Saturday, February 20, 2016

City Council 19-Jan-2016: Work Sessions, Utility Rate, Road Reconstruction, Annual Deer Report, Road Work, Canyon Resolution, Severance Pay

Below are my notes from the Jan 12th Worksession. I think you’ll find them interesting.

Work session Jan 12

Utility Rates

We recently contracted with Zion’s ban to do a study analyzing our utility rates. In the last year staff has completed long term maintenance and capital requirements report for each our of utility services -- Culinary water, Pressurized Irrigation (PI), Storm Sewer, and Sewer). The rate study will provide give us insight into what our options are to ensure that we have sufficient funds in the various service accounts to meet the needs of the city (all of us). Zions’ provided a snapshot of where they were on the project which is scheduled to be completed by the end of March (click here to see the presentation). Given the information Zion’s has now here is the fund balance projection.

2016-01-12 Utility Rate Study_thumb[4]

The target cash on hand measure by how much each fund needs per day is 275 days. As you can see without a revenue change within a 3 years all funds shown will be negative. We basically have 3 options to fill the “gap”.

  1. Raise rates
  2. Bond (with lower rate increase now)
  3. A combination of 1 and 2.

My personal bias it towards #1.

Additionally, there was discussion on creating service zones for water to allow a additional fee to be charged to residents to cover the cost of the electricity used to pump water to higher elevation areas (e.g. the northwest and View Pointe).

Arguments against include:

  • It is not fair
  • The cost of general city services should be apportioned equally to all residents.
  • There are examples of other services which cost more to provide specific areas that don’t have a fee (e.g. sewer for low lying areas where it needs to be pumped).
  • Do we really want to further divide the city?

The best argument I can think of for is the answer to the following question:

If Highland were to annex additional areas of land which required higher ongoing costs to provide services (e.g. cost of electricity to pump the water to a higher elevation) would it be right to raise the fees of all residents to cover those costs or should those residing in those areas pay fund the cost).

When this comes up in council meeting it will be an interesting discussion. I don’t have a firm opinion on it yet but I do generally subscribe to the notion that we should pay our own way. However, no tax/fee policy is ever completely equitable. If you have a view please share it with the council and come to the council meeting when this item is on the agenda. For me, talking with me (via email or phone) before the meeting is usually more effective than speaking at the meeting.

Road Reconstruction

PEPG Consulting has a proposal in with the city to review our D & F (recently amended to include C-) rated roads and determine the level of reconstruction required to bring them into a good condition. Our previous road study indicated that it would cost $16.2M to rebuild these roads. PEPG believes that be analyzing the roads by doing core samples that these cost estimates can be reduced by ~$1.5M (perhaps more). This is because when core sampling is done it is occasionally the case the instead of doing a complete rebuild of the road you find that a road section can be repaired by taking off a few inches (milling) and laying new asphalt. They in fact to a core on a segment of 6000 W where this was the case. In this case while the surface of the road looked bad when you looked at the lower layers of asphalt they were OK. We expect this project to be done sometime in June. Click here to see their presentation.

The final report will include an update to the projected costs of repairing D & F road plus a recommended timeframe to repair (something the previous road study did not include).

Work session Jan 19.

We spent 45 minutes discussing the pro and cons of consolidating the voting at one location (city hall) next municipal election (consensus was yes) and whether or not we should track results by precincts (the consensus was yes). We briefly discussed Vote-By-Mail ONLY and didn’t really come to a firm conclusion (I was opposed in Nov of 2014 when we previously discussed the item and haven’t changed my position – click here to read why) and restricting the location of campaign signs on public land. Allowing signs on all public lands creates extra cost for the city because these signs all need to be removed and replaced when the lawns are mowed.

Council Meeting AGENDA / MINUTES

Public Comment

  • Scott Sandstrom addressed the Council on behalf of Preserve and Protect American Fork  Canyon, and expressed concern for the potential expansion of Snowbird. Water contamination was a particular concern.


  1. PRESENTATION: Oath of Office - Highland City Youth Council
    The 2016 Youth Council Members include: Aaron Burns, Aubrey Cannon,
    Blake Cannon, Brittany Jones, Brook Woolley, Brooklynn Harris, Cole VanAusdal, David Westwood, Emmerson Dayton, Jessica Spencer, Laura Mabey, Lindsey B. Draper, Marinda, Mugleson, Mykel Godwin, Rebecca Cutler, Tanner West, and Kate Modersitzski, with advisors Sarah Cutler and Chris Dayton.

  2. PRESENTATION: Utah Valley Women
    Did not come

  3. REPORT: Highland Urban Deer Control Program – Brian Cook
    Brian reviewed the number of deer removed and discussed the program in general. We are in maintenance mode now. The number of deer harvested and the number of deer killed on the road were 2 interesting statistics (see charts below). I would like to again thank former mayor Lynn Richtie and Brian Cook for helping to drive this program forward. An 89% reduction in deer killed on the roads over 3 years is impressive from any point of view. I think of that statistic in terms of injuries or fatalities prevented let along the thousands of dollars in reduced collision damage. Click here for detailed data.
    2016-01-19 Deer Harvest

    2016-01-19 Road Kill


  1. MOTION: Modification of a Contract for Transcription Services of City Council Meeting Minutes – C. Price Transcription LLC, Unanimously approved. Note, The reason there were no minutes to approve is that the contract had expired. Click here for more details.

  2. MOTION: Selection of Consultant to Prepare a Road Reconstruction Capital Plan. PEPG Unanimously approved. See also notes from the Jan 12th Work Session. The proposal includes:

    • Monthly Technical Advisory Committee Meetings
      Validation of the D and F PCI Values in the JUB Report
    • Coring samples of all D and F Roads
      Establish asphalt pavement design for all D and F Roads
    • Prioritization of D and F Road Reconstruction
    • Public Open House
    Click here for more details
  3. RESOLUTION: Potential Expansion of the Snowbird Ski Resort Project – American Fork Canyon. The following resolution was unanimously approved (click here for more details):

    WHEREAS, Highland City has environmental, economic, social and historical interests in American Fork Canyon; and
    WHEREAS, Highland City desires to establish best practices and policies regarding the management and care of the Canyon; and
    WHEREAS, Highland City has an obligation and a vested interest to protect the watershed, and the sources and quantities of water; and
    WHEREAS, there is a potential for a negative impact on the City water system;
    The Highland City Council is urging the Utah County Board of Adjustment to consider the potential impact on area watershed and water supply and require the applicant to provide all applicable studies to address this issue including the long term effect of any undesirable elements that could be transferred to the ground water


    1. RESOLUTION: City Council To Represent Highland City – Utah Valley Dispatch Board.  Ed Dennis was nominated and unanimously approved to represent the council. Click here for more details.

    2. MOTION: Authorize Staff to bid ha5 Surface Treatment Road Maintenance Projects in the Amount not to exceed $211,623.58 - Type III Slurry Seal Treatment not to exceed $12,885 and $41,976.43 for Crack Sealing – 2016 Spring Surface Treatments. Unanimously approved. Click here for more details.

      2016-01-19 Road Maintenance

    3. MOTION – Authoriztion to Preceed with Construction of the 10400 North Sewer and Road Improvements. The council unanimously approved proceeding with the following to be executed by Vancon, Inc. (click here for more details):

      • Replacement of 1,730 feet of 10” sewer with a new 12” PVC sewer and 369 feet of 10” sewer with a new 15” PVC sewer. Also includes full-width asphalt reconstruction of 10400 North from 5950 West to 6300 West. The cost is $465,107.
      • Full-width asphalt reconstruction of 10400 North from approximately 6500 West to 6300 West at a cost of $153,710.50.
    4. MOTION: Revising Section 10.5 of the Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual – Severance for At Will Employees. The council unanimously approved a reduction in severance pay from 6 months to 12 weeks for at will city employees. Click here for more details.


    • Revenue from Open Space Purchase and Questar Lease – Gary LeCheminant, Finance Director. Net proceeds from the sale of Open Space land will be put into the Open Space fund and dedicated to capital improvements.



    Requested by / Owner

    Due Date


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

    City Council


    Continued discussion

    Determine Park Use for Recreation

    City Council
    Parks Staff


    Staff to make recommendations

    HW Bldg. – PW Storage Status

    City Council

    End of 2015

    In progress

    Moratorium for the Town Center Overlay

    City Council

    Jan 2016

    Will vote on change in Feb

    Speed sign data collection

    Justin   In progress
    Salt Storage building Justin Feb 2, 2016 Engineer reviewing


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