Norris City Council


August 11, 2014




The meeting was called to order by Mayor Chris Mitchell.



Joann Fehr, 75 Hickory Trail, voiced a complaint about debris in the road in front of her house, police action in regards to speeding, and the response from Public Safety after a police report.  Councilmen Haverkamp appreciated her comments and that he would be happy to sit down with her and discuss matter further.

Tommy Mariner, 11 Hawthorne, he would volunteer to work with a committee to look into getting a city wide Warning System. There is 310 million dollars out there in grant money available.  Mayor Chris Mitchell responded that there is a Warning System workshop scheduled for Tuesday, August 19th at 6:00pm in the Community Room of the city building. Mayor Mitchell has visited the city of Sweetwater twice who has worked with warning sirens, he has also checked with TVA about their surplus systems. They currently do not have any but the city was put on a waiting list. These systems need to be refurbished at a cost to the city.

Ronald Hackler, 71 Dairypond, asked if any kind of handout will be available before the workshop on August 19th.  Mayor Mitchell's response was that is what the workshop will go over the types of systems that are available. 



1.     The minutes of the July 14th, 2014 meeting were presented for approval. Motion was made by Council Member Grieves to approve the minutes. Motion was second by Council Member Painter. Motion carried by voice vote.




2.     Boards and Commission vacancies, nothing to report this month.


3.     A Workshop for the Community Warning System is scheduled for August 19th at 6:00 PM in the city office community room.


4.                Ordinance 576, update Title 15: MOTOR VEHICLES, TRAFFIC AND PARKING, have passed the first reading but is still in a review stage by MTAS. City Manager Hester asked that this be postponed until September.


5.     Traffic Calming. Council Member Black has been watching Huntsville and how they are using traffic calming devices and the policies they have in place for requesting devises.  Mayor Mitchell proposed creation of a sub-committee or a workshop to develop a formal process to work out a first draft. He suggested possibly three council members in a sub-committee. Councilman Haverkamp agreed.  Motion made by Mayor Mitchell to make a sub-committee of three council members and open to the public to develop a beginning points fora traffic calming process.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieves. Discussion followed from members of the council and the public. Motion carried by voice vote.


Mayor Mitchell asked for volunteers from the council to sit on the sub-committee. Council MemberBlack volunteered to be the Chair, Council Members Painter and Grieves also volunteered to sit on the committee. Meeting date to be determined.




City Manager Hester reported on the following:


1) 2013-14 Year to Date Budget.The final totals will be available with the conclusion of the annual independent audit later this calendar year.Budgeted expenditures were about $10,000 over budget, which is less than 1% of the total expenditure.  Budgeted revenues were about $64,000 above the budget, which is a gain of 6%.  The majority of the gain came from sales tax adjustments that were discussed with Council earlier in the year.The City finished the 2013-14 budget year with 100% of planned City services and Capital projects funded, and an increase in Undesignated CASH reserves.  2013-14 Year End Undesignated CASH reserves are estimated at approximately, General Fund $145,000 and the Watershed Fund $175,000. Overall, the City's financial health continues to be very strong.


2014-15 Year to Date Budget.   YTD Revenues and Expenditures are on target to budget.  Property tax notices were sent in July and are due by August 31 without penalty.


2)Grant Updates.    Local Parks & Recreation Fund - the city will not be receiving this grant in the current cycle.  This was a 50/50 matching grant that we have approximately $35,000 remaining from the Norris Academy gift to use as the match.The original gift was used as the match for the last LPRF grant we received for the playground at Ridgeway Park, and the balance was earmarked for additional playground improvements at Oak Road and Ridgeway Parks.  City Manager Hester recommended that the available $35,000 in gift monies be spent on improvements to the two parks, Ridgeway and Oak Road Parks, as originally planned, additional playground equipment and adult fitness fixtures.  The spending can be more flexible when not tied to a grant. Council Member Black suggested using the money for a Splash Pad area in the Oak Road Park. City Manager Hester, received approval from the council to move forward by arranging a meeting withNorris Academy to discuss the use of remaining funds. No money would be spent without the approval from the City Council.  The new lighting at the tennis courts will have to wait for future grant opportunities and/or until funding can be secured from other sources.

3)  T-21 Grant Opportunity: Applications for new T-21 grants are due in November.  City Manager Hester proposed that the City make plans to apply for this T-21 grant with specific plans to extend a sidewalk from the corner of Dairypond and East Norris Road ¼ mile down East Norris Road to Highway 61, and a crosswalk to the Hensley center which connects to Anderson Crossing and a spur heading down Highway 61 west to Sycamore Place.Estimated engineering cost using Cannon & Cannon was roughly $430,000based on a grant match of 80/20 the city would be putting up about $85,000.  The only commitment today is the pre-engineering work for preparing and applicationand preparing the bid work at approximately $5,000.00.This work would be valid for a number of years. Motion was made by Council Member Black to start the pre-engineering work spending $5,000 from the City's General Cash Reserve. Motion was second by Council Member Grieves. Motion carried by voice vote.


4)Capital Loan Update.  City looking at $60,000 for capital purchases, new leaf vacuum, a used vehicle and firefighting equipment for Public Safety. Rate quotes and fees have been obtained from three lenders. City Manager Hester recommend that the previously approved Council action to secure a $60,000 Capital Loan be executed with the TN Municipal Bond Fund. Motion by Council Member Grieves to secure the loan from TN Municipal Bond Fund at 3.58%. Motion Second by Council Member Haverkamp. Motion carried by voice vote.


5)  Leaf Vacuum Update.  Public Works Director Walker and City Manager Hester have learned that a leaf vacuum contained in an independent trailer will be too heavy for the City's truck or tractor to pull. The unit will still have to be pulled by the city's dump truck. City Manager Hester recommendation is that the self-contained trailer system is the best option for the City.  We will proceed with the bid process to purchase a self-contained leaf trailer as originally approved.


6)  Annexation Appeal.    The Notice for the Motion to Appeal was heard June 18th in Knoxville.  The attorney for Mr. Garrett filed a supplemental brief to the court on July 7, and the City Attorney filed an appropriate response.  The Court's opinion is expected later this summer.


7)  November 2014 General Election.   Norris City Council election for a new two-year term will be on November 4, 2014.Those interested in running the deadline is noon August 21, 2014.




7.     Budget Amendmentsneeded to final and balance 2013/2014 budget; City Manager Hester has the authority to move money within accounts, however does require council approval to move money between departments. This is required to balance the individual funds.Motion to amend the 2013/2014 budget by movingfunds between departments by Council Member Haverkamp. Motion second by Council Member Black. Motion passes by voice vote. 


We have three commissions that do a great job of raising money, Recreation raised $1,050 for Frisbee Golf, $416.29 Animal Commission and $11,776.42 Norris Little Theatre wishes for these funds to be carried forward.Motion to carry these funds forward into the 2014/2015 budget by Council Member Haverkamp. Motion second by Council Member Grieves. Motion passes by voice vote.


8.                Supervision of minors on city property - the question was raised by one of the summer recreation members, liability wise, do we have enough supervision? The summer program is an eight week program where we hire a Program Director that works with the kids 30 to 35 hours per week. In addition to the summer program, the gym in the community building is open after school, however, they are unsupervised. City Manager Hester recommends hiring one additional summer recreation supervisor at a cost of $1,100 in this year's budget and $2,200 would be in the following year's budgets. Also, establish a policy that minors can only use the facility with adult supervision. Motion by Council Member Haverkamp to add to the summer recreation budget money for anadditional position andcreate a policy regarding minors using of the community building gym only with adult supervision. Motion second by Council Member Painter. Motion passes by voice vote.


Accounts Payable, Minutes and Reports

Mayor Mitchell asked Council for questions or comments concerning accounts payable, minutes, and reports - there were no questions or comments.


9.     Motion was made by Council Member Grieves to adjourn. Motion was second by Council Member Painter. Motion carried by voice vote meeting adjourns at 8:45 p.m.