Tuesday, June 6, 2017

2-May-2017: Tentative Budget, Cemetery Fee updates, Political Signs

2017-05-02 Gen Fund Comparison 17 v 18 comparison
There were a limited number of residents present (7) at the meeting. Don’t know if that is good or bad :). The conversation with Rob Smith was interesting and informative. Thanks to ASD for being proactive and communicating with the city without any specific item in mind.


  • Leah Higginbotham: Asked if there was any update on a request she made in March to lease or purchase city property in front of her home. The request was reviewed by the Open Space committee but it did not fall within their charter and so must be approved by the city. The city engineer has reviewed the land in question and it does not have any sewer or water lines running through it. He still needs to determine whether or not the land would be needed for a future road expansion.

  • Nathan Murdock: He is considering purchasing property in Highland that has an accessory building he would like to rent. The property is not zone multi-family and so a variance would need to be granted or the zoning would need to be changed. Note, a variance would not likely be granted.


  1. ALPINE SCHOOL DISTRICT – Rob Smith, Assistant Superintendent: Rob reviewed with the council the state of Alpine School district and then took questions from the council. I asked about mitigating the enrollment size at Ridgeline. Rob said they would soon be breaking ground for a new elementary school in Lehi and that the district was considering adjusting the boundaries so that children in Traverse Mountain would go to the new school rather than bussing kids to Westfield (which has a lower enrollment than Ridgeline).

    Dennis LeBaron asked what the school districts greatest challenge was. Rob said it was attracting and retaining high quality teachers..


  1. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Special Session and Work Session – April 11, 2017. Click here to view the minutes. Approved unanimously with minor changes.
  2. MOTION: Approval of Meeting Minutes for the City Council Regular Session – April 18, 2017. Click here to view the minutes.. Approved unanimously.. Approved unanimously.


  1.  PUBLIC HEARING / MOTION: Approval of an Open Space Maintenance Agreement for the property located ADJACENT TO THE Chamberry Fields Subdivision – Chris and Amy Cottle. Click here to view background info. The Cottles plan to grass the area under the maintenance agreement. After a brief discussion the motion was approved unanimously.
    2017-05-02 Open Space Maintenance - Chamberry Fields
  2. PUBLIC HEARING / RESOLUTION: Approval of the Tentative Budget for 2017-2018 Fiscal Year. Click here to view background info.  The finance director reviewed the following budget assumptions that were made regarding next years budget.

    • 3% potential salary merit increase: Note, Employees will be eligible for up to a 3% merit increase.
    • Dental Costs Up 1% (Actual)
    • Medical Costs Up 12% (Estimate): Actual was around 10%
    • No Property Tax Increase
    • No road fee included
    • $90K Carryover for Salt Storage Building: The city currently stores unused salt in an open area. Following an audit we have been told we need to put it in a covered area. We had already budgeted for this action but did not complete the project this year so the money will be move into next years budget
      g) Used Lone Peak Public Safety prelim numbers from latest board meeting. Note this have come down since the meeting.
    • B&C Road Funds, $630,000. This is money we get from the state gas sales tax.
    • Total tax collections up .5 to 1.1%
    • License and Permits, revenue flat
    • Fees and Services, revenue flat

    He also walked us through a number of budget related charts (click here to view his presentation) including the following which compares the current year budget verses last year.

    2017-05-02 Gen Fund Comparison 17 v 18 comparison
    After some discussion Ed Dennis raised the issue that he believed that putting cross charges in the budget for services used by the library (janitorial, insurance costs …) inflated the budget with non-cash transactions. The rest of the council felt that showing the costs provided transparency as to the actual cost of the library. The tentative budget was approved 4 to 1 (For: Brian Braithwaite, Dennis LeBaron, Tim Irwin, Rod Mann; Against: Ed Dennis).

  3.  PUBLIC HEARING / ORDINANCE: Amending the Highland City Fee Schedule – Cemetery Fees. Click here to view background info from agenda. We unanimously approved a 3% annual increase on the cemetery plot fees to be reviewed as part of the budget project based on an analysis of what it would take to have a “perpetual” fund set up for the care and maintenance of the cemetery once all the plots have been sold. We also agreed to have the city general fund assume 10% of the cost of maintenance and 25% of the capital expenses as it is a public facility and by residents outside of visiting gravesites and burials. The long term analysis summary performed by Zion’s can seen by clicking here. Note, we held two earlier work sessions to review this issue prior to this vote.

  4.  PUBLIC HEARING / ORDIANANCE: Amendment to the Highland City Development Code – Political Signs. Click here to view background info from agenda.  We approved the ordinance 3 to 2 (For: Brian Braithwaite, Rod Mann, Mark Thompson; Against: Ed Dennis, Dennis LeBaron) allowing candidates to put political signs up 45 days ahead of election day. The rationale is that with more voters using vote by mail and because beginning next year the county will doing vote by mail only candidates need more time to generate awareness. Note, this year’s elections (primary and general) will be run by the county now that we will be voting on someone to replace Jason Chaffetz in the US Congress. The county is doing vote by mail only for both elections.
  5. MOTION: Approval of an Agreement for Janitorial Services for Highland City Hall and Library, Highland Community Center and 7 Park Restrooms. Click here to view background info from agenda. The council unanimously approved entering into an agreement to Vanguard to provide janitorial services for the city. Although they were not the absolute lowest they had better terms (cancel at any time) then the lower firm and also to more investigation into our needs than the others.

    2017-05-02 Janitorial Services


  • Construction of the East West Corridor, “Highland City-4800 So./S.R. 74 East-West Connector Road - Mayor Mark Thompson. The mayor let us know that he believed that now that the Development Center board has approved the connector that it would be wise to try and build the bridge over the creek/river this summer when the river is dry rather than wait until a later time when water is running through it. The discussion led to an upcoming meeting with the Pheasant Hollow subdivision to discussion their concerns and issues. We will need to wait for this discussion before deciding on next steps.

  • One Time Revenue Projects – Nathan Crane, City Administrator: We will be getting about $300,000 in one time money from the sale of property. Nathan Crane presented a list of projects that this could be used for (aside from roads). We discussed them and and what we thought was important. The snow plow, salt storage building, and park maintenance building are my three highest.
    2017-05-17 One-Time Projects

  • Transportation Fee Format – Nathan Crane, City Administrator: Nathan shared with us an analysis of the impact of different implementations of a road fee or property tax on local businesses and tax exempt institutions.
    2017-05-02 Fee Analysis

    • ERU stands for Equivalent Residential Unit. It is a way for the city to compare the impact of a business with a residential unit. A building gets 1 ERU for every 10,000 sq. ft. The ERU is used as a multiplier against a standard fee.
    • Per Connection: Per connection based fees represent a flat for all entities that pay a utility bill.
    • Trip generation is a way to measure impact based on the amount of traffic a business  generates. A visit to a business is generally considered to have two trips (one coming and one going). The number of trips generated is used a multiplier on a base fee. The average household has generates about 10 trips per day.
  • Ongoing Items: other items discussed were a request to store mill tailings from road reconstruction near the gravel pit (this eventually went away), complaints about the dance studio, and the formation of a Dry Creek Reservoir Citizen Advisory Committee in Lehi and a request for Highland to participate.


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