Monday, February 3, 2014

City Council Meeting Jan 21, 2013

Highland LogoDuring the council member comment time I asked that future minutes include a summary section that lists actions taken by the council and identifies requests of city staff. The requests should show up in the agenda’s of the following meetings until they are resolved. This request is not reflected in the agenda of the upcoming meeting. I will ask to have the council vote to support the concept at tomorrow’s council meeting but will do so with some reluctance because I don’t want city staff to feel like they don’t own their work product.

Representatives from Keddington & Christensen, our auditors, presented their findings from the annual audit. The bottom line is that there were no violations of state regulations found and the city is following proper procedures in the management of funds. I was concerned about a statement on page 3 of the report that read “Highland City’s total net position decreased by $2,359,994. Elements of the decrease were 1) Interest payments on debt; 2) ongoing operations of the governmental activities; 3) ongoing operations of the business-type activities assets.”  However, when questioned about the decrease the primary reason was not one of the 3 listed but simply the depreciation of current city assets.

The council approved the following:

  • The sale of the land west of the Meir’s Fine Food and Meats parking lot for commercial development. Note, the sales contract was revised, at Brian Braithwaite’s recommendation, to allow up to 2 years for the city to build a storage facility to replace the one located on the land being sold. Finding a new home for the storage building is an important issue that should remain on future council agendas until it is resolved.
  • A Local Government agreement for the design of a parking lot and park on the parcel of land on the north side of 10400 opposite Mitchell Hollow Park. Note, the design will be a multi-phase design that will include the development of parking lot, landscaping, and a park area. The city has access to $310,000 for this project. The money came from funds allocated by the county/state to build an undercrossing at the mouth of the canyon but which did not get used.$310,000 should be sufficient to create a design for the entire area and then build the parking lot and perhaps some or all of the landscaping. If we want to build out the other phases costs associated would need to be covered by the city.
  • Linking an ecommerce portal (Dubli) to the city’s website subject to a positive review by legal counsel of the associated terms and condition. Prior to approval the counsel discussed possible costs to the city (support calls from residents) and what if any liability might exist. We also discussed the risk of residents getting to objectionable content through the portal.
  • The council also directed the city to begin planning on how funds previously allocated to update the city’s general plan could be used to fund an update of the city’s Capital Facilities Plan and the certification of impact fees. Nathan Crane pointed out that a number of cities have been sued by builders for inappropriate impact fees and have lost, including American Fork. The aforementioned process needs to be gone through to comply with state laws associated with impact fees and would help ensure the city is not a target for similar lawsuits. Staff will return with a cost estimate that includes using the funds budgeted for the general plan and using money from enterprise funds (water, sewer …) to cover costs associated with them.

Here are the action items I picked out of my notes and the minutes from the last council meeting that need follow-up on:

  • Setback ordinance change recommendation. This was precipitated by a request from the Haskett family.
  • Plan for funding the Capital Facilities Plan update and certified impact fee
  • Resident involvement in supporting website and Facebook
  • Shopping portal (Dubli) status: Dubli has waived their standard terms and conditions for us and staff is proceeding to implement.
  • Joy Madsen suggested that the city participate in the April 17th 2014 Great Utah ShakeOut. I’ve looked at the website and think it would be a good idea. Would it be best to coordinate this through the Police or Fire Department? Do we have a emergency preparedness committee?
  • Follow-up on property to put a storage building on to replace the one near Wendy’s.
  • Also there was a resident request for permission to put in a handicap parking space on the street adjacent to Freedom Elementary at the Nov 19 2013. Is there a status update on that?

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