Norris City Council Minutes

Monday, March 5th, 2018

 

BE IT REMEMBERED THAT THE CITY OF NORRIS CITY COUNCIL MET IN REGULAR SESSION ON MONDAY, MARCH 5TH, 2018, AT 7:45 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

Charles Grace, 52 Pine Road, read a letter he had sent to Council concerning semi-trucks traveling on Pine Road.   Mr. Grace asked the letter to made a part of the City Council minutes.   The letter is             as follows: 

Subject: Notice of Threat to Public Safety and Destruction of Public Property

Honorable Mayor and Members of the Norris City Council,

The purpose of this email is to bring your attention to a clear and present danger to public safety and the destruction of public property being caused by large tractor-trailers (semis) currently operating in the City of Norris, more specifically along Pine Road and East Norris Road.

As an engineer and retired public safety official, I feel it is my civic duty to formally call this situation to your particular attention, as those being ultimately responsible for the safety of the residents of Norris and the protection and wise stewardship of its property.

Besides the obvious detrimental impact to the peace and quiet of these older established neighborhoods, the narrow, winding streets of Norris are not suitable to accommodate semis and poses a grave hazard to those encountering them within the confines of the narrow pavement.

The streets of Norris, specifically Pine Road and East Norris Road, are not designed to support the heavy loads transmitted by semis to the pavement and roadway base, and to adjacent aging infrastructure including buried utilities, which include water and sewer lines.

Of particular note, the small stone bridge located on East Norris Road, is not suitable to bear the heavy loads delivered by semis which have been observed traveling over it with load ratings as high as 88,000 pounds. As you are aware, school buses and families transporting children to and from our schools regularly travel along these routes and over this little bridge, a Norris landmark and historic structure.

The size and careless operation of semis has resulted in their traveling not only over the center, but outside the limits of the pavement, seriously damaging ditch lines and public right of way, facilitating soil erosion and scarring of the landscape, and threatening the structural integrity and continued function of the aforementioned buried utility lines.

Semis performing exaggerated wide turns, routinely crossing and blocking both lanes of traffic, have resulted in several near-miss accidents being observed and reported to the police department. The manner and location of these exaggerated turns further violates city traffic codes of record.

If the present situation remains unaltered, with semis being operated along these routes, it is not a question of if, but when, serious injury will result. Continued detrimental impacts on City roadways and infrastructure may also be expected to require substantial outlays of limited public monies better spent elsewhere under prudent stewardship.

These matters have been repeatedly brought to the attention of City Manager Marshall and Chief Kain of the Norris Police Department, without effect.

My neighbors and I sincerely hope that you will give this matter due consideration and take immediate and necessary action before serious injury occurs and/or expensive and unnecessary public outlays of City funds are required.

Sincerely,

Charles H. Grace (signed)

52 Pine Road, Norris, Tennessee

Council Member Beeman does agree there is a problem, but the question is how are we going to solve the problem.  Mr. Grace requested this matter be placed on a future Council Agenda for discussion.

Scott Hackler, Norris Volunteer Fire Department Chief, introduced three new NVFD Captains:  Ambrea Phillips, Jeremy Carden, and Gabe Hackler.  Captain Phillips will be in charge of emergency reporting, Captain Carden is in charge of equipment maintenance, and Captain Hackler is in charge of training.  Chief Hackler noted Norris Volunteer Fire Department will be celebrating 75 years and will have a celebration in August during the annual car show and open house.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

  1. The minutes of the February 12th, 2018 City Council Meeting were presented for approval.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve the minutes with one correction on page 5, item 12.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Black.  Motion carried by voice vote.

 OLD BUSINESS

 

  1. Board and Commission Vacancies - A motion was made by Mayor Mitchell to reappoint Jenny Harshbarger to the Conservation/Recycle Commission and appoint Jessica Ogburn to the Recreation Commission.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by        voice vote.    

 

NEW BUSINESS

 

  1. Arbor Day Proclamation - City Manager Marshall read an Arbor Day Proclamation proclaiming March 2nd, 2018 as Arbor Day in the City of Norris.   Council Member Grieve stated Arbor Day at Norris Elementary was very successful.   He reported 300 red trees were given to the students to    be planted.

     

  2. EMS Agreement – Fire Chief Scott Hackler presented the annual EMS Agreement for approval.  Fire Chief Hackler stated the agreement is a condition of mutual aid.   Chief Hackler reported the county is working on the document and will be making changes in the future.  Motion was made by Council Member Beeman to approve acceptance of the EMS Agreement.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  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  - Second 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. City Manager Marshall reported the Public Hearing on Ordinance 607 was held today at 7 p.m. Motion was made by Vice Mayor Painter to approve Ordinance 607 on second reading.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.  

     

     

  4. Resolution 2 – 2018 – A Resolution Authorizing the City of Norris to Participate in the Recreation Trails Program and Apply for the RTP Grant was presented for approval.  City Manager Marshall gave an overview of the resolution.  The resolution authorizes City Manager Marshall to submit an application for an Recreational Trails Program Grant through the State of Tennessee.   The matching sum of the grant is up to $22,400 – the estimated cost of the project is $112,000 with half of the City’s match being contributed from the Watershed Fund with the other coming from the general fund.   Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approved Resolution 2 -2018.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.

     

  5. Budget Meeting Schedule -  Council Member Black noted the March 22, 2018 budget meeting would be the first time Council would see Matthew’s budget proposal and 5 Year Capital Plan.  Council Member Black stated he had discussed with City Manager Marshall completing a survey  within the next thirty days of the condition of all the City buildings and list the buildings by prioritization.   The survey would be submitted and included in the budget process.  Council Member Black requested the April 10th, 2018 Budget Meeting be changed to an all-day meeting.  Council Member Black would like Council to discuss items and the future of Norris beyond the current budget process and the next couple of years.  After further discussion, Council Member Black made a motion to hold an additional budget meeting on April 11, 2018 at 6 p.m.   Motion was seconded by Council Member Beeman.  Motion carried by voice vote.  

 

8.    Cell Tower Rental Agreements – Mayor Mitchell requested Council permission to start looking at and organizing the cell tower rental agreement process on City property.   Mayor Mitchell noted the Watershed Committee is currently reviewing the cell tower rental agreement on Watershed property.   Motion was made by Mayor Mitchell to approve the cell tower organization process.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.            

 

9.    Budget ProcessMayor Mitchell stated there are currently no personnel vacancies in the City and

his recommendation would have no current impact.  Mayor Mitchell made a motion to have a freeze on hiring.  Mayor Mitchell stated this does not mean a vacancies cannot be filled, but it means we will take a breath and in the budget process and we will look at all costs. Mayor Mitchell asked if he was allowed to do that and City Manager Marshall stated he preferred Council would not place a freeze on hiring; and he felt if they did, it was overstepping into managerial.   City Manager Marshall stated the number of positions would be determined by the level of funding.   Mayor Mitchell stated the purpose in the motion is he wants Council to have the ability to decide if a vacant position is filled with a full-time or part-time positions as there is a big difference in the cost.  Council Member Black stated Council cannot tell the City Manager how to run the City.   Vice Mayor Painter stated the City does control the budget.  Council Member Black stated the City Manager runs the City and Council sets policies and approves the budget.  Council Member Beeman stated he felt the intent of what the Mayor was trying to do is to look at ways to increase revenue and decreases expenditures and he agreed with the Mayor’s intend.  After comments from Council, Mayor Mitchell withdrew his motion.  Mayor Mitchell stated it was not his intention to tell management how to run the City but to counsel and provide guidance on structure and what we are trying to accomplish now and in the future.  Mayor Mitchell encouraged everyone to be at the budget meetings.

 

10.  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. Long Term Planning and Scheduling - The City has been continuing to work on the following long-term planning schedules to better anticipate what hazards we can mitigate and plan for the replacement of infrastructure and vehicles:  Fleet Replacement Schedule, Street Paving Index, and Sidewalk Inspection Schedule.

 

  1. Grant Updates

  1.  
    1. T-21 Grant Opportunity – Cannon and Cannon has begun the Design Phase.  We are currently waiting for the State to give us approval to move into the Row phase.

 

  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 we have walked the project in the field.   We are evaluating where the crosswalks are and determine the best location for the crosswalks.  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 – City Manager Marshall has asked for recommendations from the Recreation Commission for ideas regarding how to use the remaining park improvement funds.

     

  2. See attached City Manager Report. 

     

11.  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.

 

 

12.  Motion was made by Council Member Beeman to adjourn.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote at 9:00 p.m.

  

_____________________________________                        _____________________________________

Matthew Marshall, City Manager                                                  Janet Parks, City Recorder

 

  

TO:                       Norris City Council                                      
FROM:                 Matthew Marshall                        

RE:                  City Manager’s Report                     

DATE:             March 5, 2018

 

1.   2017-18 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. Long Term Planning and Schedules.  The city has been continuing to work on the following long term planning schedules to better anticipate what hazards we can mitigate and plan for the replacement of infrastructure and vehicles:  Fleet Replacement Schedule, Street Paving Index, and Sidewalk Inspection Schedule. 

     

        3. Grant Updates.   

  1.  New Sidewalk Grant.  Cannon and Cannon has begun the Design Phase.   We    are currently waiting for the State to give us approval to move into the ROW phase.

     

     b. 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 I have asked for recommendations from the Recreation Commission for their ideas regarding what we should use the remaining park improvement funds for.