Pine Valley Special Service District Meeting (PVSSD)
Minutes of the Meeting held On March 1, 2006
Attending Members: Mary Esther Putnam (Chairwoman); Gerald Schiefer (VC); Dall Winn; Ron Snow; Ryon Gardner
Absent Member: N/A
Also Present: Steve Robinson (Fire Chief), George Cropper (Treasurer) and Beverly Udell (Secretary)
Guests: Gae Robinson; Guin Winn; Fred Pendleton; Sarin Udell
1. General Business:
a/b. Welcome – The meeting was called to order at 6:00 P.M. sharp, with the opening being the Pledge of Allegiance.
* Gerald took a moment to thank Ron for his years of service in the role of Chairman for the PVSSD. Ron received a very heartfelt round of applause by all who attended the meeting.
c. Review/Approval of the ‘Minutes of the Meeting’ from January 4th and February 1, 2006 – Being as the Minutes were sent to each Board member prior to the meeting for revue, the Minutes were not read during the meeting as is usually done. Beverly said that she would try to get all future Minutes to the members of the Board one week after any given meeting for the members to revue. This will serve 2 purposes – first being if the members are able to read the Minutes ahead of each meeting, then they can just vote “Yah” or “Nay” on their approval during the meeting and not have to take precious time to have the Minutes read aloud during each meeting. The second purpose of the Minutes going out early is to serve as a reminder to each member of their homework or assignments that they agreed to at the previous meeting. There being no recommended changes, Dall motioned to accept the January and February Minutes as written. Ron seconded that motion and all were in favor.
d. Pine Valley Building Permits Reviewed: None.
* Mary Esther had received a sheet from Deon at the County office with a listing of the 2005 and 2006 (to date) building permits that were issued for Pine Valley. This will aid Beverly in updating the PVSSD database. Notes of interest on the form were that there were 46 building permits issued during that time, of which only 22 of them were for new home building. All of the rest (24) were add-ons to the existing structures, or detached new buildings (such as garages or barns). It was suggested that Beverly call Deon and ask her about the possibility of having Deon e-mail Beverly once a month with any permit approvals that come through the County.
* Mary Esther suggested that every Board member that approves building plans should also sign the form of information for Beverly and the PV records. If a form is not attached to the plan when someone receives them for revue, it can be assumed that it is because this would be the first signer, and therefore that person needs to initiate the form and send it off with the plans for the rest of the Board members to sign.
e. Board Member Reports:
Gerald: Forestry Department tried to do a burn of the wood piles on 2-28, but the weather conditions turned unfavorable for such an endeavor. There are very strict weather guidelines that need to be adhered to for safety reasons (good air quality, good humidly levels, wind levels within a certain ranges, etc.). Our fire department was ready to help with this burn, and will be ready again when the Forestry Department has a reschedule date. Currently the piles are fire hazards, so hopefully they can be burned soon.
* We had over 1” of rain on February 28. It was of course a blessing because we desperately need the moisture, but it was also a hindrance because the rain came down so fast and washed out parts of several roads in the Valley.
* Year-to-date we have had 7.6 inches of rain with 5 inches of that being in snow content.
* Gerald referred to the map hanging on the Fire Department wall which lists the plots of land and structures built on them. The structures colored in blue are permanent residences. Number of homes is now around 475. The question was asked about how we can figure out exactly how many homes are currently in the Valley, which would help in determining more exact data for the proposed fee increase. Fred suggested possibly putting out a modified version of the PV survey to aid in coming up with the total homes. Mary Esther asked Ryon if he could determine based on the number of water meters in town, but it was then noted that not all homes have meters even though they are being billed for water. Fred said he could figure out a close count based on the survey that was done 2 years ago and combining those numbers with the building permit sheet that Mary Esther just brought in for Bev. It was mentioned that PV could handle a total of 600 homes based on septic tank restrictions.
Ron – None
Dall – None
Ryon – None
Mary Esther – Brought to our attention a notice that was sent from Washington County Waste regarding the restrictions of items placed in the dumpsters. The notice was a reminder that tree limbs need to be cut and that there is no commercial or construction dumping allowed. The dumpsters are for the Pine Valley homeowner’s waste only.
* Mary Esther showed a letter she had received regarding training for Board members on the 4th of April from 9:00 AM to 1:00. The location of the training will be the County Commissions Chambers in St. George. She asked for a showing of hands on who could attend that meeting. Besides herself, Dall, Gerald and George said they could attend. (Special Note: after the meeting Mary Esther compared notes with Beverly regarding a training notice that Beverly had received for March 9th. Beverly said that she would get with some of the other Board members to see which training they would like to attend. As of the date these minutes are being typed (March 8), Beverly, George and Dall will try to attend the March 9th training. George is still going to call a few others to give them the date choice.)
* Mary Esther brought up the Princess contest and suggested Jamie Udell for the role of Pine Valley Princess. Gae Robinson brought up that Chelsea Udell is also of age, but Mary Esther was leaning more towards Jamie. Mary Esther suggested that Beverly (being Jamie’s mom) call the Princess coordinator for Washington County to see what is involved, what the princess duties would be, etc. Mary Esther also said that there was monies allotted by the PVSSD for the purpose of the princess dress and pictures.
* Mary Esther spoke to Vicki Frei about her continuing role of the PV web site master. Vicki agreed to continue maintaining the site. Mary Esther asked all of the Board members to take a few minutes during this month to review the Pine Valley web site and then be prepared to make comments or suggestions regarding the site at the April board meeting. Also mentioned was the fact that the meeting Minutes were only current on the web site to Sept. of 2005. Beverly said that she would get with Vicki to get her the additional Minutes needed to bring the web site up-to-date.
Continuing Discussion Regarding Possible Annual Fee Increase and/or the implementation of Impact Fees - Mary Esther, George and Steve met earlier in the day to discuss the needs and the protocol for implementing a fee increase and/or impact fees. It was determined (as also had been discussed at previous Board meetings) that because of increased cost overall and to assure our future needs, that we would be required have both an annual fee increase and monies coming in from Impact fees. Mary Esther shared notice for Beverly to use to give the Spectrum for placement of a Public/Legal ad in the paper regarding holding a public hearing in Pine Valley to invite home owners to come and get more information about the proposed fees. On that form was a proposed plan for Impact fee amounts. It is proposed we should charge a fee of $1500 for all new home construction and $.50 per square foot (up to $1500) for new construction on home additions or new detached buildings. Steve added a few more things to the notice of what the fees will be used for. Beverly will contact the Spectrum and have the ad placed at least 14 days prior to the date of the public hearing.
* After a checking of Board member schedules, it was determined that the Public Hearing will be held on Wednesday, March 29 at 6:00. George mentioned that the official vote by the Board for implementation of the fees could either be the same might as the public hearing (after the close of the public hearing), or we could hold off until the next scheduled Board meeting. Ryon suggested holding off to allow the Board members to ponder what the public said at the meeting. Therefore the official vote will be held at the next scheduled Board meeting (April 5th) after the public hearing. Gerald motioned to have the public hearing on March 29 at 6:00 p.m. and that the official vote would be at the next meeting following, Ryon seconded and all were in favor.
* Discussion next took place regarding how much the annual fee should need to be increased by. Figures originally talked about were a $50 or $100 dollar increase per year. Discussion went around the table regarding pros and cons to each amount. The consensus was that we wanted to make sure that whatever figure was chosen that we made sure that a) it was enough to cover the present and near future needs; b) that an amount chosen was not too high because we wanted to be faithful to the public’s money and not just have access money sitting around, nor did we want to be purchasing things for the department that might not be needed things simply because we would have the extra money to do so. We want to make sure we are good stewards of the monies brought in. and c) we wanted to be able to justify to the public the needs for raising the amount and why we were choosing a proposed dollar figure. At first Ron proposed a motion for a $50.00 increase amount, with Ryon seconding. Before it was put to a vote, a round table discussion ensued for about 10 minutes, which included the audience, of many pros and cons to the different proposed dollar amounts. George reminded everyone that impact fees can only be used for certain items and that the annual fees allow us more flexibility to where we spend the money based on what the needs are. Steve brought up that we have discussed a $50 raise before and with that figure we would break even on the daily needs but not have much (if anything) to put away from future emergencies and unforeseen costs. George said that in his opinion $50 would be enough. Gae Robinson said that $100 a year was nothing in comparison to the service that people are getting. Gerald commented that he generally hates anything to do with taxes because in his opinion the public gets taxed enough, so we have an obligation to be as frugal as we can while still making sure we have enough. Dall talked about the need to try to put some monies away into savings (a capitol gains fund) to replace engines and for other emergencies. Ron and Ryon both said that as long as we can justify what we take in, we will be okay. Guin Winn said that she would gladly pay an extra $100 for the right to live in Pine Valley, and that she thinks that based on the fact that she only gets to live here in the Valley about 4 months out of the year and she would still be happy to pay that figure. Mary Esther said it wasn’t good to hang on to too much of the taxpayer’s money. Steve brought up the 1 yr., 5 yr. and 10 year plan that was passed out at previous meetings and suggested we look ahead to needs. With the exception of the new engine we have coming, and one of our brush truck, the other trucks are over 30 years old and will eventually need to be replaced. The regulations suggest that we not have any truck over ______ years. We also have SCBAs that are sorely out of date that need to be replaced at a cost of $3500 apiece. Building repairs will continue to happen, especially as the building gets older (example given were in the last year we had a big plumbing issue and the front concrete needed to be repaired.) The only money that has been put away in the last few years for emergency type issues was the monies that the fire fighters themselves earned by being contracted out to other areas. Since the fire fighters are no longer being contracted out (they are now concentrating their fire relief efforts on Pine Valley and surrounding areas that can be a danger to Pine Valley), that money will no longer be coming into the coffers. Based on all of the above information, an informal poll was taken to see what each individual Board member and audience member thought would be a fair and proper proposed increase amount. The overall consensus was that $50.00 might continue to cut us short, but a $100 increase might be too much. George then brought up the question of what we should do about late fees for the annual fee structure. Since we currently have a late fee set at 20%, the discussion consensus was that the same 20% should continue. Therefore, Ron motioned that we propose a middle figure of a $75.00 increase to the annual fees (with a 20% late fee), with a further proposal of Impact fees as discussed earlier in the meeting. Gerald seconded that motion, and all were in favor. Ryon then asked what we should do about charging home owners the extra double fee if they have an extra structure on their property with a bathroom. As noted in last months meeting, this has the added burden of detective work, etc., to ensure the people get charged. It was decided that with a $75.00 increase per house, that we could drop the charging of the fee for additional structures with bathrooms. Ryon motioned to just charge one straight fee for everyone and discontinue the fee for the extra structure. Dall seconded that motion and all were in favor. Board Member Accountability, Future Agenda Items, Minutes, etc. Mary Esther brought up that we need some type of Board member accountability, mainly if someone finds they can not make it to a Board meeting. She jokingly stated that we should charge delinquent members $10 if they just don’t show up for a meeting. It was determined that any Board member who can not make it to a meeting, should notify either Beverly or Mary Esther at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
* Future agenda item calls, whether from Board members or from the audience, should be routed through Beverly instead of the Chairperson.
* Mary Esther then suggested that Beverly try to have the Minutes to the Board members within 2 weeks of any meeting. As stated earlier, Beverly said she will try to have the Minutes sent to the Board earlier – hopefully a week after a meeting.
Fire Chief’s Report- Steve: In the last month there was one fire department call-out for a car rollover. Luckily everyone in that vehicle had their seatbelts on, so no one was hurt. There were also 2 EMS calls.
* There is no new news on the new truck.
* The date of fire fighter training was changed to the 18th of March, due to recertification training in Central on the 11th.
Treasurer’s Report – George: Expenditures for the last few months have been pretty routine. Mary Esther suggested that George call Dall for verification on expenditures.
* George will continue to send our State of Utah annual financial reports to the accounting firm of Savage and Esplin.
* Currently Mary Esther, George and Ron are signers for our checking account.
* What we take in covers our basic operating costs right now. With an increase we will have some leftover for emergency things.
i. -> Report from Julie Cropper – N/A due to Julie’s absence.
2 - Public Comments - None
At 7:35 PM, Dall moved for the meeting to adjourn. Ron seconded.
The next Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 at 6:00 P.M.