Norris City Council

Minutes

Monday, January 11th, 2016

 

BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON MONDAY, JANUARY 11TH, 2016, AT 7:00 P.M. WITH THE FOLLOWING COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:  JACK BLACK, BILL GRIEVE, YORK HAVERKAMP, CHRIS MITCHELL, AND LORETTA PAINTER.  

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Chris Mitchell. 

 

HEAR THE PUBLIC

Joe Deatherage, 122 CCC Camp Road, stated he had addressed council at the December meeting regarding a safety issue with the speed limit on Highway 441 near the entrance to Norris and Alley Road.  He noted there was a report in the Norris Bulletin of a near collision at this intersection on Dec. 30, 2015.  He asked the City to contact the state concerning the speed limits.    City Manager Hester stated as he reported last month, the state sets the speed limit for this road.   City Manager Hester will contact TDOT and ask them to evaluate the speed limit in this area.  

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.    The minutes of the December 14th, 2015 council meeting were presented for approval.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve the minutes.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

2.    Board and Commission Vacancies - A motion was made by Mayor Mitchell to appoint   

Jack Mitchell and Natalie Erb to the Community Development Board and Suzanne Russell to the Norris Little Theatre Board.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.   Motion carried by voice vote.

 

 

3.    2014-2015 Independent Audit Results -   Jami Kiger, CPA, with HG & A Associates presented the Annual Audit Report for fiscal year 2014-2015.  Ms. Kiger reported a clean opinion had been given.  Ms. Kiger gave an overview of the CAFR.  She noted the largest change was in the net position as a result of changes in the reporting of the employee retirement plan.  She also discussed the importance of the Water Fund reporting a positive net position - operating expenses cannot exceed operating revenue.  A utility fund that reports a negative cash position two consecutive years is declared a distressed utility by the state and would result in additional monitoring by the State.    She stated the financial report had been submitted to the State and also to the GFOA for consideration of the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award.  She noted the City has received this award for 11 consecutive years.  Ms. Kiger thanked the Mayor, Council, City Manager, and the office staff for their assistance during the audit.

 

4.    Animal Commission Requested Changes to City Code - City Manager Hester reported he had not received any follow-up from the Animal Commission.

5.    Ordinance 590 - An Ordinance Amending Title 14 of the Norris Municipal Code by Adding Definitions for Inn and Hotel/Motel, and to Allow Inns in the C-2 and S-1 Scenic Business District, and Allow Hotels/Motels in the C-2 Commercial District and P-1 Professional and Civic District Where Designated was presented for second reading.  City Manager Hester stated this ordinance had the unanimous approval of Norris Planning Commission.    City Manager Hester noted the Public Hearing for Ordinance 590 was held today at 6:30 p.m. and there were no comments from the public.  Motion was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to approve the second reading of Ordinance 590.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  The motion carried by voice vote. 

 

6.    Ordinance 591 - An Ordinance Creating the Norris Design Review Commission was presented for second reading.  This ordinance was recommended by the Norris Planning Commission.   City Manager Hester reviewed the ordinance and noted the Public Hearing for Ordinance 591 was held today at 6:30 p.m. and there were no comments from the public.   Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve the second reading of Ordinance 591.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Haverkamp.  The motion carried by voice vote.

 

7.    Common Sidewalk Proposal - Review Capital Plan  - City Manager Hester reported as of today the estimated FYE 2016 undesignated fund balance would be around $255,000.   He reported the estimated City match for the East Norris Sidewalk Grant would be approximately $120,000 over the next three years.    The preliminary estimate for a new 5 ft. asphalt sidewalk at the Norris Middle School would be $35,000 and the funds are available.  Vice Mayor Haverkamp asked about the cost of concrete sidewalks and asked for an estimate to be obtained.   City Manager Hester stated concrete sidewalks would be double the cost of asphalt sidewalks.     City Manager Hester stated a decision concerning the sidewalks would need to be made by the next council meeting if work was completed during the Safe Route to School Grant. 

 

8.    Recreation

i.         Milly's Wings - City Manager Hester reported he had met with Natalie Erb concerning the concept to develop a universal park in Norris and possible site locations.   Council Member Black stated he had suggested last month and still would like the Recreation Committee to review the Milly's Wings proposal and to put together a Recreation plan for the City.  City Manager Hester stated Mrs. Erb needed a fairly quick response and felt the Council could provide a response more quickly than the Recreation Committee.

ii.      Park Assets - City Manager Hester reported he was researching using City property near the city tennis courts for the park.  He stated he had also contacted the State concerning the removal of one of the tennis courts to allow additional space for the park.   Since the tennis courts were a result of a State grant, he has contacted the state to determine if approval from the state was needed.   He stated this location would allow the use of existing parking and restroom facilities.  He reported if the tennis courts remain the lighting would need to be replaced or removed. 

iii.    Recreation Employee - City Manager Hester stated this would be a benefit to the City, but would require funding by a tax increase or elimination of a City service.  This would be an item to address during the 2016-2017 budget process. 

iv.     CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Hester reported on the following:

 

1)    2015 - 2016 Year to Date Budget - Overall expenditures are on target to budget with revenues slightly above estimates.  98% of the 2015 property taxes have been collected through December, which is on pace with previous years.  Overall the City's financial health continues to be very strong, and the City is in good position for meeting upcoming capital needs such as equipment and road paving.

 

 

 

2)    Grant Updates

 

a.    T-21 Grant Opportunity - grant was awarded for $347,000 to extend the City sidewalk system to Highway 61.  This will require the City to provide match funds of approximately $100,000.  TDOT has authorized the City to proceed with the Environmental Phase of the project, and an initial survey of the area will be done in the next few weeks.  City Manager Hester completed the required training for this project in November.

b.    Safe Routes to Schools Grant - City Manager Hester reported the award of this grant was received in August.  This is 100% federally funded, no match is permitted.  The target date for starting work on this grant will be early spring 2016, and completed by late spring.  Firm dates should be available by January 2016.      

c.    Oil Recycling Grant - an award has been made by TDEC for an oil recycling grant in the amount of $21,500.  The Grant request had been for $27,500.  City Manager Hester stated we will evaluate if we can still upgrade both used oil furnaces at Public Works and NWC Operations buildings with the lower funded amount.  This grant is funded 100% and requires no local match. 

 

3)    Capital Updates

 

a.    Delivery of the new Public Safety vehicle is expected any day. 

b.    Community Building Siding - planned work has been completed as planned.

c.    Ridgeway Park Additions - Budget quotes have been obtained.   City Manager Hester reported the estimated cost of an installed 2 bay swing would be $10,000 and the estimated cost of an installed slide would be $13,100. Norris Water Commission would install the water fountain at an estimated cost of $4,000.  

 

4)    Update of Watershed Resource Management Plan

The Board is still working on update.  The plan will continue to be worked on and discussed at future meetings.

 

5)    See attached City Manager Report. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

6)     Budget Amendments  - none

 

 

 

7)    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 from Council. 

Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to adjourn.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote at 8:30 p.m.

 

 


 
 
TO:                 Norris City Council                           FROM: Tim Hester              

RE:                  City Manager's Report                     DATE: January 11, 2016

 

1.   2015-16 Year to Date (Estimated through December) Budget.   Overall, YTD Expenditures are on target to budget, and revenues are slightly above estimates.  98% of property tax has been collected through November, which is on pace with previous years.   Other key revenue categories (State Sales Tax, Local Option Sales Tax, Liquor & Beer Wholesale Tax) are slightly ahead of budget. 

Estimated 2014-15 Year End Undesignated CASH reserves finished at:

  1.  
    1. General Fund             $210,000
    2. Watershed Fund          $177,717 ($26,762 of this is earmarked for future Rifle Range improvements)

Overall, the City's financial health continues to be very strong, and the City is good position for meeting upcoming capital needs such as equipment and road paving.

  1.  Grant Updates.   
    1. New T-21 Grant Opportunity - grant was awarded for $347,000 to extend the City sidewalk system to Highway 61.  This will require the City to provide match funds of approximately $100,000.  TDOT reports that these types of projects typically take 2-3 years of prep work prior the project breaking ground.  TDOT has authorized us to proceed with the Environmental Phase of the project, and an initial survey of the area will be done in the next few weeks.  Required training for this project was completed November 18.
    2. Safe Routes to Schools Grant Opportunity.  Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a federally funded program focusing on the benefits of children walking and biking to school. Its primary purpose is to encourage elementary and middle school children to safely walk and bicycle to school through infrastructure improvements, educational initiatives and promotional activities.  Projects and activities are 100% federally funded for the 2015 year; no match is permitted.   Our award of this grant was received and we will begin the planning process for implementation.   The target date for starting work on this grant will be early spring 2016, and complete by late spring.   Firm dates should be available by January.
    3. Oil Recycling Grant.   An award has been made by TDEC for an oil recycling grant in the amount of $21,500.   Grant request had been for $27,500.   We will evaluate if we can still upgrade both used oil furnaces at Public Works and NWC operations buildings with the lower funded amount.   This grant is funded 100% and requires no local match.   

 

  1. Capital Update
    1. Public Safety Vehicle.  Delivery of the new vehicle is expected any day.   
    2. Community Building Siding.  Planned work has been completed as planned.
    3. Ridgeway Park Additions.  Budget quotes have been obtained (please see separate file for details).

 

  1. Update of Watershed Resource Management Plan.   The Norris Watershed Board is working to update and revise the Resource Management Plan.   This plan addresses 3 major categories of activities in the Watershed: forest management, recreation, and water quality.   Public workshops were held in January, February, April, and May.   The plan will continue to be worked on and discussed at future meetings.  The public is encouraged to attend future Watershed Board meetings and provide input to the Watershed Board regarding one of Norris' most important resources.