUTES

Public Comment/Appearances

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Public Comment/Appearances

  1. Oath of Office - Highland City Youth Council: Prior to being sworn in the youth council advisor indicated that the new youth council wants to do more service for the city and wants to better understand Highland City government processes. Thanks to youth and leaders for being involved.
  2. 2015-2016 Audit Report – Keddington & Christensen Auditors. The auditors presented their finding (click here to review the report). The biggest issue was that we ended the year with a general fund reserve of 26.5%  ($123,395) when the statutory limit is 25%. This is not unusual as at times budgeted projects end up being deferred for some reason into the next fiscal year. We were advised to keep a closer watch on this. If you are interested in understanding how city finance work reviewing this document would be helpful.


  1. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Work Session – December 6, 2016. . Approved unanimously. Click here to view the minutes.

  2. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Regular Session – December 6, 2016.  Approved unanimously. Click here to view the minutes.

  3. MOTION: Approval of Dedication of Street Right of Way – Parkway East. Approved unanimously. Click here to view detailed information from the agenda.
    2017-01-10 Parkway East

  4. MOTION: Preliminary Plat Approval for a 15 lot single family subdivision located at 5879 West 10400 North – Sienna Estates. Approved unanimously. Click here to view detailed information from the agenda.
    2017-01-10 Sienna Estates Map


  1. RESOLUTION: Confirmation of the Appointment of Highland/Alpine Justice Court Judge – Kelly Schaeffer-Bullock. Approved unanimously. Click here to view background information on Kelly Schaeffer-Bullock  from the agenda. Note, she worked with Antonin Scalia, is constitutionally minded and has been involved in municipal court actions nearly her whole career.

  2. ORDINANCE: Adoption of a Temporary Land Use Regulation Prohibiting the Application and Approval of Re-Zoning Request for the Next Six Months – R-1-30 Zone. Approved with minor change 4 to 1 – For: Brian Braithwaite, Tim Irwin, Dennis LeBaron, Rod Mann; Against: Ed Dennis. The change was for the ordinance to read for up to six months. Ed felt that since we had already approved three other R-1-30 developments we did not need the temporary halt. The rest felt it was reasonable to defer any further decisions until the city survey was completed (two questions dealt with this issue), the status of the referendum request was finalized, and planning commission and council discussed the issue in a joint meeting. Note, this meeting will be held on March 14th at 6:00 pm. Click here to view detailed information from the agenda.

  3. ORDINANCE: Approval of an Open Space Maintenance Agreement and
    Amendments to Highland City Municipal Code Section 12.28 – Private Maintenance of Public Open Space Property
    . We had a lengthy discussion on one specific sentence. “The only exception is that the city shall bear the cost of the pressurized irrigation on the improved land.” Most council members felt this was too broad and it should be clarified to indicate that the owner would be responsible for installing and paying for any additional pressurized irrigation (PI) water. Note, since the residents don’t own the land and PI bills are determined by the square fit of a lot there would be no increase in the short term for any resident that signs a maintenance agreement. However, at some point in the future we will meter PI water and at that point the maintenance agreements holders could be impacted. A motion was passed 4 to 1 (for: Brian Braithwaite, Tim Irwin, Dennis LeBaron, Rod Mann; against: Ed Dennis) to revise the agreement to state that the city will provide the water shares but remove the phrase stating the that city will bear the cost of pressurized irrigation on the improved land. Click here to view detailed information from the agenda.

  4. MOTION/RESOLUTION: Dissolution of the North Utah County Aquifer
    Association and the Creation of the North Utah County Aquifer Council.
    Approved unanimously. Click here to view detailed information from the agenda.

  5. MOTION: Approval of Road Surface Treatments (HA5) for Spring in the amount not to exceed $210,000 and $50,000. for Crack Sealing. Approved unanimously. Click here to view detailed information from the agenda. Below are the streets which will be worked on in 2017.
    2017-01-17 Surface Treatments

  6. RESOLUTION: Approval of the Moderate Income Housing Biennial Report. Section 10-9a-408 of the Utah State Code, requires each City or Town to biennially review the moderate income housing plan element of its general plan and its implementation and provide a report to the Utah Housing and Community Development Division and Mountainland Association of Governments. The last review was completed in September of 2014 and we need to submit and updated one. The report was approved 4 to 1 – For: Brian Braithwaite, Tim Irwin, Dennis LeBaron, Rod Mann; Against: Ed Dennis.. Click here to the report.. Note, Ed opposed the resolution because it included a reference to R-1-30 and believed that since we had put a temporary moratorium on approving this zone it should be removed from the report.

  7. NOMINATION/VOTE: Mayor Pro-Tempore. Dennis LeBaron was nominated and unanimously approved. Click here to view detailed information from the agenda.


  • I asked to have staff report on the traffic information collected from the Highland Blvd radar speed signs at a council meeting in the near future. Staff should be doing that in February.
  • I asked to have a report on the status of the maintenance building plans. Mayor to update at a future meeting.


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