MONROE CITY COUNCIL MEETING
JANUARY 9, 2018
Notice is hereby given that the Monroe City Council will meet on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 at the Monroe City Hall, 10 North Main Street, which meeting shall begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. The agenda shall be as follows. The order of business may be changed as time permits.
1. Mayor Robert Kirt Nilsson conducting
The regular meeting of the Monroe City Council was called to order by Mayor R. Kirt Nilsson at 7:30 p.m. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Councilmember Fran Washburn
Prayer was offered by Councilmember Joseph Anderson
2. Oath of Office ceremony
The Oath of Office was administered to newly elected Mayor Johnny C. Parsons and Councilmembers Perry Payne and Janet Cartwright by City Recorder Emalee H. Curtis.
Mayor R. Kirt Nilsson conducted the official ceremony of passing of the gavel from Mayor Nilsson to Mayor Elect Johnny Parsons.
Mayor Johnny Parsons conducted the rest of the council meeting.
Mayor Parsons thanked everyone who ran for city council at this year’s elections. He was glad there was a lot of community interest, as this was the first election in a long time that there were enough candidates for Monroe City to hold a primary election.
Mayor Parsons expressed appreciation to Mayor Nilsson for the many years he served on the city council, both as mayor and as councilmember. His dedication and service to our community for over 20 years is commendable.
3. Roll Call
R. Kirt Nilsson
Johnny C. Parsons
City Recorder Emalee H. Curtis
Deputy Recorder Allison H. Leavitt
City Treasurer Jacee Barney
Public Works Superintendent Devin Magleby
Lineman John Draper
Bobbi Terry - Richfield Reaper
4. Approval of minutes of previous meetings - November 28, 2017 and December 5, 2017.
Councilmembers reviewed the minutes of the November 28, 2017 and December 5, 2017 city council meetings.
Councilmember Perry Payne moved to approve the minutes of the November 28, 2017 city council meeting as corrected. Motion seconded by Councilmember Joseph Anderson. Voting for the motion: Councilmembers Payne, Anderson, Washburn, Cartwright and Mathie. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Correction: Page 4: change references to “pond” to “drinking fountain”
Councilmember Michael Mathie moved to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2017 city council meeting as corrected. Motion seconded by Councilmember Fran Washburn. Voting for the motion: Councilmembers Mathie, Cartwright, Washburn, Anderson, Payne. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Corrections: Change “Manpower” to “Man power” also change “Councilmember Mathie seconded the motion to adjourn” to “Councilmember Washburn seconded the motion to adjourn.”
5. Citizen input
Walt LeFevre expressed his extreme dissatisfaction with the city setting fire to the tree burn pile and letting it burn for three days. He said the smoke created a major health issue, especially for his wife who has lung issues. Her oxygen levels went from 95 to 31 during this time period. He asked city crews to put the fire out, but they did not comply.
Mr. LeFevre also called attention to the east entrance to the LD Stake Center parking lot. There is a large gap as you enter the parking lot. It needs to be filled in with asphalt. The gap creates a hazard to drivers.
Mayor Parsons informed Mr. LeFevre that in the future, city crews will take better note if there is an inversion in our area. The inversion contributed to the smoke staying in the valley. Mr. LeFevre said the smoke lasted for a week. He was told that the fire couldn’t be put out. He said that they could have spread the chips out and watered it to put the fire out.
A. Animal complaints - Monroe City Animal Control Ordinance
Copies of the Sevier County/Monroe City Animal Control Ordinance were distributed to those present. Mayor Parsons informed everyone that the reason this item is on the agenda was to come to an understanding of what the law is regarding animal control in Monroe City. There have been complaints regarding dogs in the city that seem to not have been resolved.
Mayor Parsons invited Sevier County Sheriff Nate Curtis to come to tonight’s city council meeting. There is a need to reach an understanding of the contents of Monroe City’s Animal Control Ordinance and what law enforcement’s duties are according to the ordinance. Sheriff Curtis is on-call tonight and both he and Deputy Northrup have responded to a major incident. It is unknown how long they might be tied up on this call.
Mayor Parsons suggested that the council continue the meeting and move on to the next items on the agenda. Councilmembers and the citizens in attendance agreed to move on to the other agenda subjects while waiting for the sheriff.
The council completed the rest of the agenda items at 9:07 p.m. The sheriff was still out on the call. Local law enforcement agencies are seeking a run-away fugitive. A Code Red has been issued for our area for citizens to be aware of this chase and take individual household security precautions.
Mayor Parsons indicated that the council will now hear from those in attendance for a brief discussion about local animal control issues and Monroe City’s Animal Control Ordinance. Sheriff Curtis will be invited to a future city council meeting to discuss the local law enforcement officers’ responsibilities in regards to animal control.
There have been numerous animal control complaints recently, and the city council desires that everyone understand what the rules are in the city’s ordinance and how they should be enforced.
Mayor Parsons reviewed several sections of the city’s ordinance:
* Dogs running at large
* Excessive Noise
* Administration and Enforcement
* Duties of animal control officer
The city’s animal control ordinance was provided to the city by Sevier County and adopted by Monroe City November 2, 2002. Monroe City’s law enforcement contract with the Sevier County Sheriff’s department includes animal control. This specific ordinance was adopted by the city so that animal control rules could be uniform throughout Sevier County.
Deputy Recorder Leavitt asked David Church, the city attorney, if our animal control ordinance should be changed. He said if it is enforced, there is no need to change anything. Mayor Parsons visited with the sheriff. Both the sheriff and county attorney were not aware of the contents of the animal control ordinance. Copies of the city’s ordinance have been provided to both the sheriff’s office and the animal control officer in the past.
Mayor Parsons informed the audience that the meeting will be opened up for comments. He asked that everyone be respectful of each other’s opinion and keep the discussion orderly.
Walt LeFevre informed the council that he has seen that city ordinances are not being enforced. Hopefully the sheriff will meet with the council and recognize the need of enforcing city ordinances.
Gregg Thompson commented that the city’s ordinance should state restrictions on the number of dogs allowed.
Donavan Smith expressed his opinion that a good faith effort to work out the problem with the neighbor should be attempted, rather than turning it over to law enforcement.
Councilmember Cartwright commented that animal owners should be responsible owners and make sure their animals are not infringing on other people.
Greg Thompson stated again he feels the city might include the maximum number of dogs allowed per household.
Councilmember Mathie explained that the ordinance self determines the number of dogs allowed in the section about kennels. He feels that the city ordinance clearly mandates specific instances of non-compliance.
Former Mayor Nilsson pointed out that the cost of citations should be a deterrent for not following the rules. Mayor Nilsson is confident now that the sheriff has been made aware of the contents of the city’s animal control ordinance and some enforcement issues, things will be handled better.
Sheriff Curtis told Mayor Parsons that there have been at least eight calls with complaints about certain dogs barking and disturbing the peace. Mayor Parsons understands that citations have been issued and a court date set involving a confrontation between neighbors over specific disturbing the peace issues.
Bart Lee said he has endured two years with the problem of the neighbor’s dogs barking. A residential area is no place to have dogs that bark continuously.
LaTonya KaLua-Jagels stated that it is a crime to shoot a dog. Other dogs running loose cause her dogs to bark. Her dogs are not just dogs, they are her kids.
Mayor Parsons feels that the city’s ordinance is in place to help work out neighbor issues.
Councilmember Mathie said that we trusted the system, but It did not work, mainly because of miscommunication with enforcement by the sheriff’s office. Hopefully, now the enforcement of the ordinance is better understood some of the issues can be resolved. The ordinance should be uniformly enforced for everyone.
Discussion among the audience became heated. Mayor Parsons called the meeting back to order.
Other complaints were heard.
Councilmember Perry Payne asked for clarification of kennel license requirements.
Mayor Parsons thanked those present for their interest and for attending tonight’s city council meeting. He said that the city council will review the city’s animal control ordinance to see if there is anything they feel should be changed. He reminded everyone that there are only two (2) animal control officers that cover the entire county. Other law enforcement deputies might respond to a call. Neither the mayor or councilmembers enforce city ordinances. Local law enforcement does this.
The discussion continued.
Tammy Nilsson said that it bothers her that we pay for animal control and the officers don’t know what our laws are.
Councilmember Mathie said that if there are other issues or concerns to please let the city know so they can be addressed.
LaTonya KaLua-Jagels expressed her opinion that registration of both cats and dogs would be a good idea.
Melissa Lee described middle school kids running down the street after school. One of Ms. KaLua-Jagels dogs was out and threatened the middle school kids.
Mayor Parsons explained if anyone sees an issue, they should be call dispatch, so the call can be documented.
For the specific situation with Mr. Lee, law enforcement is now aware of the current situation.
Councilmember Mathie referenced the ordinance which states that no animals are allowed to run at large.
Mr. Kling commented that it is the animal owner’s responsibility to know and understand the city’s rules.
Mr. Lovvell asked how do law enforcement officers know which dog is barking.
Councilmember Mathie said that the officer will observe the situation prior to issuing any citation. The officer must document when a violation actually is occurring.
Mayor Parsons informed everyone that it is his brother, Mauri’s, birthday today.
Mauri Parsons told the story that In years gone by, he had a small flock of sheep. At that time the policy was that if a dog was on your property and threatening your animals you had a right to shoot it.
Mayor Parsons told those present that the city council will take a hard look at the city’s current animal control ordinance and follow-up with the sheriff about enforcement.
Mayor thanked everyone for attending tonight’s meeting. Hopefully all have a better understanding of the city’s animal control ordinance and the process that law enforcement officers should follow.
B. Approval of updated Monroe City Source Protection Plan
Public Works Superintendent Devin Magleby presented copies of the updated Monroe City Source Protection Plans for both the city well and spring. Monroe City is required to review and update these plans and submit the plans to the state.
The revised plans updated the contact names that have changed and the new homes that are located in the source protection zone that were built since the last update.
Councilmember Payne moved to approve the updated source protection plan for the Monroe City Well. Motion seconded by Councilmember Anderson. Voting for the motion: Councilmembers Payne, Anderson, Washburn, Cartwright, Mathie. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Councilmember Mathie moved to approve the updated source protection plan for the City’s Cold Spring. Motion seconded by Councilmember Payne. Voting for the motion: Councilmembers Mathie, Cartwright, Washburn, Anderson, Payne. All were in favor. Motion passed.
C. Consideration of future Monroe City CIB Capital Improvements Projects
Recorder Curtis informed the council that representatives of The Six County Association of Governments will meet with Mayor Parsons on January 23rd for their annual visit with Monroe City and update the city’s capital improvements project list.
The procedure for submitting CIB capital project funding applications has changed. The city’s capital projects list may have short-term and medium-term projects. Short-term project applications should be shovel ready. This means that the engineering required for the project be completed prior to submitting the application.
Mayor Parsons summarized previous council discussions stating that the most pressing capital project is the city streets. Without assistance, the city is short of funding for this project. General and Class “C” funds are not enough to keep up with repairs and upgrading the city streets.
On January 8, 2008, the city issued Series 2008 Street Improvement Revenue bonds for $300,000 bearing 0% interest. The CIB Bonds were issued to finance part of the cost of constructing road improvements in the city. The bonds are being repaid over a ten year period with $30,000 paid annually from the city’s Class “C” revenue. The final payment on the bond will be on July 1, 2019.
Mayor Parsons would like to go to the CIB for funds to do a major streets project. The city could again pledge a portion of the Class “C” funds for payment of the bond. The CIB application could also include a request for grant funds.
Councilmember Washburn reminded the council that citizens have requested that 800 South be paved.
Lance Roberts stated that a lot of cities use “Class C” funds to pay off bonds, which is what Monroe City has done in the past. CIB applications seem to be more successful if the applicant has some of their own funds to put towards the project. The Community Impact Board likes to see local planning and financial participation in projects.
Councilmember Mathie commented that Monroe City has not increased property tax revenues for many, many years, if at all. If citizens want a way to fund major projects the city council can’t sit back, and not be pro-active in looking for ways to increase city revenues.
Walt LeFevre asked how utility connection fees are being used. He was told that utility hook up fees pay for the cost of material and labor for new utility hook-ups. The culinary impact fees go toward paying off a water bond. These revenues are restricted for specific purposes.
Mr. LeFevre feels that the city should charge for using the city parks. He was told that the city is already doing this. He also expressed concern about the city purchasing new equipment.
Mayor Parsons responded that the city backhoe is new to the city, but was purchased used. The electric department bucket truck is also used, The recently purchased city pickup trucks were purchased at a special reduced municipal fleet price. The cost for these pickups was less than a used pickup would cost.
Mr. LeFevre would like better oversight on city spending practices.
The council determined that a cemetery expansion project would be put on the capital projects medium term 3-5 year list. They also agreed to place a major streets improvements project on the short term projects list. This would include new street signs, waterways and other needed major street improvements, such as asphalt rehabilitation. The city will need to utilize an engineer to prepare specifics (with cost estimates) for this type of construction project.
Following the meeting with the Six County planners on January 23rd, the city will find out more details on what will be required to submit for a short term capital project CIB application.
D. City Councilmember Disclosure Statements filed with Mayor Parsons - UCA 10-3-1306
Recorder Curtis distributed disclosure statements to members of the city council. Utah Code 10-301306 states that
“Every appointed or elected officer or municipal employee who is an officer, director, agent, or employee or the owner of a substantial interest in any business entity which is subject to the regulation of the municipality in which he is an elected or appointed officer or municipal employee shall disclose the position held and the nature and value of his interest upon first becoming appointed, elected, or employed by the municipality, and again at any time thereafter if the elected or appointed officer’s or municipal employee’s position in the business entity has changed significantly or if the value of his interest in the entity has increased significantly since the last disclosure.
The disclosure shall be made in a sworn statement filed with the mayor. This section of the code does not apply to instances where the value of the interest does not exceed $2,000.
The documents were signed by members of the city council, certified by the city recorder and filed with the mayor.
E. Discussion Monroe City Personnel Policy- Sections 7 through 11. Employee leave time
Mayor Parsons asked if councilmembers had reviewed the city’s personnel policy, especially in regards to employee leave time. The policy was amended in 2010, changing how leave time was to be taken care of upon an employee’s retirement. The city auditor’s have pointed out that if this policy were to stay in place, payment of accrued sick leave in cash could bankrupt the city.
Councilmember Mathie provided information about what other entities are doing regarding leave time upon retirement. He doesn’t want employees to think that the council is trying to short-change them. If the council could come to a conclusion, the personnel policy could be amended. The current policy states that upon retirement from employment, the city has to buy out 100% of accrued sick leave. The policy also states that there is no limit to accrual of sick leave. The city is now bound by how the policy is written for current employees during the time that this section of the personnel policy was in force. The council needs to take a hard look at this policy, keeping in mind the city and the employee’s best interests.
Sevier County recently changed their personnel policy to state that employees may accumulate sick leave but there is no payout when they leave employment.
Councilmember Mathie reported that some entities have incentives not to use sick leave and some have maximum hours that are paid out upon retirement. The question was asked “Does Monroe City attract workers because of their benefit package?”
There was further discussion that the city can’t afford to leave the policy the way it is now written. Funds are not available to pay out future sick leave 100% with no maximum accrual.
The city is committed under the current policy to pay off accrued sick leave, but it doesn’t have to be in a lump sum. Some way needs to be written in the policy to pay it off incrementally so the city can absorb this expense. It would also be a better tax deal for the employee.
Councilmember Payne commented that the city needs to set up the policy so the city can afford it. Richfield City employees can bank up to 480 hours of sick leave, but it goes away when they leave employment.
Sevier County and Gunnison City do not cash out sick leave at retirement. Lehi City converts sick leave to cash payout at a 2 to 1 ratio.
Councilmember Cartwright believes that the purpose of sick leave is to use it for when you or a family member is sick. It should not be a paid benefit when you retire.
Councilmember Anderson likes Richfield’s policy for sick leave.
Mayor Parsons asked the council about the sick leave pay-out that the city is already obligated to pay?
Can the council write in the policy how we pay out accrued sick leave to current city employees. Yes.
Devin Magleby asked the council how the unused sick leave might it be paid out, if not in a lump sum?
Several suggestions were made such as make monthly payments into an IRA., or put it into a HSA. Another option is to continue paid health insurance.
Mayor Parsons said this is not an issue that can be solved tonight. Councilmembers were asked to review the current policy and be ready for further discussion at the next council meeting.
Councilmember Mathie moved that a draft amendment be written that states that an employee can accrue sick leave up to 480 hours and carry over and bank a maximum number of hours with NO payout when the employee retires. Motion seconded by Councilmember Payne. Voting for the motion: Councilmembers Payne, Anderson, Washburn, Cartwright, Mathie. All were in favor. Motion passed.
Walt LeFevre had one more question. How does the city justify full-time city employees working a 10 hour work day during the winter months? What do they do in the dark? He perceives that this is not effective management of city resources.
F. Approval of proposed city office front entrance remodel
Mayor Parsons informed the council of plans to replace the door and windows at the front of the city hall. This area lets in the cold in the winter and heat in the summer. City crews have obtained an estimate of $ 8,500.00. Which requires council approval. Plans include building a new front wall with a new door and new windows. Installation of an awning and stucco the new front wall. Future plans include updating the city hall interior, creating new cubicles with existing materials, painting and possibly new flooring. The majority of this work will be done by city employees.
Councilmember Payne moved to approve the remodel of the front of the city hall as outlined tonight. Motion seconded by Councilmember Cartwright. Voting for the motion: Councilmembers Payne, Anderson, Washburn, Cartwright, Mathie. All were in favor. Motion passed.
G. Approval of December, 2017 warrant register, cash disbursements and adjustments journals
Councilmembers reviewed the warrant register, cash disbursements and adjustments journals and signed approval for each report.
7. Staff Reports
Department Budget Reports for December, 2017
* Recorder Curtis distributed copies of the December, 2017 budget report. This report includes revenues and expenditures through the end of the calendar year. Recorder Curtis asked councilmembers to pay special attention to their newly assigned department budgets. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Recorder Curtis.
Christmas lighting contest winners
* Deputy Recorder Allison H. Leavitt reported the winners of the city’s annual Christmas Light Contest. She also informed the council that the listing on the adjustments register shows the customers who received a 10% discount on their December power billing for decorating their homes and yards with Christmas lights.
Public Works Superintendent Devin Magleby
* Mayor Parsons asked Devin to prepare an inventory of the city streets listing the condition of the street and shoulder of the roads and drainage culverts that need attention throughout the city.
* City worker Shad Lee received his commercial driver’s license (CDL). He is a part-time/seasonal worker and applied for this license on his own, thinking it might help out the city. He is an excellent worker. Shad is paid out of the cemetery budget. He is also a school crossing guard. Shad will remain a part-time employee. This position does not have benefits. He will be guaranteed 20 winter hours a week, rather than laying him off for the winter months and paying him for 19 hours of unemployment. Shad is now being paid $10.30 an hour. A raise could be a good incentive and a reward for his desire to improve his ability to help the city. Councilmember Cartwright recommended his pay be raised to $11.00 an hour. All councilmembers agreed to this pay increase.
* There has been more vandalism at the new city ball fields. The security cameras worked. The perpetrators are recorded on-camera. Their voices were also recorded.
8. Department business - reports and concerns - law enforcement concerns
Councilmember Joseph Anderson-Parks-Library-Utility Board
* There will be a library board meeting January 15, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at the city library.
Councilmember Perry Payne - Electric - Mosquito Abatement - Fire Department
* Councilmember Payne thanked the individual who judged the annual Christmas lighting contest. This individual volunteered to judge the contest again next year.
Councilmember Fran Washburn - Water - Irrigation - Wastewater - Sr. Citizens -Tree City USA
* The boy scouts who asked about Eagle Scout projects have not been in contact with the city since presenting their proposed projects.
* Spencer Lindsay has purchased the old creamery property located on North Main Street. He will be making cabinets in the building.
* There was a flooding problem recently at the Sr. Citizens Center when a toilet overflowed and ran all night. A claim was filed with the city’s liability insurance. They sent a claims adjustor to view the damage and the city has received payment based on that report. Payne’s Plumbing was contacted by the Sr. Center to replace the faulty toilet. The council approved doing what is needed to make the repairs.
* Councilmember Washburn recommended making a donation to Central Utah Food Sharing for $500.00. This subject will be included on the next council agenda.
Councilmember Michael Mathie- Streets - weed control - equipment - Youth Council
* Councilmember Mathie feels that the city has an obligation to seek funding and plan for future capital projects. * Planning for how to fund needed capital improvement projects should be a priority of the city council.
Councilmember Janet Cartwright - Cemetery - CERT - EMS - Landfill - Garbage Planning Commission (city council representative)
* Councilmember Cartwright remarked that she is glad that the city is making plans to expand the cemetery.
* Several questions were asked about the list of future city capital projects.
* Councilmember Cartwright stated that the city really needs to find funding for a new city hall.
Mayor Johnny Parsons - General Administration
* Recommends that city crews watch the weather before burning the tree pile.
* Councilmembers agreed to continue to meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m.
* The Public Power picnic will be held on August 20th this year.
* Jones & DeMille Engineering would like to meet with councilmembers and introduce members of their firm to the city council. The meeting will be next Thursday.
* Mayor Parsons asked members of the council if they have any questions or concerns about their newly assigned councilmember department responsibilities. There were none.
* City Recorder Emalee Curtis has formally submitted her intent to retire on February 16th. Monroe City will host the Utah Municipal Clerk’s Association Region meeting February 15th at the city community center. Recorder Curtis is a past president of both the region and state clerk’s associations. A light luncheon will be served at this meeting of local clerks and recorders. Mayor Parsons is planning to hold a retirement open house reception on February 16th at the city hall. He would welcome any ideas from the councilmembers for planning the open house.
Mayor Parsons is recommending that upon Emalee’s retirement, Allison be appointed to the office of City Recorder and Jacee continue in the position of City Treasurer. After discussing office staffing with Allison and Jacee, Mayor Parsons would like to hire another part-time employee to share the job at the front desk with Jacee, and other duties as assigned. Jacee would work from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the other employee work from noon to 5:00 p.m. This might save a little money and work covering office staffing needs. Allison and Jacee are writing up job descriptions for the office staff.
Councilmember Payne moved to adjourn at 10:10 p.m. Motion seconded by Councilmember Anderson. All were in favor. Meeting adjourned.
Approved this 23rd day of January, 2018
Emalee H. Curtis
Monroe City Recorder