Norris City Council

Minutes

Monday, February 8th, 2016

 

 

BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8TH, 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

No comments from the public.

Vice Mayor Haverkamp reported a need for new sports equipment for the community building gym.  He asked for donations of equipment such as ping pong equipment, basketballs, and volleyballs.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.       The minutes of the January 8th, 2016 council meeting were presented for approval.  Motion was made by Council Member Black to approve the minutes.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

2.       Board and Commission Vacancies - None

 

3.       Animal Commission Requested Changes to City Code - City Manager Hester reported he had not received any follow-up from the Animal Commission.      Vice Mayor Haverkamp asked for opinions concerning the possibility of raising Adoption Fees.    City Manager Hester noted all vet bills are paid for by donations.  Mayor Mitchell asked if adoptions would be turned down if they do not have the money to pay for the adoptions.   Mayor Mitchell stated he would not be in favor of raising fees if it results in turning down adoptions.

4.       Ridgeway Park Additions - City Manager Hester reported he has the information needed to request bids.    He stated a Sales Representative with Gametime had mentioned another option.  The City can join the USA Community Alliance to purchase the playground equipment.  This works much the same way as purchasing through the State of Tennessee contract system.  He noted there is no cost to join and there would be less uncertainty on what we would be purchasing.   City Manager said it was up to Council to decide whether to bid or join the Alliance.  He stated the Alliance would make the purchasing process smoother and the City would be more likely to get what they want.   Mayor Mitchell made a motion

to join the USA Community Alliance and request a proposal for playground equipment

for Ridgeway Park.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Haverkamp.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

5.       Commons Sidewalk Proposal:  Review Capital Plan - City Manager Hester reported the survey work for Sidewalk Grant was being completed and would be available for the March council meeting.  City Manager Hester stated Council needs to wait until the survey is completed and recommended deferring the Commons sidewalk discussion until the March council meeting.

 

6.       Recreation

i.         Park Assets - City Manager Hester reported he had contacted the State of TN concerning the tennis courts.  A federal grant was used to construct the tennis courts and approval would need to be obtained to use one of the tennis courts as part of the Milly's Wings project.   He reported there is a process to repurpose the site and a state official was very optimistic it could be changed.     Vice Mayor Haverkamp said he had discussed the possible removal of one tennis court to be used as part of the Milly's Wings Playground and most of the residents he spoke with were against it.  Mayor Mitchell stated Council need to talk to residents concerning their feelings about the possibility of removing one of the tennis courts for the Milly's Wings project.   City Manager Hester will report his findings to the Council at the March 14th, 2016 Council Meeting.

ii.       Milly's Wings - Natalie Erb discussed the playground with Council and stated she wants    the playground to be centrally located.  She does not want the public to have a negative perception of the playground as a result of the possible removal of one of the tennis courts.    She stated the current goal is to raise $150,000 for the construction project.  Once the site is identified, she said final plans would be completed.  She stated $12,000 had been raised to date.  Mike McGee suggested a possible centrally located site would be on property near the Pavilion.   He stated this location is more centrally located than the Eric Harold Park or the tennis courts.   City Manager Hester will contact the State of Tennessee concerning starting the repurposing process of the tennis court and will also look at site near the Pavilion.

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 $120,000.  TDOT has authorized the City to proceed with the Environmental Phase of the project, and site survey has been completed. 

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.       Public Safety Vehicle has been delivered and will be placed in service once radios have been installed and title has been secured.

b.      Paving Bids for East Norris Road - Bids are due end of February and will be available for Council review at the March meeting.

 

4)      Staffing Update

 Leanne Eldred is retiring from the City Office effective at the end of February 2016.  She has worked for the City/Norris Water Commission for over seven years.

 

 

 

5)      Update of Watershed Resource Management Plan

The Board is still working on update.  The plan will soon be available for public comment prior to its adoption.  The plan will be posted on the City's website soon.

 

6)      See attached City Manager Report. 

NEW BUSINESS

 

7)       Budget Amendments  - none

 

8)      Resolution 1-2016 - Codification of City Ordinances - A resolution requesting Municipal Technical Advisory Service to codify and revise the ordinances of the City of Norris at the earliest possible date was presented for approval.  The cost would be $3,500 for the codification.  City Manager Hester reported this would be included in the 2016-2017 budget.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve the resolution.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.  Motion carried by voice note.

 

9)      Ordinance 592 - An Ordinance to Amend Title 2, Miscellaneous, Chapter 6 - Norris Library Commission was presented for first reading.    After review of the Ordinance, the following revisions were recommended:  1) Section 2 - 604 - the work "predominately" would be removed and replaced with "partially"; 2) Section 2 - 604 paragraph two - add "shall be deposited in three (3) days of receipt and remove "the account of the Library Commission" and add "the appropriate City Fund.  3) In the last sentence-remove "in" the account" and add "on behalf" and 4) remove "in the same way as money appropriated to the library commission" and add in accordance with all City budgeting   and purchasing policies."   Motion was made by Council Member Black to approve Ordinance 592 on first reading with revisions noted.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Haverkamp.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

10)   City Manager Hester noted a Public Hearing was required on Ordinance 592.   Motion was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to hold the Public Hearing on March 14th, 2016 at 6:30 p.m.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

11)   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 9:10 p.m.

 

 

 

 

TO:                         Norris City Council                                          FROM:                  Tim Hester    

City Manager's Report, February 8, 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 on 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 $120,000.  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.   The site survey was completed, and next steps will be discussed at the council meeting.
    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 have begun the planning process for implementation.   The target date for starting work on this grant will be spring 2016.   Preliminary paperwork has been submitted to the State and we are now waiting for their approval to perform the environmental assessment.
    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.    I will be attending a mandatory seminar for this grant on February 9th.

 

  1. Capital Update
    1. Public Safety Vehicle.  Vehicle has been delivered, and will be placed in service once radios have been installed and the vehicle title has been secured
    2. Paving Bids for East Norris Road.  Bids are due end of February and will be available for Council review at the March meeting.

 

  1. Staffing Update.  Leanne Eldred has decided to retire from the City office staff effective at the end of February.   Leanne is currently in the part-time position of Records Clerk, but has also worked in the office in the full time role of Administrative Assistant.  Leanne has worked for the City and Water Commission for over 7 years, and we wish her all the best in retirement.  Plans are to hire a new Records Clerk in the coming weeks.

 

  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.  The expectation is that the Plan will soon be available for public comment prior to its adoption.   Plan will be posted on the City's website soon.