Norris City Council Minutes

Monday, November 14th, 2016

 

 

BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14TH, 2016, AT 7:00 P.M. WITH THE FOLLOWING COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:  JACK BLACK, BILL GRIEVE, YORK HAVERKAMP, AND

CHRIS MITCHELL.  NOT PRESENT:   LORETTA PAINTER.   

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Mitchell. 

HEAR THE PUBLIC

Susan Miceli, 98 Butternut Drive, thanked City Manager Hester and the Norris Water Commission for working on a Sunday to repair a broken water main on Butternut.

Council Member Bill Grieve thanked the citizens for voting the current Council back in and stated he would try to adhere to the voters' wishes.

Roy Langheld, 50 Chestnut Drive, asked about the City's water supply.  City Manager Hester stated it was OK and currently water usage is down.   He reported the spring is being checked daily and we have the option of purchasing water from Anderson County Water Authority if needed.

George Miceli, 98 Butternut Drive, asked if the water system had lead piping.  City Manager Hester stated we do have some, but we do testing to watch the levels.   Mayor Mitchell stated the Norris Water Commission posts an annual Water Quality Report in the newspaper and also on the City's Website.  

Kathy Shuppert, 18 Hilltop Place, asked if there were any plans for some type of memorial for Regina Merritt.  Council Member Grieve stated the Tree Commission was currently working on that.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.       The minutes of the October 10th, 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 - None

 

2.       Eric Harold Park Play Structure - City Manager Hester reported the annual TML audit was completed and the only finding was the wooden playground structure at Eric Harold Park.  The recommendation of Judy Housley, with TML, was to remove the wooden structure.  City Manager Hester recommended when the final TML report is received the old structure needs to be torn down and a decision needs to be made about the replacement.   City Manager Hester stated there was approximately $15,000 in a donated fund from Norris Academy (formerly Camelot School) that could be used for the playground equipment.  Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated the Recreation Committee had met and discussed a dog park.  He stated they would like to use a portion of these funds for the dog park.  He stated they wanted to look at Pet Safe and possible grants available.  He reports the area they are looking at is between the tennis courts and Eric Harold Park.   Vice Mayor Haverkamp wanted Council to look at forming a special committee to look at the dog park.   City Manager Hester stated a special committee would have to post meetings, but a volunteer group could work up a plan to present to Recreation and Council without posting meetings.  Vice Mayor Haverkamp will look into the Volunteer Committee. Motion was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to acquire quotes for replacement playground equipment for Eric Harold Park.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

3.       Fundraiser:  Ceiling Fans for Lions Pavilion - City Manager Hester reported $1,500 has been donated as of November 14th, 2016.  Council Member Black made a motion to use the $1,500 collected for the pre-wiring of the fans and the purchase of two fans to go above the cooking area.   Council Member Black stated he thought by going ahead with two fans it would help bring in donations for the remaining fans.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Haverkamp.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

4.       CITY MANAGER REPORT

  City Manager Hester reported on the following:

 

1)      2015 - 2016 Year to Date (Estimated through October) City Budget - Overall expenditures are on target to budget with 95% of 2016 property taxes collected, which is ahead of normal pace of 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 remain tight, but expenses are below target to date (3%).  Operations revenues are still slightly ahead of budget; however, we do expect water sales to decline with the onset of cooler weather.   City Manager Hester projects total water sales to be on budget for this year, but it is apparent that sewer sales will miss the budget by approximately $30,000.  We do have two expense items that will offset the current projected revenue shortfall.  The first is an unplanned savings of $33,000 as a result in a transition from the retirement of an existing employee to a new hire and a budgeted new position Oct. 1, 2016.  NWC has agreed to delay hiring until the budget detail was clearer.  Should we detail this position until July 1, 2016, NWC would save an additional $40k in wages, health insurance, and retirement.

 

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 matching 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.  City Manager Hester reported a workshop was needed to disclose the updated site plans.   He recommended the workshop be scheduled before the next Council Meeting.  Motion was made by Vice Mayor Haverkamp to hold the workshop on December 12th, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. directly before the Council Meeting.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.  Motion carried by voice vote.

b)      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. 

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 week. 

d)      Bullet Proof Vest Grant - We have received this 100% funded grant with the assistance of East Tennessee Development District.  While the grant amount is small ($536), it marks the third year in a row that we have received the grant.  Mayor Mitchell asked if we are providing our officers with current technology such as tasers.   City Manager Hester stated we are working toward that and our last major purchase was body cameras.  He stated tasers were something the officers would like to have and we are looking at possible grants.  If no grants are available, it is a possible capital purchase next year's budget.   Public Safety Officer Rick Roach asked if the City would entertain the idea of the officers purchasing the tasers themselves and have the City write a policy for them and they would be left at the station.  City Manager Hester stated as long as our liability carrier approved, he had no problem with that.    Mayor Mitchell asked what was the cost of a taser.  Public Safety Officer Roach said the latest models were around $1,500.    Roach will bring more information to the next council meeting.  Mayor Mitchell stated Council would explore the options including possible donations.

e)      City Council Election - City Council two year terms end this year.  The newly elected council will take office at the first regularly scheduled meeting following the certification of elections and should be prior to the December Council Meeting.

f)       TML Liability Audit - The annual TML Liability audit was conducted on October 11th, 2016.  No major issues were found with the exception of the swing and slide structure located at Eric Harold Park.  The recommendation from TML is to remove the structure due to its age and wear.

g)      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.

 

h)      See attached City Manager Report. 

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

5.        Budget Amendments  

 

CODE

Description

Amount

 

 

 

     Increase   110-42000-112

Over-Time Personnel

    3,000.00

 

 

 

     Decrease  110-42000-142                          

Hospital and Health Insurance                              

    3,000.00

 

 

 

 

City Manager Hester presented the above budget amendment for approval. He stated overtime was over as a result of staff shortage at the beginning of the fiscal year.    Mayor Mitchell asked if this amendment would sustain the overtime budget for the remainder of the fiscal year.  City Manager Hester said right and there is an underrun in all the labor related categories.   Mayor Mitchell asked Hester if this covers overtimes now or will there be possible adjustments throughout the year.  City Manager Hester stated there is always the possibility of further adjustments - he said this covers our current shortfall and gets us back up to what would be a normal level. Vice Mayor Haverkamp asked if we had already used the total amount that was budgeted for overtime for the year.  City Manager Hester said we had used all the budgeted overtime and the budget amendment is an additional amount and depending on need, there is a possibility of additional budget amendment requests.   Motion was made by Council Member Black to approve the amendment.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

6.       Comptroller's Limited Review of Volunteer Fire Department - The Norris Volunteer Fire Department Investigative Report, October 2016, was presented for discussion.  Mayor Mitchell stated he had questions he had heard from the pubic he wanted to ask and he asked City Manager Hester and Public Safety Chief Humphrey if they wanted to say anything about the report before questions were asked.  City Manager Hester stated the Comptroller's Office came to Norris to review the Norris Volunteer Fire Department as a result of an anonymous complaint.  He stated the Comptroller's Office investigates every complaint.    NVFD has managed their small account for decades and the account had been opened in 1985.  City Manager Hester stated approximately five years ago the Comptroller's Office took a position that Volunteer Fire Departments had to meet certain accounting guidelines.  He stated he had approached Chief Humphrey and Asst. Chief Hackler as a result of these guidelines and stated the Volunteers were going to have to make some changes.  The options were they could keep their independent status by becoming a 501(c)3 or put the funds under the City's financial control.   City Manager Hester noted there were some deficiencies noted in the Investigative Report:  did not have two signatures on checks, missing receipts on donations, and missing receipts for purchases.  He also said the Comptroller stated the deficiencies were before the account came under the City's control in July 2015.   Chief Humphrey had no comment.  Mayor Mitchell stated he wanted an open and transparent conversation about this and asked if Council had any questions.    Council Member Black asked if we knew what the complaint was.   City Manager Hester stated we did not.  Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated that all donations had to go through the City and that always been made clear to him and when he read the report he did not understand why the Volunteer Fire Dept. was not held under the same scrutiny.   City Manager Hester stated the Volunteer Fire Dept. had always operated as a Friends of the Volunteer group, like we have Friend of the Norris Library.  Historically Hester stated we cannot find any records before 2015 that those fund raising records had been under the City's control.   Chief Humphrey stated there have only been three people who have handled the account.   Chief Humphrey stated one person had the account for 28 years, Public Safety Officer Gary Woods had the account for two years, and he had the account for the last two years and he tried to give it to the City than, but the Chief Financial Officer, Janet, would not take it because it was in the middle of a budget year.    Both City Recorder Janet Parks and City Manager Hester said that was not correct.    City Manager Hester said we need to clarify that.    City Recorder Janet Parks stated in April of 2015 the City received notification from the Comptroller that all Volunteer Fire Departments were going to have to report directly to the state beginning FYE 2015.  She stated she notified both Chief Humphrey and City Manager Hester of this requirement and after receiving the reporting notification and Chief Humphrey tried to turn it over to her then.    City Recorder Parks told Chief Humphrey the fiscal year was two months away and the Chief would have to wait until July 2015 to turn the account over to the City.  She stated she did not refuse the account, but said it would have to wait until July 2015 after filing the report with the state.  City Manager Hester stated that was his recollection as well.   Mayor Mitchell stated he struggles with the words Volunteer Fire Department.   Mayor Mitchell stated we have full-time Police and Fire employees and they are under Workers Comp. and supplementing the full-time officers are volunteers.   City Manager Hester stated full-time Public Safety Officers can be volunteers but all of them are not.   Asst. Fire Chief Hackler asked if he could correct that and stated that under the Fair Labor Standards Act full-time Public Safety Officers cannot volunteer their time if it is part of their regular duties.   Mayor Mitchell asked how many paid volunteers do we have currently.   Asst. Chief Hackler states we have 10-12 volunteers right now.    Mayor Mitchell asked if the volunteers were covered under Workers Comp.   City Manager Hester stated they are covered.   Mayor Mitchell stated he was trying to understand the independent statement and asked City Manager Hester to talk about what he means by they are independent.  City Manager Hester stated the volunteers operate with the City but also independent.    They elect their own officers , establish their own bylaws, and they design, execute their own fund raising activities and historically they have maintained an account that results from those various fundraising activities and they decide how to spend those funds.    Management of this fund has always been independent of the City and that did not change under July 1, 2015 and now they are no longer financially independent.     Mayor Mitchell said they are not independent as an entity, but just the financials were independent.    Asst. Fire Chief Hackler stated he wanted to clarify one thing, Chief Humphrey was the sole signee on that account and managed all revenue and expenses in the account and stated the Volunteer Fire Department only provided money collected and expenses voted on to be paid from the account.   Asst. Fire Chief Hackler said that was not independent of the City but was part of the City because a paid City employee was managing the account.  Mayor Mitchell said so you are saying it was not an arm's length independence.  Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated the City's tax number must have been used for some of the purchases because he had looked at the receipts and some did not have sales tax paid.    City Manager Hester stated this was a system that had been in place for decades and when we learned it was an issue we started plans to correct.    He stated he had conversations for years with Chief Humphrey that changes were coming and he said Janet was correct that when the Comptroller issued an opinion that volunteer fire departments were going to have started reporting to the Comptroller, we accelerated plans and brought all those funds under City control.   He stated maybe funds should have been moved a year earlier, but when we are dealing with decades of practice, moving quickly is not always the right thing to do.  He stated he has every confidence in City Recorder Janet Parks that since we have moved those funds under City control that anything to do with the Volunteer Fire Department will meet Comptroller requirements as of July 1, 2015 and going forward.  Council Member Black stated he wanted to take a minute because it was confusing as to what is being talked about.  He stated he called on Volunteer Fire Departments and always met with a Council Representative and a Volunteer Fire Department member.  He stated there were always two sources of funds - the City funds and the funds raised by the Volunteer Fire Department.   He stated if this is now a situation that the State is saying funds have to be handled a certain way and we have switched, what is the problem?   Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated he had spoken with Margaret Norris with MTAS, and her biggest problem and his was the Council was not notified of the investigation.   Vice Mayor Haverkamp said with everything that was printed in the Norris Bulletin he has received more comments from this article than any other in the past and that is including the tax rate he proposed.  Council Member Black stated the article only gave half of the story and left out substantial information which gave you a totally different interpretation.  Mayor Mitchell stated that is what we are trying to get out today.  City Manager Hester stated in hindsight, this is on no one but me, I should have notified Council July 1, 2015 or actually June 1, 2015 of our intent to take those funds over and in hindsight that was an error.  Mayor Mitchell asked Vice Mayor Haverkamp if he was meaning we should have been included in this process and the Vice Mayor said that was correct.    Vice Mayor Haverkamp stated it caught him off guard when he saw the Investigative Report.   He said the Public Safety Officer Gary Wood stated he was hearing there was not any indication of any misuse of funds, but the way it sounded in the paper there was a tremendous misuse of funds and that needs to be clarified.  Mayor Mitchell stated that no one here has indicated that.  Council Member Black stated that a large number of people had also intepritated that from the paper and he was really ticked off about it.  Mayor Mitchell said there was a lot of emotion and what some people are saying is that one department was treated different from the others and there is frustration about that.  He said to use funds we have to go through a process and there is a reason for that.   Some other questions he received are - was this department treated different than other departments and he stated that is a fair question.  Mayor Mitchell stated the Volunteer Fire Department was independent and once it became not independent, the Volunteer Fire Department is now being treated the same as Norris Little Theatre and the Animal Commission - he asked City Manager Hester if that was correct and Hester said it was.  He noted the report does not say funds were misused.  He said the report also says, in his opinion, that the officers should not want to have a checkbook without checks and balances because it does expose them to issues like in the report.   Mayor Mitchell noted the process in place today protects everyone involved.   Asst. Fire Chief Hackler stated the Volunteer Fire Department was made aware of the Investigation the same time the Council was.   He stated they were not involved in any meetings with the Comptroller and were not given an opportunity to present the way they handle their funds.  The Volunteers vote on everything they plan to spend when we have fundraisers, we have two independent people count the funds.  He said he wants to make it publicly clear that the Volunteer Fire Department handled their money appropriately.  He stated all this investigation was done with the City Manager and Chief Humphrey and the Volunteer Fire Department had no participation in the investigation at all.  He stated he wanted to make it clear it was not the Volunteer Fire Department that had an issue.  Mayor Mitchell stated he was trying to make sure we have full discussion and we need to actually get to a point of everyone understanding and airing out their emotions and thoughts and get to a healthy place of work in the future.   Mayor Mitchell stated he did not know how to solve how it is communicated in the paper because there is freedom of press.  Council Member Black asked if the paper accepted letters to the Editor or if the Mayor could write a letter to the paper asking for a correction or for a review of the facts.  Mayor Mitchell stated he did not know if the paper accepts letters to the Editor and Jack Mitchell was not at the meeting tonight.   City Manager Hester stated his policy has been not to publish letters to the Editor.  George Miceli, 98 Butternut, stated the City could buy an ad and/or approach the paper concerning the article.  Council Member Black asked why can't he make a motion for the Mayor, on the behalf of Council, to send a letter to the paper to ask for a review of the facts in the article.    Mayor Mitchell stated he was comfortable if Council could come up with something that we all agreed to and request it be published.    Mayor Mitchell stated he should not be authoring a document without Council input.   Mayor Mitchell asked Asst. Chief Hackler what the public could do to assist the Volunteers more.    Asst. Chief Hackler stated they really needed some of their activities funded by the City - more money in that respect would be helpful.   Volunteer Fireman Henry Hudson stated the volunteers need an upgrade of their radios.  Hudson stated they do a lot of mutual aid with Andersonville Fire Dept. and they have problems reaching them with the current radios.  Mayor Mitchell stated during the election campaign he had stated he wanted to have workshops and look at the budget in great detail and he would encourage participation in that process whenever we look at Public Safety.    Vice Mayor Haverkamp recommended Asst. Chief Hackler prepare a draft statement concerning the Volunteer Fire Department and have ready for the next council meeting.   Mayor Mitchell stated he had one last question of the Chief, City Manager, and Officer Wood and the question is intended to give some closure to it all - It was written in the report we concur.  Mayor Mitchell wanted to verify that you concur in not just the investigative report but into the movement of this to the city process and this is a good thing for all involved and you support that.    City Manager Hester stated that was his answer and we concur means we agreed with the findings in the report and we agree with having it under City control will fix the concerns, but it does not address whether being under the City control is best for the Volunteers - if it is, we can consider this done.   If this makes it too hard concerning fundraisers, it is not too late to be an independent 501(c)3.  Asst. Chief Hackler stated he had worked with a 501(c)3 in the past and he would rather work with the City Recorder.  Mayor Mitchell asked for any other comments.  Council Member Black asked where did we leave the issue with clearing the air with the Fire Department investigation.   Mayor Mitchell said if a response draft is brought to the next Council Meeting he was open to another discussion as to Council's position on the matter. 

 

7.       Review T.C.A. 6-56-112 and Impact on Norris Boards and Commissions regarding Operations and Fundraising Activities -  City Manager Hester noted that City Recorder Parks had done research concerning fundraising activities.  There is a state law that says funds spent by a City must be for municipal purpose.    It was the very strong opinion of Margaret Norris, MTAS, that things like buying toys to give away to kids would be a violation of this law.    He stated he got involved and started asking questions about Norris Little Theatre and the purchasing of costumes and Animal Commission doing fundraisers.   He stated so far it seems to be one big grey area - he state right now theatre activities are allowed but buying toys is not.   Right now based on the prelimary response from Margaret Norris the law will not have an impact on anything we do other than buying toys for kids.  City Manager Hester said he was pleased to report two good Samaritans will personally go out and buy the toys and donate the toys to the Volunteer Fire Department for us to do Fire Santa this year.   Vice Mayor Haverkamp that Norris Animal Commission at one time had an individual that paid for all of the vet care, but that had ended and we are having to aggressively work to raise funds.   The Animal Commission

 

 

 

now has fundraising events and the community supports the Animal Commission.    Vice Mayor Haverkamp asked if there was anything the City could do to help with the Fire Santa issue.  City Manager Hester said apparently not, but he was going to continue the dialogue concerning this.    Mayor Mitchell said we do not have anything in writing and are still in discovery.

 

8.       Council Member Black reported that Boy Scout Troup 73 will be selling house numbers as a fundraiser.    On December 3, 2016 there is a fundraiser at the elementary school from 11 - 3 p.m. and they will have a table with samples and they would be running an ad in the paper concerning this.  Council Member Black stated there is a City Ordinance that requires numbers on houses.    City Manager Hester stated we would remind everyone that house numbers are required.  Council Member Black asked if we should put some teeth into the ordinance.    Council Member Black asked if the City could put something in the paper notifying residents of the house number requirements and it was noted the numbers must be visible from the street.   City Manager Hester stated he would be glad to submit something to the paper and we would see if it gets published.    City Manager Hester stated he would like to go through a process of voluntary compliance and then send notification out to the ones not complying. 

9.        Mayor Mitchell encouraged each Council Member to bring a list of things we would like to accomplish in the next term.     Mayor Mitchell stated we have not had a City Manager review in many years.  Mayor Mitchell asked City Manager Hester to add to the agenda a review of the City Manager contract.       

10.   Council Member Black stated at Planning last week he made a comprehension motion that tied several things together which included activities within the Community Development Board.  Council Member Black noted council had not received minutes until this month and we have gone for 4 - 5 months without minutes.  Council Member Black asked if it was fully maned and do we have the right people there to accomplish what is proposed.  Mayor Mitchell said that was a fair question.  Mayor Mitchell stated he had attended the last Community Development Board Meeting and he said he had told Jack Mitchell that Council was waiting on minutes.  Mayor Mitchell said your broader issue is if we have the right people.  Mayor Mitchell said we are always able when terms come up we consider who is on the board.  Mayor Mitchell stated if you want to be more aggressive,  you could make a proposal to change the membership.

  

 

 

11.    Accounts Payable, Minutes, and Reports

Mayor Mitchell asked Council for questions or comments concerning accounts payable, minutes, and reports.  City Manager Hester reported Public Works was now picking up leaves.

Motion was made by Council Member Black to adjourn.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote at 9:00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

TO:                        Norris City Council                        
FROM:                  Tim Hester                        

RE:                  City Manager's Report                    

DATE:             November 14, 2016

 

1.   2016-17 Year to Date (Estimated through October) CITY Budget.   Overall, YTD Expenditures are on target to budget.  95% of property tax has been collected, which was ahead of normal pace of 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.

  1. 2016-17 Year to Date (Estimated through October) Water Commission Budget.  Overall, NWC operations budget remain tight, but expenditures are below target to date (3%).  Operations revenues are still slightly ahead of budget, however, we do expect water sales to decline with the onset of cooler weather.

 

Water sales project to be on budget for the year, but it is apparent that sewer sales will miss the budget as we have now been below projected sewer revenues for 4 consecutive months. Sewer sales project to be approximately $30k short of projected annual revenue.

We do have two expense items that will offset the current projected revenue shortfall.    The first is unplanned savings of $33k that has resulted in a transition from the retirement of an existing employee to a new hire. 

We also budgeted for a new position beginning October 1 that NWC agreed to delay hiring until the budget detail was clearer.   Should we delay this position until July 1, NWC would save an additional $40k in wages, health insurance, and retirement.  We will continue to monitor closely.

  1. Grant Updates.   

a.    New Sidewalk Grant - 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 is now available for public review.  A workshop meeting is recommended.

b.    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.

c.    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 week.  

d.    Bullet Proof Vest Grant.  We have received this 100% funded grant with the assistance of the East Tennessee Development District.  While the grant amount is small ($536), it marks the third year in a row that we have received the grant for a total of $2,161.  This has allowed us to update all Public Safety Officers with certified protective gear at no cost to the City.

 

  1. City Council Election.   City Council 2 year terms end this year.   The next General Election was November 8, 2016.  The newly elected Council will take office at the first regularly scheduled meeting following the certification of the election.   This should be prior to the December 12th meeting of Council.

 

  1. TML Liability Audit.   The annual TML Liability audit was conducted on October 11th.  No major issues were found, with the exception of the swing & slide structure located at Eric Harold Park.  Recommendation from TML is to remove the structure due to its age and wear.

 

 

  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.