Saturday, February 18, 2017

City Council 7-Feb-2017: Wimbelton Trails, Library Report, Park Use Fees, Mid-Year Budget Adjustments, Highland Blvd & 11800 N Intersection Redesign

2017-02-07 Close to HomeWell over 50 residents attended the meeting.  Most were there for one of four items: the Library Strategic Plan Presentation, Wimbelton Trails, Roads, and the Highland Blvd / 11800 N Intersection.

Prior to the meeting we learned that the petition to dispose of the Wimbelton neighborhood option trails did not have sufficient signatures to meet the threshold required to have the council consider the request. A public hearing on the issue end up not being required and so the item was removed from the agenda.

My understanding is that  those who wish to dispose of the trails argue that they are not well maintained by the city and although they are used, usage is not necessarily by those in the neighborhood and thus pose a potential safety hazard. A secondary issue is that many of those living in Open Space developments feel that the open space fee they pay is too high or not well used.

Those opposing the disposal of the trail believe the trails are well used and are a benefit to the community. They also point out that the trails provide a safer route to the local elementary school and Mitchell Hollow Park for children.

Council Meeting AGENDA / MINUTES


  • A resident who recently moved to here commented that he was impressed with the city in general and particularly the library.

  • A group of residents who live on Stevens Lane let the council know that they want their road to be repaired earlier than the recommended 3 to 5 years listed in the recently completed road plan. Note, the mayor drove me through the road this week and there are a few spots where, in my view, work needs to be done, even if the entire road isn’t rebuilt in the near term.


  1. Blythe Shupe, library board chair, provided a brief overview of the library in terms of the goals they’ve had over the years and touched on their broad goals for the next 10 years as related to the library’s mission, values, and core competency statements. The presentation was excellent but to understand the contents of the strategic plan you will need to review it (presentation link, strategic plan link). The most impressive information for me was the change that has occurred within the last year. It is remarkable!

      2015 2016 % increase
    Volunteer Hours



    Items Added to Collection (Sep-Dec) 200/mo 475/mo 138%
    Reference Desk Questions (Aug-Dec) 100/mo 461/mo 361%
    Circulation Stats (all items)



    Programs (Jul-Dec)




    Below are the mission, values, and core competencies as outlined in the strategic plan:

    The mission of the Highland City Library includes the following goals:
    1. Provide residents with access to information that educates, inspires, and entertains;
    2. Involve the community through outreach programs to help residents understand the benefits of a community library; and
    3. Prepare for the future growth of a successful library.

    To realize our vision and fulfill our mission, the following ideals direct us in our service to the Highland community:
    1. High quality of service: dependable, reliable, and always there to help users meet their needs.
    2. Effective communication: clear, concise, collaborative, and ongoing.
    3. Welcoming environment: a comfortable place for learning, relaxation, and entertainment that is inviting to all.
    4. Responsive to user needs: flexible service that is sensitive to the needs of the user community.
    5. Competent staff: respectful, polite, relevant, effective, efficient, and professional.

    Core Competencies
    The value-added, core services and functions we offer the Highland community are:
    1. Training to create a professional staff which meets the unique and diverse needs of all Highland residents.
    2. Building and maintaining vital and interactive partnerships.
    3. Providing relevant informational, cultural, and entertaining programs for people of all ages and interests.
    4. Building and maintaining vital connections and close bonds to the user community to ensure an understanding of the breadth and depth of library services offered by the Library.
    5. Maintaining a pleasant physical environment to meet, be entertained, and seek relevant information.
    6. Providing up-to-date technology that meets the needs of the user community to use library programs, services, and resources.

Consent ITEMS

  1. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Work Session – January10, 2017. Unanimously approved. Click here to see the minutes.

  2. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Regular Session – January 10, 2017. Unanimously approved. Click here to see the minutes.

  3. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Special Meeting – January 17, 2017. Unanimously approved. Click here to see the minutes.

  4. MOTION: Final Plat Approval for a One Lot Single Family Subdivision located at 4884 West 11000 North – Jared Peterson Home. Unanimously approved. Click here to review background info in the agenda.
    2017-02-07 Jared Peterson Final Plat

  5. MOTION: Ratifying the Mayors Appointment to the Planning Commission – Brittney Bills and David W. Harris. Approved unanimously. Click here to review background info in the agenda.

  6. MOTION: Ratifying the Mayors Re-Appointment to the North Point Solid Waste Special Service District - Councilmember Tim Irwin. Approved unanimously. Click here to review background info in the agenda.

  7. MOTION: Ratifying the Mayors Appointment to the North Utah County Aquifer Committee – Mayor Thompson with Todd Trane as Alternate. Approved unanimously. Click here to review background info in the agenda.

Action Items

  1. PUBLIC HEARING / RESOLUTION: Designation of Open Space Property Disposal - Wimbleton Subdivision Open Space. Pulled from the agenda due to insufficient signatures on petition. See my comments at the top of the post. Click here to view background info in the agenda.

  2. PUBLIC HEARING / RESOLUTION: Designation of Open Space Property Disposal - View Point Subdivision Open Space. Click here to view background info in the agenda. Two residents spoke to this issue one who was opposed to disposing of city owned property in general, had concerns about establishing a value, and didn’t want to set precedence and another who approved of this sale. With respect to establishing a price of open space land, staff and council members went through an exhaustive (and exhausting) process to establish a value 2 years ago when deciding whether or not to dispose of another piece of open space property. For me this was one of the easier decisions I’ve made. The property in question clearly benefits no one except the immediately adjacent owner. By disposing of it the city eliminates a liability and the adjacent owner gets a benefit. It is a win/win. It passed unanimously. The council voted unanimously to approve the disposal of this property.
    2017-02-07 Viewpoint Surplus

  3. PUBLIC HEARING / RESOLUTION: Mid-Year Budget Adjustments - 2016-2017 Fiscal Year Budget. Below are list of the major mid-year budget adjustments. The council unanimously approved the budget adjustments with the one change as noted. Click here to view background info in the agenda.

    Major Revenue Adjustments. All Funds

    • Delinquent Property Taxes, +$45K to $75K
    • Sales Taxes, +$30K to $2,020K
    • Phone Tax, -$8K to $142K
    • Bldg. Permits, -$40K to $460K
    • Gen. Fund Surplus, +187K to $407K
    • B&C Roads, +$30K to $630K
    Major Expense Adjustments
    • Economic Dev., +$19K to $20K
    • Engineering Sal., +$39.6K to $61.6K
    • Engineering Cons., -$60K to $140K
    • TSSD Collection Fee, +$100K to $1MM
    • Trans. From Gen. Fund, +211K to $631K
    • Parks Maintenance. Bldg., -$300K to $0 (the council asked that this be removed).
    • Storm Sewer, +32K to $42K
    • Original Revenue $8,728,060
    • New Revenue $9,020,620 (+$292,560)
    • Original Expense $8,741,678
    • New Expense $9,013,364 (+$270,691)
  4. PUBLIC HERAING / ORDINANCE: Amendment to Section 3-4704.1.d, Maximum Number of Lots - Town Center Overlay Zone. The Town Center overlay district was originally approved for 342 residential units. Toscana was consists of 144 units and Blackstone was approved for 85. Since the council has revised the Town Center Overlay and eliminated additional residential units the proposed amendment reduces the approved number of residential units to 229 (the number of existing units plus the number of currently approved units). There was no public comment. The council unanimously approved the amendment.  Click here to view background info in the agenda.

  5. ORDINANCE: Approval of Amendments to the Municipal Code Section 12.24 – City Parks and Cemetery. The proposed amendment defines the types of parks and the type of use  that can be scheduled for use by groups. Click here to view the exact code. This was unanimously approved by the council.

    RESOLUTION: Approval of a Field Use Fee Schedule. The council discussed the fee, asked staff to look at providing options for groups to provide service to mitigate the fee. The fee schedule was unanimously approved with a start date of July 1, 2017.

    Below is a table showing the impact of the approved fees to various organized sports groups compared to the original fee schedule discussed at the previous council meeting.
    2017-02-07 Fee Schedule Comparison

    Click here to view the field use policies and fees.

  6. MOTION: Approval of Road Design, Construction and Reduced Speed School Zone – Highland Blvd. & 11800 No. For the last couple of years residents have encouraged the city to make the Highland Blvd / 11800 N intersection safer as well as asked for an improved school crossing. A cross walk evaluation was conducted in September but the city was not able to obtain sufficient data to evaluate the issue. A residential survey was conducted afterwards and sufficient information was obtained to validate the need for a Reduced Speed School Zone. Ridgeline elementary agreed to add the crossing to its SNAP (Student Neighborhood Access Plan) which was the final hurdle to revise the intersection and add a crosswalk.  The proposed solution adds a school crossing while making the following changes to improve the overall safety of the intersection at an estimated cost of $45,000.

    • Add flashing school zone speed signs
    • Reduce the distance across the road that students will need to cross from 60’ to 46’ by adding curb extensions as shown below.
      2017-02-07 School Crossing Highland Blvd
    • This change will eliminate the  unofficial right turn lane on Highland Blvd that drivers use to enter 11800 N. Cars making a right turn from this “lane” create a blind spot for drivers turning onto Highland Blvd from 11800 N. as shown in the pictures below.
      2017-02-07 Obstructed View Highland Blvd
      Note, there may be an increased likelihood of rear end collisions on north bound traffic but there are always trade offs.

    Several residents commented during the discussion. One indicated that a better solution would be to simply add a 3-way light to the intersection. Another said that liability was a concern. The city engineer commented that a warrant study for a light was performed previously and the intersection failed to meet national standards for a light. If we put a light in and someone was injured then we would be more liable because we did not follow recognized national standards.

    Approved unanimously. Click here to view background info in the agenda.


  • Highland Blvd. Traffic Data – Justin Parduhn, Operations & Maintenance Director. We reviewed radar speed sign data collected on Highland Blvd for the last year. While speeding seems to be on a downward trend a majority of drivers are exceeding the limit by over 5 mph. Southbound speeding is more prevalent than Northbound as one might expect. The radar signs are not entirely accurate. They are impacted by wind and snow but it is nice to have data that can be used to spot trends. Below are the charts which were discussed.
    2017-02-07 Highland Blvd Southbound
    2017-02-07 Highland Blvd Southbound Summary
    2017-02-07 Highland Blvd Northbound
    2017-02-07 Highland Blvd Northbound Summary

    Click here to see the traffic speed/volume graphs for all radar signs (Highland Blvd, Country Club Lane, East Jerling).

  • Funding Option for Road Re-Construction – Nathan Crane, City Administrator. We reviewed the options available to increase funding for roads. The recently completed road study is currently being evaluated by city staff but it looks like we will need to increase road spending by about $1M per year. I don’t see that we have the ability to re-prioritize current spending to get anywhere close to this amount so a property tax increase or fee will be needed if we want to be in a position in the next 5 to 7 years where our all our roads are in good repair. According to the latest city survey (860 out of over 1,000 have been coded) 76% of residents believe the city should allocate more funds to roads while 67% would likely or very likely support raising taxes or fees to increase road funding.

    Below is a chart the shows the current projected costs by type for needed road work over the next 5 years. Note over the  last 5 years we have spent about $530,000 per year for this type of activity. Additionally we expect about a $100,000 increase per year due to last year’s state  gas tax increase.

    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.

    Staff provided a rough time table of activities that the city could undertake to provide residents with information on the roads and how the council would like to proceed (click here to see the staff slides). Your feedback will be helpful. For those who would like to review the current and previous budgets to better inform their input click here to view a budget spreadsheet that includes charts and data summaries.

    Understanding our debt picture may also be helpful in formulating thoughts on how to fund roads. Here are some key data points:
    • Our current total debt is about $11.1M
    • We have three separate bonds to payoff; Pressurized Irrigation ($2.24M), Building Bond ($3.92M), and Parks Bond ($4.93M).
    • PI Bond payments are $427K per year and will end in 2022 (6 years). Note, the PI enterprise fund is responsible for this debt (your monthly PI bill) and is legally separate from the city’s general fund, from which road work is paid.
    • The Building and Park bonds are paid out of the city’s general fund which also funds the roads. These are scheduled to be paid off in 2027 (11 years). Our annual payments for these are about $980K. 


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