Norris City Council

Minutes

Monday, September 12th, 2016

 

 

BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2016, AT 7:00 P.M. WITH THE FOLLOWING COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:  JACK BLACK, YORK HAVERKAMP, CHRIS MITCHELL, AND LORETTA PAINTER.   NOT PRESENT:  BILL GRIEVE.

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Mitchell. 

 

HEAR THE PUBLIC

Susan Miceli, Norris Library Commission member, introduced the new Norris Library Director, Jennifer Heffron.   She also recognized and thanked Chuck Stearle for filling in as Library Director since January.

Joe Deatherage, 122 CCC Camp Road, stated he uses the library all the time and they are great.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.    The minutes of the August 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

 

1.    Board and Commission Vacancies - None

 

2.    Ridgeway Park Additions - City Manager Hester reported the swing set and water fountain had been installed.   He reported the slide is about 95% complete and should be finished within the next two weeks.

 

3.    Fundraiser:  Ceiling Fans for Lions Pavilion - City Manager Hester reported $1,300 has been donated as of August 31, 2016.

 

4.    Ordinance No. 597 -  An Ordinance Amending the Norris Animal Shelter Commission Code -  and Ordinance No. 598 - To Establish a Fee Schedule  in regard to the Norris Animal
Commission
were presented for 2nd Reading  - City Manager Hester reported a Public Hearing concerning the ordinances was held today at 6:30 p.m., September 12th, 2016 and noted a comment was raised concerning the minimum hold period.   Vice Mayor Haverkamp made a motion to amend Ordinance 597 as follows:  keep life-time tags but waive fee for microchip, seized animal(s) picked up would require owner to provide proof of rabies vaccination before release, and change the minimum hold period to seven business days.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.  Motion carried by voice vote.   Motion was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to amend Ordinance 597 as noted.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.   Motion carried by voice vote.    A motion was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to approve Ordinance 597 and 598 on second reading.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

5.    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 86% of 2016 property taxes collected, which is on target for collections.  Annual audit work has begun, and final financial reports will be available later this year.  Overall the City's financial health continues to be strong and the City is in good position for meeting current capital needs.   However, long term projections indicate that additional revenues and/or change in city services may be necessary in the next 1-3 years.

 

2)    2015 - 2016 Year to Date Water Budget - Overall, NWC operations budget is very tight, but expenses are below target to date.  Operations revenues are ahead of budget (1.5%) with sewer charges slightly below target and water sales slightly ahead.  Like the City, the annual audit has begun and final financial reports will be available later this year.

 

3)    Grant Updates

1)      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.  Engineer is proceeding with the Environmental Phase of the project.  The site survey has been modified, and we will be proceeding with easement acquisition in the upcoming weeks.

2)      Safe Routes to Schools Grant - SRTS is a federally funded program and 100% federally funded; no match is permitted.  We have begun the planning process for implementation.  We have received our signed contract from the State and TDOT is working on 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.  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.

4)      Local Parks and Recreation Grant Application - City Manager Hester reported the City was notified the application for the $50,000 grant was not approved.  

5)      City Council Election - City Council two year terms end this year.  The next General Election is slated for November 8, 2016.

6)      Health Insurance Renewal - We have received our renewal plan for the employee health insurance and it is on budget.  Insurance renewal is in November.

7)      Workers Compensation Renewal  -  This has come in with a very modest annual increase of 2%.  This is the lowest rate of increase we have been in the last few years and is directly attributed to our employee efforts to work safely and to follow all appropriate safety precautions.  Good job and thanks to all employees!

8)      Update of Watershed Resource Management Plan

A draft of the plan is 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.   Plan should be presented to Council very soon.

9)      See attached City Manager Report. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

ii.        Budget Amendments  - none

 

iii.    Resolution 6 - 2016 - City of Norris & Norris Water Commission Employee Appreciation was presented for approval.  City Manager Hester stated the resolution was to recognize the City of Norris and Norris Water employees for their hard work providing services to the residents of the City of Norris.   Motion was made by Council Member Black to approve Resolution 6-2016.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

iv.     Ordinance 599 - An Ordinance to Amend Title 14, Planning and Zoning, Section 14-411, Signs and Other Advertising Structures was presented for 1st reading.  City Manager Hester stated the Ordinance was recommended by the Norris Planning Commission.  Currently there is no allowance in the Ordinance to allow signs in P-1.  City Manager Hester stated this Ordinance does three things:  It allows signage in P-1 district on the highway and 441, allows signage in S-2 that copies what has been allowed in S-1, and allows changeable and electronic message signs as recommended by the State Planner.   He noted in our current code this type of signs are not allowed. The ordinance change to Section 1 pertains to P-1 Professional and Civic District, when such District is directly accessed from Highway 61 or Highway 441 and S-2 Scenic Highway District and would allow for a maximum sign height of 18 feet and a maximum width of 12 feet.   Section 2 deletes 1.m, Changeable Copy Signs in its entirely and substitutes the follow:  Changeable Copy and Electronic Message Signs in C-1, C-2, P-1, and S-1 zoning designations, up to 30% of the total allowable area of the sign face for freestanding signs may be used for a manual changeable copy.  Electronic message signs shall comply with the following:  1) No electronic message board shall exceed 36 square feet in area; 2) All electronic message boards must have automatic dimmers; 3) The message display time for all electronic message boards shall remain static for a minimum of 8 seconds with a maximum change time of 2 seconds; 4) A plan with the sign location, manufacturer details of the sign, and sign specifications are required to be submitted for approval prior to a permit being issued; and 5) Electronic time/temperature displays are allowed, but shall have a minimum 8 second delay, and shall not display moving light messages.  Residents Jack Mitchell, 119 Orchard and Teresa Langheld, 50 Chestnut Drive expressed concern with the height of the signs allowed in P-1 and was against allowing electronic message boards.  Jack Mitchell also expressed concerns that there was no enforcement of the current sign ordinance on the highway and he also felt the majority of the residents would be opposed to the electronic signs.  Mayor Mitchell stated he has concerns with the electronic signs and would also like to drive around Norris to look at current signage.  Mayor Mitchell proposed the Ordinance be sent back to Planning and have them look at it again.  Mayor Mitchell asked if anyone was opposed to that.  City Manager Hester stated he was opposed and he thought in fairness to our new neighbors he recommended sending it back in pieces, consider removing the electronic message allowance in its entirety, and send signage concerning P-1 and S-2 on to Public Hearing for additional comments with the idea that you can change the height and width of signs after a public hearing process.   After additional discussion, Mayor Chris Mitchell made a motion to send Ordinance 599 back to the Norris Planning Commission for additional discussion and review.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Haverkamp.  Motion carried by voice vote.

v.        Mayor Mitchell asked Council for questions or comments concerning accounts payable, minutes, and reports.  There were no questions or comments from Council.   City Manager Hester noted during August 2016, Public Safety had received 1,099 incoming and outgoing calls, 98 security checks and assists with medical calls.

Motion was made by Council Member Black to adjourn.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Painter.   Motion carried by voice vote at 9:05 p.m.

 


 

TO:                       Norris City Council  
FROM:                  Tim Hester                

RE:                        City Manager's Report                    

DATE:                  September 12, 2016

 

1.   2016-17 Year to Date (Estimated through August) CITY Budget.   Overall, YTD Expenditures are on target to budget.  86% of property tax has been collected, which is on target for collections.   Other key revenue categories such as State Sales Tax, Local Option Sales Tax, Wholesale Beer & Liquor Tax are on target to 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             $295,000 NOTE: This has increased by $25k due to higher than expected Hall Tax collections
    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.

2.    2016-17 Year to Date (Estimated through August) Water Commission Budget.  Overall, NWC operations budget is very tight, but expenditures are below target to date.  Operations revenues are ahead of budget (1.5%) with sewer charges slightly below target and water sales slightly ahead. Like the City, the annual audit has begun and final financial reports will be available later this year.

3.    Grant Updates.   

  1.  
    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.  Engineer is proceeding with the Environmental Phase of the project.   The site survey has been modified, and we will be 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 is working on 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.

 

  1.  
    1. TML Safety Grant.   The City did receive this grant in the amount of $1250.  This is a matching grant where the City will also pay $2500.  Grant funds will be used to augment the purchase of safety equipment that would normally be purchased during any given year.  

4.    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. Health Insurance Renewal Rates.   We have received our renewal plan for employee health insurance and it is on budget.   Insurance renewal is in November.
  2. Worker's Compensation Renewal.  This has also come in with a very modest annual increase of 2%.  This is the lowest rate of increase we have seen in the last few years and is directly attributable to our employee efforts to work safely and to follow all appropriate safety precautions.   Good job and thanks to all employees!
  3. 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.