TREMONTON CITY CORPORATION
CITY COUNCIL MEETING
March 1, 2016
Jeff Reese, Mayor Pro Tempore
Shawn Warnke, City Manager
Darlene S. Hess, Recorder
CITY COUNCIL WORKSHOP
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese called the March 1, 2016 City Council Workshop to order at 6:00 p.m. The meeting was held in the City Council Meeting Room at 102 South Tremont Street, Tremonton, Utah. Those in attendance were Mayor Pro Tempore Reese, Councilmembers Doutre, Holmgren, Rohde, and Vance, City Manager Shawn Warnke, and Recorder Darlene S. Hess. The following Department Heads were also present: Police Chief David Nance, Building and Zoning Administrator Steve Bench, Treasurer Sharri Oyler. Fire Chief Steve Batis was connected by telecommunication. Mayor Pro Tempore Reese excused Mayor Fridal from the meeting. He is attending a conference in St. George.
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese suggested to the Council that it would to their advantage to discuss item 2 first as Fire Chief Batis was on the phone.
The following items were discussed out of order.
1. Discussion and possible direction given to the City Staff of future processes, information needed, or other factors for the City Council’s future consideration of amending the Wastewater Treatment Impact Fee Ordinance (which may increase impact fees for wastewater treatment) – Mayor Pro Tempore Reese and City Manager Shawn Warnke
Pro Tempore Mayor Reese told the Council that they had tabled this issue for six months; however, he did not feel the Council should be silent for six month. He felt the Council needed to come up with some ideas and processes. Mayor Pro Tempore Reese said he knows the Council did not want to implement the whole impact fee at one time; however, the Council needs to look at the impact fees and decide what the proper way is to move forward. He asked the Council what their thoughts were.
Councilmember Vance asked the Council what it cost the City for Zions Bank to prepare the Impact Fee Analysis in the beginning. Manager Warnke told the Council that it was not as much as what Aqua charged; however, Aqua did most of the work. He did not know the actual amount but he will find out and email the information to the Council in the morning. Councilmember Vance asked Manager Warnke to give him a ballpark figure. Manager Warnke told the Council that if he had to guess the amount it would be $8,000. You probably read in the packet that when we went back to see what it would take to amend the information, plans and Tremonton growth (the actual number with Zions and Aqua) to amend the draft Impact Fee Facilities Plan and Impact Fee Analysis, it would be over $11,000. There is a lot of modeling process to figure it out. Councilmember Rohde was surprised at the cost just to take Garland City out the scope. Manager Warnke told the Council that he was surprised at the amount as he thought it would be around $8,000 to amend the figures. There is a lot of modeling and analysis that they would need to preform again to remove Garland from the draft Impact Fee Facilities Plan and Impact Fee Analysis.
Councilmember Holmgren told the Council he would like to wait until Garland makes a decision. Rather than to rehash this decision, he suggested that they wait a little while and see what direction Garland is going because that is 40% of the capacity of the plant. Although they do not have the heavy load capacity, it is still the flush.
Councilmember Doutre asked Councilmember Holmgren how he feels when Garland discusses building their own facility. Councilmember Holmgren told the Council that he thinks they are planning to build a facility. He feels they are serious and will move forward with their plans. Councilmember Rohde told the Council that he talked to Garland’s Mayor today and he said that Garland will have their Wastewater Treatment Plant up and running by September 2017. As soon as they have good weather, they will start moving forward on the facility. They should have the facility completed by this time next year; however, there is a process of waiting to let the bacteria grow before they can start utilizing the plant. He said they would wait until September/October of 2017 to have it up and running.
Councilmember Rohde told the Council that when he was reviewing the budget, we have a portion of the budget for solid handing in the amount of $225,000 which is waiting to move forward when the Council approves the impact fee. This is something that we are going to have to move forward with; however, I am not anxious to assess $16,000 for impact fees or whatever the fee is. Councilmember Holmgren commented that the impact fee is going to be really harsh on builders – too much all at once. Can’t the Council just wait a little while and see what happens?
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese told the Council that this is the reason that the Council decided to table the increase in impact fees for six months as it as too much all at once. He told the Council that they need to come up with some options. Do we incrementally do it or do we definitely do it on Garland’s flow being eliminated? We have to put all the factors in to decide what way we are going to go. Councilmember Doutre said it sounds like it is something that needs to be done but how we implement it is what we need to decide.
Councilmember Rohde told the Council that they need some alternatives. He would like to see how we can slowly bring the fees in. The idea of raising the sewer fees $10 over a three year period was a great plan. I would like to see something like that on these impact fees. Councilmember Rohde would like some proposals stating lets go here or here.
Councilmember Rohde said if the Council has the data; it will be a whole lot easier to swallow. Mayor Pro Tempore Reese said it is hard to understand why it would cost that much to just eliminate Garland from the draft Impact Fee Facilities Plan and Impact Fee Analysis. The Council is struggling with the concept of the costs associated with amending the draft Impact Fee Facilities Plan and Impact Fee Analysis. The data is already contained in Impact Fee Facilities Plan – they would just have to recompute the data without Garland.
The issue they are having a hard time with is does Tremonton need more growth now with Garland building their own facility. Mayor Pro Tempore Reese told the Council that like Councilmember Holmgren said – if Garland is gone maybe we do not need to increase growth for five years.
Councilmember Holmgren stated the Council didn’t consider where Garland was going. They thought about it but did not really consider it. With this new information, it changes the game a little bit. Councilmember Vance told the Council that at some point they have to provide a study that shows what the Council needs to do without Garland in the picture.
Manager Warnke told the Council that he had a couple of thoughts on the issue. The Impact Fee Facilities Plan and Impact Fee Analysis which included Garland have been done and the maximum that the City Council can be implemented is $6,600. The City Council can always adopt a fee less then $6,600. If we say we do not want to go ahead and adopt the maximum impact fee allowed by law or have the study redone immediately, we can wait until Garland is gone then have the study redone. There is not any value in redoing the study at this time. The other thing he wanted to mention is the solid handing project. This is one that the Council has talked about for many years. What it does is bring the biological load inline with the flows as they are two essential components to the capacity in the Wastewater Treatment Plant. The study said that the wastewater treatment plant has approximately 500 ERUs of flow but biological capacity was much less because of some of our bigger industries. The solid handling projects do a couple of things. It brings the flow capacity and biological capacity to the same number. It also has some secondary benefits which is reducing odor. By doing the solid handling project after adopting the Impact Fee Facilities Plan and Impact Fee Analysis it helps the City accomplish the projects which the City has identified in a six year window.
Manager Warnke told the Council that there is another thing he wanted to identify as it relates to some of the regulatory requirements for the nutrient limits. It is possible for the wastewater treatment plant to meet the new nutrient limits with chemicals instead for through a mechanical process. The City can meet the new nutrient limits without necessarily undertaking a large mechanical upgrading of the wastewater treatment plant; however, treating the nutrient limits through chemicals may have a high operational cost.
Councilmember Holmgren told the Council that with all of this discussion, they are still on the edge of what Garland is going to do. All of this still has to work its way through in the next few months. If we still look at an increase in building permits and that type of thing, let’s do it incrementally. Let’s evaluate and see how things are going and be careful as we are moving down the road so the City can be in line with what the market can do and also that the City is in balance with what the City needs to do in providing wastewater treatment services for the City’s future. This is the balance that he is trying to work out. Meet the needs of the City but not scare out the growth.
Councilmember Rohde asked if the solid handing project that we need require the immediate increase in impact fees to develop. Manager Warnke told the Council that the solid handling project will cost approximately $800,000 and that the immediate adoption of impact fees will not generate that amount of money before the City needs to undertake the solid handling project. Councilmember Holmgren commented that we do approximately 25 building permits per year and have approximately 500 ERUs. If a manufacturing company came in it could change that picture in a hurry. As it is right now, we have a fair amount of capacity. If Garland leaves, how many ERUs will that bring in? This is the question that we need to consider before a decision is made on impact fees.
Councilmember Rohde asked Mayor Pro Tempore Reese what his idea was on requesting this item be discussed. Mayor Pro Tempore Reese said it was to give Manager Warnke some ideas of options where we can move foreword with and what we need to do as a Council to come up with some options. Manager Warnke has given the Council some options on the Garland issue. We can start figuring out a fee and then when Garland moves foreword, we can redo the study. The other thing is maybe we need to come up with some different options. Councilmember Vance asked Manager Warnke if he could come up with some sort of a report with numbers on one page of what the scenario will be for Garland leaving and one scenario for the new requirements.
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese told the Council that earlier – even before Councilmember Rohde and Vance were part of the Council – there was a concern about odor at the Treatment Plant. The Council put a high priority on getting it taken care of and that decision is part of the impact fee increase. Councilmember Vance asked if we can put the numbers down on paper so we can see what direction we need to go.
Manager Warnke told the Council that he and Director Fulgham will try to put down some figures to help the City Council draw some conclusion. Councilmember Vance said there are some options: Wait until Garland decides what they are going to do, find out what is absolutely required and what is needed for growth. Mayor Pro Tempore Reese asked Manager Warnke to put some information that shows what it will take to eliminate the smell.
Councilmember Doutre commented that this is $800,000 which the Council has budgeted for multiple years to complete this project.
Councilmember Rohde said that the reason he is having a hard time with this item is if we do not adopt the fee what happens as we need the solid handing operation. Why don’t we just get going with it? Do we have the money in the budget to do the project? Manager Warnke told the Council that we do have the money in the budget. The issue is just meeting the impact fee methodology as outlined in state law.
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese told the Council that this is the reason he wanted to have the Council discuss the issue. We need to decide where we are going. Councilmember Doutre said we can adopt the Impact Fee Facilities Plan but start lower than the maximum fee. Councilmember Rohde said he was ok with starting lower. Manager Warnke told the Council that essentially they would have to go through the noticing process again. We could increase the fee but we would have to go through the noticing process each time the City Council decides to increase the impact fees. Councilmember Doutre told the Council that it has got to happen. When it was presented to the Council it was just too much to take in. The contractors were here and they were in shock also.
Councilmember Doutre told the Council that they are probably not totally against the Impact Fee Plan – we see that it has got to be done. We just need to start lower.
Councilmember Vance told the Council that if we only open up 25 ERU’s per year through growth and if Garland leaves and it opens up 400 ERUs, he doesn’t understand why we need to push fees as hard. Councilmember Holmgren is right – you have to look for growth, but at the same time you do not have to pay for the next 20 years all at one time.
Councilmember Holmgren reminded the Council that the new growth should pay for the increase. They should make up for the ERUs they take out. With a bank of 900 ERUs, if a larger business came in and used up the bank of ERUs, they should have to pay/replace them. It puts those ERUs into the bank with the City back using 25 per year.
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese told the Council that both of the Councilmembers are correct; however, we are in a position to do some upgrades due to the fact that we have impact fees available. We do not want to go so low that we starve ourselves. Councilmember Vance commented that we do not want to over charge either. We have to come up with a happy medium.
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese asked Manager Warnke if they helped any in this discussion. Manager Warnke told the Council that what it sounds like is that they need more information. City staff will review the Impact Fee Facilities Plan and come up with some scenarios.
Councilmember Vance told the Council that he is afraid that if they accept the Plan the way it is that it will take off without the Council approving what the fees are along the way. Manager Warnke told the Council that essentially there are two things on the Council’s agenda. One is adopting the Impact Fee Facilities Plan which identifies the needed improvements for the next six year window and the adoption of the Impact Fee Analysis which sets the maximum fee that the City can charge based upon the project identified in the six year window. The Council is the body which by a majority of the vote sets the fee through the adoption of the Impact Fee Enactment Ordinance.
Councilmember Vance commented that his understanding now is that everyone is in favor of adopting the Impact Fee Facilities Plan and Impact Fee Analysis then the Council will approve the fee by the majority vote. Mayor Pro Tempore Reese told the Council that no decision can be made this evening as it was placed on the agenda for discussion. Manager Warnke told the Council that he will place the information on the agenda as soon as he has the information they want available.
2. Discussion of the Fire Department’s proposal to seek amendment of the Tremonton City Fire Boundaries to extend boundaries to 13700 North which is currently being served by the Fielding Fire Department
Mayor Pro Tempore Reese turned the time over the Manager Warnke and Fire Chief Batis to discuss the issue. Manager Warnke asked Chief Batis to explain this item. He told the group that the one question that the Council has on this issue is does Fielding Fire Department know about this request for change?
Chief Batis told the Council that Fielding does know about the issue. When Fielding challenged the EMS boundaries in 2015, this EMS area was added to Tremonton’s Ambulance coverage but the fire was not. During the EMS public hearings, both the Box Elder County Dispatcher and County Fire Marshall asked for the fire boundaries to be the same as the EMS boundaries to simplify dispatching with less error. All EMS boundaries were changed to meet the fire boundary except for this area (12000 North to 13700 North). Residents and businesses in this area have approached Tremonton City Fire Department to incorporate them into Tremonton’s fire area to lower their ISO rating and fire insurance premiums.
Tremonton’s ISO rating of (three) 3 will benefit the area businesses and residents from the nine (9) that they currently hold being in Fielding fire boundary. In talking with local insurance companies, it could save homeowners $100 to $200 a year on premiums and the businesses will save even more. Fires double in size every minute so having the department that is closest to respond would provide equipment on scene faster. Tremonton also bills on per house spreading the cost out where Fielding bills per call making the homeowner responsible for costs over what is allowed by some insurance companies for false alarm and CO2 detector which makes the responsibility move to the homeowner to pay out of their pocket.
Tremonton Fire Department is requesting this change and we appreciate the County Commissioners consideration and support in approving this boundary change.
Chief Batis told the Council that it is a 50/50 split with Fielding and Tremonton already supplies the water.
Councilmember Doutre told Chief Batis that what the Council is really concerned about is will the Council have those same people come to the Council upset again or will this be approved because it is going through Box Elder County Commissioners? Chief Batis told Councilmember Doutre that whatever happens it will go through the Commissioners as it will have nothing to do with Tremonton City Council. The County Commission just wants the EMS and Fire Districts to be the same. Cory Barton from the County Fire Marshall’s Office is confident that this will be a slam dunk.
Rupps recycling would like Tremonton Fire Department to be responsible for their company as they have the documentation from their recent fire. Fielding responded twenty minutes after Tremonton arrived on the scene. Chief Batis gave an example of a response on the bottom road. Tremonton’s ambulance was called and responded. Due to the fact that they did not give information for fire response, our fire truck also was called as backup. We were on the scene and had control before Fielding’s fire truck arrived. The resident received a bill from Fielding even though we took control of the incident. This is a concern for residents.
Chief Batis told the Council that the reason that Tremonton Fire Department decided to proceed with this request is that Fielding agreed to it at first. What Fielding is saying is that the State EMS was the one that changed the boundaries for the EMS – the fire boundary did not change. The only way to get the EMS and fire boundaries the same is to schedule a time to be on the Box Elder County’s agenda.
The Council discussed that it is confusing to have different boundaries and it will be the Box Elder County Commissions decision on the item. After some discussion by the Council, Chief Batis told the Council that if there is an issue with this item it will be the Commissions problem as they are the ones that will have to make the change. Councilmember Vance commented that the Council is supporting Chief Batis on going to the County Commission to see if the fire boundaries can be changed.
Manager Warnke asked what Fielding’s position is – will they go to the County Commission? Chief Batis told the Council that what he understands is that the County Fire Marshall tried to work with Fielding and they would not agree on the change. What they will do is just let it go to the County Commission to get worked out like they did with the EMS issue going to the State.
Chief Batis told the Council that the change in fire boundaries will make it easier for the County Dispatch. This is the reason that we are making the request to the Commissioners. The Council appreciated the information being brought to them to discuss and are in agreement that the Tremonton Fire Department meet with the County Commissioners to move the fire boundaries to meet with the EMS boundary. We will not appeal any decision that the Commissioners make.
Fire Chief Steve Batis left the City Council Meeting at 6:15 p.m.
3. Review of agenda items on the 7:00 p.m. City Council Meeting
The Council discussed the following items that were discussed in more detail:
• Amending the Budget entitled “The Tremonton City Annual Implementation Budget 2015 – 2016 (General Fund, Capital Funds, Enterprise Funds and Special Funds” for the period commencing July 1, 2016 and ending June 30, 2016.
Manger Warnke told the Council that he had met with Curtis Roberts to discuss the amendments. Mr. Roberts feels that all the proposed b