Norris City Council Minutes

Monday, February 12, 2018

 

BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 12TH, 2018, AT 7:00 P.M. WITH THE FOLLOWING COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT:  LARRY BEEMAN, JACK BLACK, BILL GRIEVE,    CHRIS MITCHELL AND LORETTA PAINTER. 

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Mitchell.

HEAR THE PUBLIC

Joe Deatherage, 122 CCC Camp Road, stated the donation of property by the Crossno family was very generous, but he asked Council to proceed with caution concerning this donation.  Mr. Deatherage stated the donation was a prime piece of commercial property that could affect future development and also cost a significant amount money.  Mayor Mitchell stated the City had not committed to the donation of the property and would wait on the final design phase of the project before making a decision.

Jessica Ogburn, 152 Garden Road, representing the Oak Road Park Residents Committee, presented Council a package with concerns and opinions about the possibility of a splash pad being constructed at the Oak Road Park.  Mrs. Ogburn stated the residents on Oak Road and Garden Road have concerns pertaining to traffic and environmental issues. Mrs. Ogburn stated the residents are against the splash pad being constructed in their neighborhood.  She stated the residents received a letter in the mail concerning the splash pad at Oak Road Park; however, the residents were not contacted or consulted regarding the proposed additions to the park prior to the City Committee beginning the survey/research process. Mrs. Ogburn stated the Oak Road Park Residents Committee does not feel the addition of the splash pad at the Oak Road Park is in the best interest of Norris. The committee provided a list of suggested improvements to the existing park.  Mrs. Ogburn stated the Oak Road Park is our park – an extension of all of our tiny Norris yards.   She stated all area splash pads are in commercially zoned areas and not in residential areas. Mrs. Ogburn stated the residents were concerned the addition of a splash pad to the Oak Road Park would have a negative impact on the values of their properties.   Mrs. Ogburn stated a door-to-door survey was completed of Garden Road and Oak Road residents; all residents spoken to were against a splash pad.   Council Member Black stated no residents were contacted about the splash pad because the City Committee was doing research.   Council Member Black stated he personally paid for the letters mailed to City residents.

Stephanie Whaley, 142 Garden Road, stated she has concerns about increased traffic as a result of the addition of a splash pad to the Oak Road Park.  She stated adding the splash pad would take away from the residents living on Garden Road and Oak Road.   She also stated she would like to see the wading pool open more during the summer, if possible, on Saturdays.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

  1. The minutes of the January 8, 2018 City Council Meeting were presented for approval.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Beeman.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

  1. Board and Commission Vacancies - A motion was made by Mayor Mitchell to appoint Spencer Boardman to the Norris Tree Commission.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.    

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

  1. City Manager Marshall read a Proclamation honoring Chesley Dale for her generous donation in support of the Norris Animal Shelter Commission and Norris Tree Commission.  The City of Norris recognized Monday, February 12th, 2018 as Chesley Dale Day.

 

  1. City Manager Marshall read a Proclamation honoring the City of Clinton for donating a Ford Crown Victoria with complete pursuit and police package at no charge.  City Manager Marshall noted the City of Norris was down to one working police vehicle and the City of Clinton generously provided       a vehicle.

 

  1. Fire Chief Scott Hackler gave a review of the fire at 63 Reservoir Road.   Chief Hackler stated the call came in around 3 a.m.   Chief Hackler reported approximately eight volunteer firefighters responded to the fire scene, and the house was completed involved when the fire department arrived.  Chief Hackler stated the woman who owned the home lives in Oak Ridge.  Chief Hackler reported it took over two days and 16 different organizations, including three cities and the county, to locate the owner.  The owner was located at her Oak Ridge residence and was taken to the hospital for medical attention.  Chief Hackler noted the persistence of the people involved in trying to locate her, saved her life. 

     

  2. Resolution 1 – 2018 – A Resolution to authorize an employer participating in the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System to change from its existing regular defined benefit plan to either the alternate defined benefit plan or the local government hybrid plan was presented for approval by City Manager Marshall.   City Manager Marshall said the resolution is required by TCRS and must go into effect on the first day of any quarter following a six months notice to TCRS.  City Manager Marshall stated this resolution does not affect current employees.  Motion was made by Council Member Beeman to approved Resolution 1 -2018.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.  Motion carried by voice vote.

     

  3. Ordinance 607 – An Ordinance to Amend the City of Norris Municipal Code, Title 13, by Adding Regulations for Removal of Vegetation and Debris From Overgrown and Dirty Lots  - First Reading – City Manager Marshall reviewed Ordinance 607.    City Manager Marshall stated the Planning Commission reviewed a sample ordinance from Planner Dan Hawk, and the ordinance presented has been amended to include the changes recommended by the Planning Commission.   Mayor Mitchell stated this is not a grass-type ordinance, but a clutter ordinance for public health and safety. Motion was made by Council Member Black to approve Ordinance 607 on first reading.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.   City Manager Marshall stated a Public Hearing will need to be held on Ordinance 607.   Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to hold the Public Hearing on Monday, March 5th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

     

8.    Citizens Action Committee Correspondence – George Miceli, a member of the Citzens’ Action                      Committee, stated the committee would like to engage the City Council, City Manager, and fellow

Norris Citizens in a dialogue regarding the future of Norris and more immediately, the nature of City services being delivered to the citizens of Norris.  The committee is requesting the creation of an Ad Hoc Committee chaired by the City Manager and the membership be comprised of all the City Department heads, at least one Norris Citizen and at least one City Council member.   The committee’s job would be to create a city-wide strategic plan that addresses roads, sidewalks,       parks, common spaces, watershed land, city owned structures and buildings, and the City business environment; create an asset management plan; and write job descriptions for key paid staff positions.   Mayor Mitchell stated he sees this proposal as positive and looks to City Manager Marshall for a positive solution.  Mayor Mitchell also stated there would be dialogue throughout the budget process concerning the future of Norris.

 

9. Financial Trend Data – Council Member Beeman reviewed Financial trend data from 2007 – 2017.  Council Member Beeman noted the City is healthy as of the end of FYE 2017.  Council Member Beeman stated the revenue information showed increases in property taxes over 10 years, a modest increase in sales tax, and a decrease in local sales tax.  Council Member Beeman stated property tax over this time period is making up a larger portion of the revenue – 66% of the 2017 revenue.   Council Member Beeman stated we are not on a good trend as our dependence on property tax, which is the only revenue we control, is increasing over time.  Council Member Beeman stated if property tax is contuinely raised, we are deterring young families wanting to relocate to Norris.

 Mayor Mitchell noted the property tax increase in revenue over the last 10 years is primarily the result of annexation and increases in property value and not tax rate increases. Mayor Mitchell stated the city is healthy, and he does not feel a property tax increase is needed at this time.    Mayor Mitchell said there may be stress coming, and we do need an increase in revenue from other sources.   Council Member Black stated both Rocky Top and Oak Ridge had higher property tax rates than Norris. Council Member Beeman expressed the need to look at the assessed value of the property in addition to the property tax rate– a house in Norris would have a higher assessed value than other areas of the county.  Council Member Beeman said he reviewed the Strategic Plan completed by Council over 10 years ago and shocked by the amount of time the Council had dedicated to it.   He stated he did not disagree with anything in the plan, but nothing happened.  Council Member Beeman is more interested in a vision document for the future and a five year capital plan.  Council Member Beeman stated we also need to look at expenses as it is Council’s responsibility to consider ways to decrease expenses including the possibility of contracting some jobs instead of hiring employees.  He noted this would not be easy, but it needed to be considered in the future.

10.  2018-2019 Budget Meeting Schedule – City Manager Marshall presented the following budget meeting schedule for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year - Reference:  TCA 6-56-206, budget estimates.  This law also provides for a budget calendar, which is summarized below:

 

  • March 22, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.  Budget Workshop with Department Heads.    

City Council will meet with Department Heads to review department budgets.

April 10, 2018 – 6:00 p.m.  Budget Workshop - City Manager shall file a consolidated budget document with the Council Members in a budget workshop.  Additional workshops may be scheduled at the discretion of Council.

  • May 14, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.  Council Meeting - The Council Members to review and adopt the annual Budget on first reading.  Council Members shall also recommend a capital outlay plan.  The Council Members shall review a synopsis of the proposed budget and a statement of the tax rate required to finance the proposed budget.

 

  • May 16, 2018 – Public Hearing Notice - The proposed budget and a notice of a Public Hearing shall be published in a newspaper having general circulation in the City.

 

  • June 4, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. Public Hearing -Public Hearing on proposed 2018-2019 budget.

 

  • June 11, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. Council Meeting -2018-2019 Budget presented to Norris City Council for final reading of Ordinance.

 

Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve the 2018-2019 Budget Meeting Schedule.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

11.  City Manager Marshall requested the March Council Meeting be changed to Monday, March 5th at 7:30 p.m. due to scheduling conflicts.    Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to change the March Council meeting to March 5, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

12.  LPRF and RTP Grant Opportunities – City Manager Marshall reviewed two grant opportunities administered by the same State of Tennessee group.  The first is a Local Parks and Recreation Fund 50/50 Grant and a Recreation Trails 80/20 due by April 18, 2018. The RTP Grant Program is for trail maintenance, trail construction, and trail equipment.   If Council decides to apply for the RTP Grant, City Manager Marshall recommended the purchase a mini-excavator and a skid steer.   If Council decides to apply for the RTP Grant, City Manager Marshall would ask the Watershed to contribute 10% of the grant match as the equipment would be used by the City and Watershed purposes.  City Manager stated these grants are exclusive so you cannot do both.   Mayor Mitchell stated a decision could be made tonight or during one of the next two more council meetings.    Vice Mayor Painter asked for information to be presented at the next council meeting pertaining to the equipment needed for the Watershed. 

 

Council Member Black stated he had been in contact with the Erb family and was also approached by another family that would like to get involved with the splash pad in honor of their son – they have established a nonprofit company and would meet and decide on an amount to donate depending on the next step the City takes.   Council Member Black made a motion to hold a Council Retreat after the February 20, 2018 scheduled Council Meeting.  Council Member Black noted the retreat would allow Council to discuss the splash pad, but no decisions or vote could occur during this retreat.   He stated the concerns about Oak Road Park along with financing could be discussed before taking the next step in deciding whether Council will vote on a splash pad and/or universal playground.    City Manager Marshall stated we do not have enough days to advertise a retreat on February 20, 2018.   Council Member Black stated he wanted to have the retreat before the next council meeting.   The motion died for a lack of second.



13.  Surplus Equipment – City Manager Marshall requested approval from Council to sell a surplus Ford Tractor and a pump unit out of the Fire Department Rescue vehicle on GovDeals.com.  Motion was made by Vice Mayor Painter to approve the request.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 

14.  CITY MANAGER REPORT

City Manager Marshall reported on the following:

 

  1. 2017-2018 Year to Date City Budget  -  Overall YTD Expenditures are on target to budget.  98% of property taxes have been collected.  Other key revenue categories such as State Sales Tax, Local Option Sales Tax, Wholesale Beer and Liquor Tax are on target to budget.

     

  2. 2017-2018 Year to Date Water Commission Budget  - Overall, NWC operations budget remains tight, with no changes from previous months.  Revenue from metered water sales and sewer sales are at 57% and 58% respectively.  Unlike the city however their income comes in more incrementally through the year.

 

  1. Grant Updates

  1.  
    1. T-21 Grant Opportunity – Cannon and Cannon has finished the NEPA phase and is submitting the documentation to the state to move into the Design Phase.  The status of the easement needed for the project is being researched.  The Environmental Phase will take approximately 6-8 months to complete.  The latest date to begin construction is 11/01/2018.  City Manager Marshall has passed the Title VI training necessary for this grant.

 

  1.  
    1. Safe Routes to Schools Grant – Grant has moved out of NEPA and is in the Design Phase.  City Manager Marshall met with the design firm and walked the project in the field. Evaluation of the current location of the crosswalks and determination of the best location for the crosswalks is currently in process.  Identification of areas where ADA compliance will be the least costly is also currently in process.   City Manager Marshall is researching what non-construction activities are required for the grant. 

 

  1. Recreation – The swings have been installed at Eric Harold Park and are ready to use – there are four additional swings – belted, toddler, ADA seat and “Mommy and Me” seat.

     

  2. See attached City Manager Report. 

  1. Accounts Payable, Minutes, and Reports - Mayor Mitchell asked Council for questions or comments concerning accounts payable, minutes, and/or reports.   No. questions or comments were made.

 

  1. Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to adjourn.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.   Motion carried by voice vote at 9:30 p.m.

     

 

_____________________________________                        _____________________________________

Matthew Marshall, City Manager                                                  Janet Parks, City Recorder

 

 

TO:                       Norris City Council                                      

FROM:  Matthew Marshall                        

RE:                  City Manager’s Report                     

DATE:             February 12, 2018

 

1.   2016-17 Year to Date (Estimated through January) CITY Budget.   Overall, YTD     Expenditures are on target to budget.  98% of property tax has been collected.   Other key revenue categories such as State Sales Tax, Local Option Sales Tax, and Wholesale Beer & Liquor Tax are on target to budget.

Overall, the City’s current year financial health continues to be strong, and the City is in good position for meeting current year 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 November) Water Commission Budget.  Overall, NWC operations budget remain tight, with no changes to report from previous months.   Revenue from metered water sales and sewer sales are at 57% and 58”% respectively. Unlike the city however their income comes in more incrementally throughout the year.

     

    Water sales project to be on budget through Dec. 2016, but it is apparent that sewer sales will miss the budget as we have now been below projected sewer revenues for 6 consecutive months.

    We will continue to monitor closely.

        3. Grant Updates.   

  1. New Sidewalk Grant.  Cannon and Cannon has finished the NEPA phase and is turning that document into the state to move into the Design Phase.   The status of the easement needed for the project is being researched.  The Environmental Phase will take approximately 6-8 months to complete.  The latest we can start construction is 11/01/2018.  I have passed my Title VI training necessary for this grant.

     

     

  2. Safe Routes to Schools Grant.  This grant has moved out of NEPA and is in the Design Phase.  I have met with our design firm and we have walked the project in the field.  We are evaluating where the crosswalks are and determining the best location for them.  We are also attempting to identify areas where ADA compliance will be the least costly.  I have also begun researching what non construction activities are required for this grant.

     

  1. Recreation The swings have been installed at Eric Harold Park, and are ready for use.  There are four additional swings, belted, toddler, ADA seat, and “Mommy and Me” seat.