Norris City Council

Minutes

Monday, July 11, 2016

 

 

BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON MONDAY, JULY 11TH, 2016, AT 7:00 P.M. WITH THE FOLLOWING COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:  JACK BLACK, BILL GRIEVE, CHRIS MITCHELL, AND LORETTA PAINTER.   NOT PRESENT:  YORK HAVERKAMP

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Mitchell. 

 

HEAR THE PUBLIC

Ron Hill, 10 Hawthorne Place, commended the Norris Administration and particularly the Norris Public Safety Department for the recent traffic control effort.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.    The minutes of the June 13th, 2016 Council Meeting were presented for approval.   Motion was made by Council Member Black to approve the minutes.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

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

Dana Barker to the Norris Little Theater Board.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.   Motion carried by voice vote.

 

2.    Ridgeway Park Additions - City Manager Hester reported all components are in and we are currently waiting for labor to be available to install.  No firm date has been set.

 

3.     Funding Request:  Ceiling Fans for Lions Pavilion - Roger Bollinger requested the City pay for the purchase and installation of ceiling fans for the Lions Pavilion.    He stated the estimated cost of fans would be approximately $2,500.00.  He stated he would donate money to purchase one fan and he also had a commitment from another person to purchase one fan.  Council Member Black stated he recommended purchasing commercial 62" vapor proof fans.  He reported the cost would be around $600 each with a total installation cost of approximately $5,000.   Mayor Mitchell stated he did not support the use of City funds but would recommend a fund be established to take donations.   Resident Joe Deatherage, 122 CCC Camp Rd., stated he did not think City funds should be used, but a fund raising drive should be started to raise the money to pay for the fans, and he would donate $200 toward the purchase of the fans.  Motion was made Mayor Mitchell to setup a City fund to accept future donations toward the purchase of the ceiling fans.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.  Motion carried by voice vote.

4.    Ordinance 595 -  An Ordinance to Amend Title 14, Planning and Zoning, section 14-309, Addition of Educational Facilities as a Permitted Use - was presented for second reading.  City Manager Hester state that this change was recommended by the Norris Planning Commission.   The vocation school would be located in the Hensley store building.   City Manager Hester noted the Public Hearing pertaining to Ordinance 595 was held at 6:45 p.m. on July 11, 2016 and only positive comment was received.  Tim Thompson with Anderson Co. Economic Development stated the school will help train students into technical positions and this is a win-win for the students and the industries in the county.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve Ordinance 595 on second reading.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

5.    2016-2017 Capital Plan - City Manager Hester stated the one item in the 2016-2017 Capital Plan that needs to be addressed is the $25,000 to cover the pre-engineering work on the sidewalk project linking the East Norris sidewalk to the highway.  The construction of the sidewalk has been delayed  - moving the project from the 2017-2018 fiscal year to the 2018-2019 fiscal year.   City Manager Hester stated it was critical to approve the $25,000 pre-engineering work this fiscal year in order to meet the grant timeline.   City Manager Hester stated the environmental study and engineering would still need to be completed and submitted to TDOT for approval, and finally the construction plans would need to be finalized.   Council Member Black stated he does not have any problems with the Capital Plan for the next five years, but you have to pay for the projects.  He stated with the current 5 year Capital Plan we are going to run a deficit  and we are going to have to come up with money.   He stated if the sidewalk stays in the Capital Plan and if it was his own personal budget, he would have to raise taxes by nineteen cents next year and then reduce the taxes by seven cents in three years.  He stated there was a previous comment that when taxes go up they never go back down, but that he had been on council, not here, that reduced the tax rate.   He stated without the sidewalk, the tax rate would need to be increased by twelve cents and then reduce taxes by eight cents two years later.   He stated he did not see where we can cut other than the sidewalk project to 61.  Mayor Mitchell stayed that even if we make a decision concerning the 2018-2019 Capital Plan today, the plan would be revisited next year.  City Manager Hester stated the decision concerning the $25,000 for pre-engineering cost needs to be made now.  He stated the engineer had been on hold for six months and it is time to get back on the schedule.  Mayor Mitchell asked about the firmness of the $25,000; and City Manager Hester said that was what was budgeted but he stated things might happen that he could not predict.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to fund the $25,000 Capital Fund for the pre-engineering cost for the sidewalk project to 61 from the General Funds Reserve.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.   Voting for:  Bill Grieve, Chris Mitchell, and Loretta Painter.  Voting against:  Jack Black.

 

CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Hester reported on the following:

 

1)    2015 - 2016 Year to Date City Budget - Overall expenditures are on target to budget with 100% of the 2015 property taxes collected, which is on pace with previous years.  Annual audit work has begun, and final financial reports will be available later this year.

 

2)    2015 - 2016 Year to Date Water Budget - Overall, NWC operations budget is very tight.         It is estimated that the operations budget for the current fiscal year will have a shortfall of approximately $10,000 due to the unexpected lift station repairs discussed at the last meeting.  The annual audit has begun and final financial reports will be available later this year.   However, an operations budget shortfall will not have a negative impact on current or future operations of NWC, as new rates go into effect July 1 and overall reserves for NWC are strong.  Current total reserve is $378,000.

 

3)    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.   The site survey is being modified, and proceeding with easement acquisition in the upcoming weeks.

b.    Safe Routes to Schools Grant - signed contract has been submitted to state and TDOT will perform the environmental assessment; this has to be completed before any work can commence.

c.    Oil Recycling Grant - An award has been made by TDEC for an oil recycling grant in the amount of $21,500.  This grant is 100% and requires no local match.  A supplier has been selected and plans are underway for installations to begin this summer.  This grant will be completed by October 2016.

d.    Local Parks and Recreation Grant Application - City Manager Hester reported the application for the $50,000 grant had been submitted and awards are expected in October.  This grant requires a 50% match, and if awarded we can expected the project to be completed in the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year.  Project budget is estimated at $50,000, meaning the City's match would be $25,000.

 

4)    City Council Election - City Council two year terms end this year.  The next General Election is slated for November 8, 2016, and candidates may pick up qualifying petitions from the Anderson County Election Commission.   Petitions are due to the Election Commission by noon on August 18, 2016.

 

5)    Public Safety Air Compressor - The air compressor used to fill firefighter oxygen tanks has failed and will need to be replaced.  A similar compressor will cost $6,550, however, the size of oxygen tanks used has increased in the past few years and a similar compressor may no longer to large enough to meet our needs.  Chief Humphrey is researching options which will be presented to City Council as soon as possible.

 

6)    Update of Watershed Resource Management Plan

A draft of the plan in now on the City's website for public review prior to its adoption.    The public is encouraged to attend future Watershed Board meetings and provide input.

 

7)    See attached City Manager Report. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

8)     Budget Amendments  - none

 

9)    Resolution -5 - 2016 - A Resolution Authorizing the City of Norris to Participate in the TML Risk Management Pool "Safety Partners" Loss Control Matching Grant Program was presented for approval.  City Manager Hester reported the City match would be up to $2,000.   Motion made by Council Member Grieve to approve Resolution 5-2016.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

10) 2015-2016 Budget Amendment Ordinance No. 596 -  An Ordinance Amending the Annual Operating Budget of the General, State Street Aid, Watershed, and Refuse and Recycle Funds of the City of Norris, Tennessee for Fiscal Year 2015-2016 was presented for 1st Reading. - City Manager Hester reviewed the Ordinance and recommended approval.  Motion was made by Council Member Black to approve Ordinance No. 596 on first reading.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

City Manager Hester reported Norris Water Commission will be accepting debit and credit cards within the next month.  There will also be an option on the City website to allow customers to pay.  There will be advertising of this new service on the City website, newspaper, and also on future bills. 

 

11) City Manager Hester presented the following donated funds to be rolled over to the 2016-2017 Budget Year:  Norris Animal Commission - $3,022.08, Norris Little Theatre - $11,645.94, Norris Volunteer Fire Dept. - $7,261.68, Frisbee Golf - $564.00, and Recycle Fund Committee - $100.00.  Motion was made by Council Member Black to rollover the donated funds as presented.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

Mayor Mitchell stated he sees in the minutes there is a continued Watershed Board discussion concerning a consultant.  He asked if the Watershed Board had taken any action concerning a consultant and is there any role for City Council to engage in that topic.  City Manager Hester stated if the Watershed Board entered into an agreement to pay a consultant, it would have to come before City Council for approval. 

 

Mayor Mitchell noted the Norris Water Commission rates were changing effect July 1, 2016 and the minimum gallons were dropping from 3,000 to 2,000.  He asked if the water bills that go out in August will reflect the change in water rates.   Mayor Mitchell stated that he voted for the increase and we need to support our utility.  He stated he wants to make sure people know this change is coming. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council Member Black asked what the City can do to encourage house number signs in the City.   Sheila Herren, 30 Dairy Pond,  stated house numbers would help First Responders when going to medical emergency calls in the City.  City Manager Hester stated he would address this issue with Norris Water Superintendent Wilkerson.   He said this might be something the Boy Scouts could look at.

 

12) 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 8:35 p.m.

 


 
 
TO:                       Norris City Council                           FROM:            Tim Hester    

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

 

1.   2015-16 Year to Date (Estimated through June) CITY Budget.   Overall, YTD Expenditures are on target to budget.  100% of property tax has been collected.   Other key revenue categories (State Sales Tax, Local Option Sales Tax, Liquor & Beer Wholesale Tax) are on budget.   Annual audit work has begun, and final financial reports will be available later this year.  

Estimated 2015-16 Year End Undesignated CASH reserves finished at:

  1.  
    1. General Fund             $270,000
    2. Watershed Fund         $175,311 ($26,779 of this is earmarked for future Rifle Range improvements)

Overall, the City's financial health continues to be strong, and the City is good position for meeting current capital needs such as equipment and road paving. However, long term projections indicate that additional revenues and/or change in city services may be necessary in the next 1-3 years.

  1.  2015-16 Year to Date (Estimated through June) Water Commission Budget.  Overall, NWC operations budget is very tight.   It is estimated that the operations budget for the current fiscal year will have a shortfall of approximately $10k (~1.5% of total budget) due to the unexpected lift station repairs discussed at the last meeting.  Like the City, the annual audit has begun and final financial reports will be available later this year.

However, an operations budget shortfall will not have a negative impact on current or future operation of NWC, as new rates go into effect July 1 and overall reserves for NWC are strong. NWC has designated reserves for escrowed customer deposits of $17k, and $361k available for future grant matches and/or future capital projects.  Current total reserve is $378,000.  

  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 is being modified, and are proceeding with easement acquisition in the upcoming weeks.
    2. Safe Routes to Schools Grant.  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.   We have received our signed contract from the State and TDOT will perform the environmental assessment; this has to be completed before any work can commence.
    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, but grant funds will cover all planned work.   This grant is funded 100% and requires no local match.    A supplier has been selected and plans are underway for installations to begin this summer.   This grant will be completed by October 2016.
    4. Local Parks & Recreation Fund Application.  Grant application has been submitted and awards are expected in October. Focus of this grant would be re-surfacing the tennis courts and updating the adjoining restrooms.   This grant requires a 50% match, and if awarded we can expect the project to be completed in the 2017-18 Fiscal Year.  Project budget is estimated at $50,000, meaning the City's responsibility would be $25,000. 

 

  1. City Council Election.   City Council 2 year terms end this year.   The next General Election is slated for November 8, 2016, and candidates may pick up qualifying petitions from the Anderson County Election Commission.   Petitions are due to the Election Commission by noon on August 18, 2016.

 

  1. Public Safety Air Compressor.   The air compressor used to fill firefighter oxygen tanks has failed and will need to be replaced.  A similar compressor will cost $6550, however the size of oxygen tanks used has increased in the past few years and a similar compressor may no longer be large enough to meet our needs.   Chief Humphrey is researching options which will be presented to City Council as soon as possible.

 

  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.  A draft of the plan is now on the City's website for public review.  The public is encouraged to attend future Watershed Board meetings and provide input to the Watershed Board regarding one of Norris' most important resources.