Norris City Council Minutes

Monday, June 11, 2018






The meeting was called to order by Mayor Mitchell.


Jerry Crossno, 66 East Norris Road, presented to the City of Norris a copy of a deed to transfer land on East Norris Road that is needed for the Sidewalk Grant and will be used as a city park.   Mr. Crossno stated he will donate a bench when the sidewalk is complete.  Mayor Mitchell stated this great contribution will add to the list of contributions Mr. Crossno and his family have donated to the City of Norris.   Mayor Mitchell will provide updates on the sidewalk process and a status of the sidewalk grant later in the meeting.

Chuck Nicholson, 80 Pine Place, Chairperson of the Norris Tree Commission, announced the Tree Commission has received notification the Norris Commons is now certified and will be known as the Norris Commons Arboretum.  The Tree Commission members worked hard to make this a reality.  Chairman Nicholson said we achieved level 1 which requires at least 30 different types of trees.  Currently we have 36 different types of trees and hope to have 39 by later this year.  Chairman Nicholson stated he is working with Jack Mitchell to have some type of dedication ceremony during the June 22, 2018 Concert on the Commons.

Ricky Staples, 107 Hilltop Lane, wanted to address an incident with a dog that occurred over the weekend.  Mr. Staples stated the situation was rectified, but he as a Norris citizen was not satisfied with how the situation was rectified.  The issue involved a dog on city property and a nonresident.   Mr. Staples stated he was looking for his neighbor’s dog when someone from the Norris Animal Shelter called him about a dog that had been found at the community center by a nonresident.   He was told the Norris Police had been called; however, Norris Police did not arrive for over 30 minutes after he arrived at the community center.  Mr. Staples stated he feels he is invested in the City, but the City is not invested in the residents, and he was embarrassed with how the situation was handled.   Mr. Staples stated he ended up transporting the dog to the animal shelter.  Mayor Mitchell suggested Mr. Staples work with City Manager Marshall concerning this incident.  Maggie Sheehy, 127 Crescent Road, stated Norris Animal Shelter members had met several times with City Manager Marshall and he had stated there was no reason that an officer could not transport an animal to the shelter. City Manager Marshall also stated there was no rule that stated Norris Police could not transport an animal in a police vehicle.  Ms. Sheehy stated she had been told through the grapevine that Chief Kain now wants his officers trained and wants to use metal poles on the animals.   She stated this is a small town and most of the animals picked up are city animals and friendly and questioned why a metal pole would need to be used.  Ms. Sheehy stated she does not know why it is such a big deal for the Police Dept. to pick up animals.  Mayor Mitchell stated Council was not to dictate operational procedures but to hear from the public.  Mayor Mitchell encouraged Ms. Sheehy to set up another meeting and have a discussion with the City Manager and the Police Chief.   Council Member Beeman stated as the council member for the Norris Animal Shelter Commission, he believes a discussion about how the communications take place among the Animal Shelter Commission needs to occur at the next Animal Shelter Commission meeting. Council Member Beeman states there have been some cases where Animal Shelter workers have been mocking workers and that is not a healthy environment to work in.  Council Member Beeman stated he was not arguing against anything Ms. Sheehy had said, but they need to be careful about some of the words being used and this can be addressed at the next Animal Shelter Meeting.

Michael Carberry, 46 Dogwood Road, discussed developing a dog park in Norris.   He stated he started investigating a couple of programs – PetSafe and Dog Park Dash.  Dog Park Dash will offer $25,000 grants over the next three years to help with the development of the dog parks.  He would like to help and would like to go Norris Animal Shelter Commission, Recreation Commission and Planning and Development Commission to develop a plan and come back to Council with a recommendation.   Mayor Mitchell and Council said they are supportive of moving to the next steps of exploration.



1.      The minutes of the May 14th, 2018 City Council Meeting were presented for approval.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.   Motion carried by voice vote.




2.      Board and Commission VacanciesMayor Mitchell made a motion to reappoint Connie Stoner to the Anderson County Library Board.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.




3.      Ordinance 608 – 2018 – 2019 Budget – Second Reading - City Manager Marshall presented the 2018-2019 Budget Ordinance for second reading.   City Manager Marshall stated the Public Hearing for the 2018-2019 Budget was held at 6:00 p.m. today prior to the Council Meeting.  Mayor Mitchell presented a FY 2019 Budget Narrative to proposed changes to the budget.  The suggested revisions are as follows: decrease the medical insurance in the amount of $19,000 (original budget at 10% increase and the City was notified by rates would remain the same), decrease STEP increases by $4,500, remove debt service of $2,000, increase cell tower revenue by $6,700, decrease public works equipment expenditure by $12,000, and allow additional funding for the Fire Department in the amount of $4,400.   Mayor Mitchell stated these proposed changes do not take away COLA, but allow the City Manager to decide on STEP increases based on job performance and the anniversary date of the employee.   Mayor Mitchell noted the increase of $4,400 in the Fire Department budget will allow money for personnel help with improving the ISO rating (copy of the FY2019 Budget Narrative is attached).   Council Member Black stated future planning is not addressed in the Narrative, and he stated Council does not address the repairs needed to the tennis court, restriping the city streets, and other things.  Council Member Black would like to see the City prepare for the future.   Mayor Mitchell stated if additional funding was needed, the City Manager can come back to Council for approval.  City Manager Marshall stated he would be addressing Council with amendments.   Mayor Mitchell stated City Manager Marshall will be coming to Council with budget stress and creative ways of managing the stress.  Motion was made by Mayor Mitchell to approve on second reading of Ordinance 608 with the amendments noted above and as shown on the attached FY2019 Budget Narrative and the $600 increase to miscellaneous revenue.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Beeman.  Motion carried by voice vote.


4.      Alternative Routes for Vehicles on Pine Road -  City Manager Marshall reviewed memorandums and ordinances from MTAS concerning regulating trucks on city streets.  It is the legal opinion of Melissa Ashburn, MTAS attorney, that cities can adopt truck regulation limits pertaining to weight and number of axels.  City Manager Marshall stated if the City decided to adopt regulations, the City would have to provide an alternate route for the large trucks to follow which would be West Norris Road to Orchard to Sawmill.  City Manager stated any change would require two readings of the ordinance and a Public Hearing, and the City would need to provide maps to the vendors and people in that area in order for trucks to know the route they are required to take and there would also be signage.  City Manager Marshall stated there would be exempt vehicles in the ordinance such as fire trucks, utility trucks, and city vehicles.  City Manager Marshall also stated this ordinance cannot affect or harm the businesses that are currently there.  Council Member Black stated the Planning Commission had considered this possibility approximately seven years ago and different solutions were considered.  Council Member Black stated a 60 ft. semi making a 90-degree turn requires a roadway that is 45 ft. wide. If you look at the corners of East Norris Road and Pine Road, you will see that there is not sufficient space for trucks to make the turn and that the rear wheels of semis have gone off the road.  Council Member Black stated the only way to eliminate that is to provide a 45-degree arch; and one option that was looked at was filling the ditches on Pine Road with a future development of alternative route on Sawmill Road.  Council Member Beeman stated over the years one thing he has noticed changing is the number and size of the trucks.  Council member Beeman said his route choice was West Norris to Orchard Road.    Vice Mayor Painter asked how many semi-trucks are using Pine Road.   City Manager Marshall stated he did not have that information as there has not been a study on traffic on Pine Road.   Norris Water Commission Superintendent Wilkerson stated several years ago after incident with a semi, the four-inch water main lines at the intersection of Pine Road and East Norris Road were reinforced to withstand the semi traffic.   Vice Mayor Painter requested City Manager Marshall provide information by the July council meeting on both routes as to distance, number of houses that would be impacted, and infrastructure information.  Motion was made by Council Member Beeman to authorize City Manager Marshall to bring a draft ordinance to the July Council Meeting that captures the discussion of Council tonight.  Motion was seconded by Mayor Mitchell.   Motion carried by voice vote.


11.  Budget Amendment – The following budget amendments were presented for approval.





General Fund - 110



110 -45160-329

Other Operating Supplies -Norris Animal Shelter


110- 47100-329

Other Operating Supplies- Norris Little Theatre



Decrease Code:



General Fund - 110




Fund Balance


*Expenses have been paid from the balance of NLT and NASC





Motion was made by Mayor Mitchell to approve the above budget amendments.  Motion was      seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.




City Manager Marshall reported on the following:


1)     2017-2018 Year to Date City Budget -  Overall YTD Expenditures are on target to budget.  98.6% 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.  

Overall, the City’s current 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.


2)     2017-2018 Year to Date Water Budget -  Overall, NWC operations budget remains tight, with no changes to report from previous months.  Revenue from metered water and sewer sales are at 97.6%.  Unlike the city, however, their income comes in more incrementally throughout the year.   Expenses are 87.3% for Water and Sewer.


3)     Grant Updates


a)      New Sidewalk Grant – The City has been in continual contact with the Local Programs and engineering firm.  Our firm is working on the bid packets and we are attempting to meet our goals and deadlines.  We have been granted an extension on this grant.


b)     Safe Routes to Schools Grant  The State of Tennessee has agreed to our change in              

scope of work for this project and the grant is being tracked daily in order to                         meet our goals and deadlines.


4)     Recreation – The summer recreation program is in full swing.  The list of events can be found at the city office and the summer recreation Facebook page.


5)     See attached City Manager Report. 



12.   GFOA Award –  City Manager Marshall reported the City of Norris and City Recorder Janet Parks had received the GFOA’s Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.   This is the 14th consecutive year the City has won this award.



 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.



13.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to adjourn.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote at 9:25 p.m.



_____________________________________                        _____________________________________

Matthew Marshall, City Manager                                                  Janet Parks, City Recorder