Monday, March 16, 2015

City Council 3-Mar-2015: Roads, Park Maintenance Building, Library Tax

51 residents attended the council meeting this week, many of them were scouts. 4 residents contributed during the public comment portion of the meeting.


  1. Public Comment:

    • Ed Dennis (Open Space Committee Chair): Thanked the council for the progress on Open Space issues and then reiterated his support for the dedicated library property tax and then read a prepared statement (I can’t find my copy I will add a link to it when I do).
    • Shawna Larsen (Arts Council Chair): Shared with the council the news that they were able to raise enough donations ($13,500) to purchase a used Kawai Grand Piano. Note, since then the Arts Council received another significant donation which allowed them to purchase a new Yamaha Grand Piano (total cost $30,000).

      2015-03-12 New Yamaho Grand Piano
    • Jackie Healey: Expressed support for the library property tax as she didn’t want the library to worry about funding each year.
    • Blythe Shupe (Library Board Chair): Reiterated her support for the library property tax and said it is only 2% of the total city budget. She also mentioned that a neighbor of hers who worked for Qualtrics (an online polling firm) said that he could help construct a poll of the residents. Blythe thought this would be done at no cost to the city.

Consent Items

  1. MOTION: Minutes for the February 10, 2015 City Council Work Session. Approved

  2. MOTION: Minutes for the February 17, 2015 City Council Regular Session. Approved

  3. MOTION: Ratification of Re-Appointment and Appointment of Planning Commissioners


  1. Motion: Authorize Staff to Bid Road Reconstruction – 10150 North and Stevens Lane.

    Bid Doc Costs
    Probable Costs
    10150 N
    Stevens Lane

    Below is a map the include the two sections of road under discussion


    Councilman Braithwaite pointed out the if we reconstruct both of these roads then we would be spending about half of our road money for the year on reconstruction projects which goes against the recommendation the council supported earlier in the year that the highest priority item (and best use of funds) with respect to roads was to maintain our good (rated A to C) roads He therefore recommended that we do only one of the two reconstruction projects and put the balance of the funds into maintenance projects. The rest of the council concurred and so only 10150 North will be reconstructed. The following is the final motion which was approved. “
    City Council authorize the staff to bid the road reconstruction project for 10150 North and set aside a contingency for that project in a reasonable amount. All other funds identified be used for resurfacing projects.”

  2. Resolution:  Amending Site Plan Review Fees – Civic Construction Plan Review and Civic Construction Inspections

    The current site plan review fee is $775. After staff reviewed the fees with Zion’s bank the following fees were recommended:

    • Site Plan Review: $2,295
    • Civil Plan Review: $2,906
    • Civil Inspection Fee: $4,015

    The second and third fees are new items. All fee amounts are based on the actual cost of the city to perform these activities. After some discussion the motion was unanimously approved.

  3. Motion: Approval of an Agreement – D.R. Horton. The agreement with D.R. Horton (Skye Estates developer) will put the impact fee appeal on hold until the Zion's Bank fee study has been completed. If the new impact fees are lower then the city will refund the difference between the new fees and the fees paid. If the fees are higher then D.R. Horton will pay the difference. Note, the city put the impact fees paid be DR Horton in escrow when the appeal was initially filed so refunding the money will not be an issue, if required. The motion was unanimously approved.


  • Park Maintenance Building. During the previous week council members were given tours of the current park maintenance and city maintenance buildings. Prior to my visit I thought that the land west of the city maintenance building (located near the mouth of the canyon) could be used as a site for the new park building. After the visit I changed my view and feel that of the sites currently under consideration (town center and community center) the town center location is the best option. Part of the tour included a review of the building options: steel, concrete block, and wood frame. Steel was the most economical (~$275K), concrete next ($~350K), and wood frame was quite a bit more. The steel bid came from J&M Steel of Lehi. Click here to see examples of steel projects by J&M.

    During the council meeting we reviewed the costs, discussed locations again and agreed to continue to move forward with the town center as the #1 location. The next action item will be for the staff to provide the council and residents with a site layout and drawing to indicate what the building will look like. There will be a public hearing before final approval is given.

  • Library Funding and Dedicated Tax:The council had an extended discussion on this item. Let me summarize the primary points of view on the council.

    Funding the library through a dedicated tax
    The dedicated tax provides a sense of stability to the library board and employees. Without it the board, volunteers and staff may lose some of their motivation. With it the staff are motivated to reduce costs so they can build a reserve for future expenses. Also, without the dedicated tax a council could reduce the library budget below the threshold needed to maintain its value to the community.

    Funding the library through the general fund
    The dedicated tax requires that all funds collected via this mechanism be used exclusively for the library. This means that an excess funds cannot be used for any other city need (e.g. roads, trails, parks, police, fire … ). The library presently has a reserve of $89K. There are at present a number of needs that this amount of money to help fill (trails, park building, roads, a salt storage building). The dedicated tax does not allow  the city to manage its funds based on today’s needs. As the city continues to develop the amount of money collected via the dedicated tax will continue to rise. Note, in addition to the dedicated tax the library is also funded by the fees and fines it collects (e.g. out of area library card fees, late return fines …). These funds used to go into the general fund but on 2010 the council votes to dedicate these to the library at the same time they reduced the library property tax.

    Other points of view
    • I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the phrase “I love the library therefore we must keep the dedicated tax.” This statement presumes that without a dedicated tax the library would not exist. Given that only 3 out of the 13 cities in Utah County that have a library use a library tax this is obviously an incorrect assumption.
    • I’ve also heard that given the the library represents less than 2% of the city’s annual spend why not just leave it in place. I don’t believe the percentage of the budget spend is relevant to this discussion. What is relevant is that the tax forces the city to allocate a specific amount of money to the library, regardless of need. Clearly, since there is an $89,000 reserve, it is forcing us to set aside money for one purpose when there may other more important city needs that could be addressed with this money.
    • We have been told that the return on investment for money spent on the library is anywhere from 300% to 600% and therefore we should leave the tax in place. I am not sure how this relates to the dedicated tax when it, along with fees and fines, presently generates more money than the library uses each year. Giving the library only what it needs would increase the rate of return.
    • The city does not charge the library for the space it uses or other shared services. If the library were billed for all costs the city subsidizes the dedicated tax would be not cover its current expenses and additional funds would need to be provided by the council. That is a valid point but we don’t presently do this for the other general fund departments (parks, events, engineering … ). The net effect of this is similar to reducing the dedicated tax and requires an extra book keeping effort. Note, the dedicated tax also requires extra book keeping efforts to track library property tax dollars.

Pending Action Items

Description Requested
by / Owner
Due Date Status

Certified Impact Fee – Completed Report

City Council
Nathan Crane

1st qtr..
of 2015

Zion's Bank approved – report in progress

Impact Facilities Plan

City Council

1st qtr. 2015

In progress

Road Capital Improvement Plan for FY 15-16 Prioritize and Communicate to Residents

City Council


Contracted with King Engineering.

Determine Park Use For Recreation

City Council

1st qtr. 2015

Staff to make recommendations

HW Bldg. – PW Storage Status

City Council


In progress

SR74 Median at Pebble Lane Subdivision


Waiting to hear from council.

Building use Policy and Fees

Rod Mann

Gathering information

Bike Traffic along SR 74 Jessie Schoenfeld

In progress


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