Norris City Council Minutes

Monday, October 8, 2018







The meeting was called to order by Mayor Mitchell.


Cynthia Edrington, 75 Chestnut Drive, stated while walking around Norris she noticed items are being placed in the recycle containers that are not recyclable.  She asked if not recyclable items placed in the recycle containers contaminate all the items in the container.   Her question was not answered during the meeting and this matter will be referred to the Conservation/Recycling Committee for additional research.

Jeff Nitz, 110 Pine Road, presented a letter concerning a request to reopen an extension of the existing Pine Road service drive to the Norris City Manager, City Council, and Planning Commission.   Mr. Nitz stated he believes an extension of this service drive was never intended.  Mayor Mitchell stated this item was discussed at the Planning Commission meeting and Planning Commission did not make any decision, but would review and make a decision in the future.   Mayor Mitchell stated Planning Commission would reference city code and the rights of the city to make a determination.   Mayor Mitchell said the next Planning Commission meeting would be Nov. 5, 2018 and Mr. Nitz’s letter and survey would be presented to the Planning Commission.

Jon Ferguson, 123 Pine Road, reported an abandoned house on Pine Road and asked what happens when a house is abandoned.   City Manager Marshall stated an Ordinance had been passed concerning overgrown and dirty lots.   City Manager Marshall stated the ordinance requires a process of notification to be completed and letters pertaining to this ordinance had been sent to several property owners recently.  Mayor Mitchell stated he wants the ordinance enforced, but the ordinance had requirements concerning notification that would need to be completed.

Chuck Nicholson, Tree Commission Chairman, 86 Pine Road, reported the Tree Commission supports the proposed Sidewalk and Safe Routes to School Grant, but wants to be part of the process in order to protect the trees in the areas where the sidewalks are going.   City Manager Marshall stated Cannon and Cannon are the engineers for the sidewalk grant, and they will work with the Tree Commission concerning tree removal.   Mr. Nicholson stated the Tree Commission wants to be contacted by City Management before a tree is cut.   Mr. Nicholson report an ash tree marked not to cut by the Tree Commission had recently been cut down.   City Manager Marshall stated the contractor had cut the tree down in error and management will work with the Tree Commission in the future.


1.      The minutes of the September 10, 2018 City Council Meeting were presented for approval.  Motion was made by Council Member Beeman to approve the minutes.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.




2.      Board and Commission Vacancies – Mayor Mitchell reported Richard Dyer had resigned as the Norris Water Commission representative to the Watershed Board.  Mayor Mitchell presented the following Board and Commission appointments:  Carolyn Boswell – Norris Little Theater Board and Margueritte Wilson – Norris Water Commission representative to the Watershed Board.  Motion was made by Council Member Beeman to approve the appointments.  Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.




3.   Proclamation “Red Ribbon Week – City Manager Manager read a Proclamation recognizing Oct. 23- 

31, 2018 as Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County “Red Ribbon Week”. The mission of Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention of Anderson County is to prevent and reduce youth substance abuse in Anderson County.  The City of Norris urges all citizens and City employees to join in recognizing Red Ribbon Week.   


4.   Budget Amendment – The following 2018-2019 budget amendments were presented for approval:





General Fund  - 110










Other Operating Supplies




Decrease Code:



General Fund - 110




Workers Comp.



Part-Time Employees



Fund Balance – MM Recreation Grant Account




Motion was made by Council Member Beeman to approve the above budget amendment transfers.

Motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Painter.  Motion carried by voice vote.  



5.  Resolution 5-2018 – A Resolution to Set Threshold for Capitalization was presented for approval.

City Manager Marshall stated the City Auditors had request the City approve a written threshold    for capitalization.  Motion was made by Council Member Grieve to approve Resolution 5-2018.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Beeman.  Motion carried by voice vote.


6.  MTAS Codification – City Manager Marshall presented each Council Member a copy of the Norris City   

Code along with the Zoning Code for review.   City Manager Marshall asked Council to review the                the code book and to contact him with any questions or concerns.   He reported he was waiting on a recommendation from Norris Water Commission concerning Section 18 of the code which pertains to water and sewer.     Council will need to vote on the code at the November meeting.



City Manager Marshall reported on the following:


1)     2018-2019 Year to Date (Estimated through Sept.) City Budget – Overall YTD General Fund Revenues are at 39.4% and General Fund Expenditures are 16.23%.   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.


2)     2018-2019 – Year to Date (Estimated through Sept.) Water Commission Budget – Overall YTD Norris Water Commission Revenues are at 24.9% and Norris Water Commission Expenses are at 22.53%.


3)     Grant Updates


a)      New Sidewalk Grant – 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.

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

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

    c)    RTP Grant – We attended the first of three-mandatory session on grant administration.    



4)    Room Rental Rates – MTAS is doing a state-wide survey and will have the results for us in the coming months.


5)   See attached City Manager Report. 


7.     Safe Routes to School Presentation – City Manager Marshall did a slide presentation of the Safe                                 

         Routes to School Project.  Mayor Mitchell stated this project also benefits all citizens, including the elderly and handicapped, because citizens are more likely to use well maintained, safe sidewalks.  Mayor Mitchell stated there have been modifications to the project to stay in budget.   Mayor Mitchell stated this project is zero cost to the City.


8.      Paving and Striping of City Streets - Mayor Mitchell stated he had been walking around town and had received many comments about the paving and striping project recently completed.  Mayor Mitchell stated he wanted to open this subject up to Council and the audience for comments and questions.  Ricky Staples, 107 Hilltop, said the paving helped, but the striping on some of the streets makes the road appear narrower, and he brought pictures of his truck with a trailer on Dale Road.  The pictures show tires on the driver side of the truck and trailer are on the yellow line and the tires on the passenger side of the truck are on the white line.  Mr. Staples also stated he was disappointed in work around a culvert. The gravel was not covered and as a result it will wash out just like before the paving.  Mr. Staples stated it would be difficult for a semi truck to maintain its lane on the streets that were striped.   Council Member Beeman agreed with Mr. Staples that the stripping gives a visual appearance that the roads are narrower.   Vice Mayor Painter said she liked the white lines at night as they are more clearly visible and that the striping is  good to have on streets that have a drop-off.    Mayor Mitchell shared a couple of comments he had received.  He received many positive comments from residents that traveled the striped streets to their home. He stated many residents who live in the old part of town on a street that was not striped stated they absolutely do not want their streets paved.  Residents on the streets that were paved said they appreciated the paving, but the striping takes away from the community feel of a residential street.   Mayor Mitchell asked people that live on smaller streets if they would want their streets striped.   Joe Deatherage, 122 CCC Camp Road, said he does not want CCC Camp Road stripped and that it would be a travesty if that occurred.   Mayor Mitchell said Council should have a discussion as to which City streets are striped prior to the next paving.  Mayor Mitchell stated we are now better informed of the citizens’ opinions and concerns on this matter and he wants to have a full Council discussion about the paving and striping of the streets prior to having another paving bid.   Cynthia Edrington, 75 Chestnut Drive, asked if the widening of Pine Road at East Norris was included in the recent paving project.  Council Member Beeman stated that it was not a part of the recent paving project, but he and Mayor Mitchell met with Powell Clinch Utility District concerning the gas line located at this intersection and Powell Clinch Utility District resolved this issue by putting the lines deeper in the ground.  Mayor Mitchell asked City Manager Marshall if he had any comments about the paving and he said no.


9.     Vacant Employee Positions - Mayor Mitchell asked City Manager Marshall for a status of the vacant employee positions.  City Manager Marshall stated there are two vacant position – one part-time City Office position and one full-time in Public Works.   Applications for the City Office position are being taken through October 12th, 2018.  Pertaining to the Public Works position, City Manager Marshall stated he is looking for companies that will allow us to have a temp for hire (someone from a temporary service).   If the temp hire measures up to our level of need, then we will offer them a full-time position.  Vice Mayor Painter stated she met with City Manager Marshall and she appoved him replacing the open full-time position because she wants City Manager Marshall to have time to do his job.  Mayor Mitchell stated he agreed with that and he did not think the City Manager was being kept from doing his job.   Mayor Mitchell questioned City Manager Marshall’s statement that using the temp service is a way to fill an open position.   Mayor Mitchell said he would challenge that the need to fill a permanent position is required only if there is ongoing work for the permanent position to perform.  He stated if there is no need for a permanent person, then there is no need to fill the position.  City Manager Marshall stated Norris has three times the infrastructure of other cities its size and the difference in having 3 people and 4 people is the difference between having one crew versus two crews. Four people allows the Public Works Director time to do his job to supervise and use the equipment we have.  Mayor Mitchell stated this is not a debate if there is enough work, but it is how to fill the work.  Mayor Mitchell stated there are other ways to accomplish the goal and he wants those explored.  Vice Mayor Painter stated she would like current employees to have a book that shows them what city property they should mow.  She also stated a huge portion of the budget is employee benefits and she stated the current way employee medical insurance is paid by the City is not fair when a single employee received employee only coverage of around $650 and an employee with family coverage received around $1,650 per month.  Council Member Beeman said we have a level of services with a level of employees and the cost of employees is going up much faster than taxes are going up, so something has to give – taxes go up or we cut services or we find a new way to provide services.    Council Member Beeman stated he was not sure a part-time employee will work, but when you hire another full-time employee, it is an irresistible decision and he encourages City Manager Marshall to give a part-time employee a try.   Mayor Mitchell stated he agreed with Council Member Beeman and all he wants is to have the discussion and try the part-time position.  Mayor Mitchell stated why he was pushing back on this was because City Manager Marshall stated he was using a temp service employee as a way to hire a full-time employee.   Council Member Grieve agreed with Council Member Beeman.  


10.   November Council Meeting Date - Council discussed resetting the November Council Meeting due to it falling on Veteran’s Day. Motion was made by Vice Mayor Painter to reset the November Council Meeting to Monday, November 19th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.  Motion carried by voice vote.


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 Vice Mayor Painter to adjourn.  Motion was seconded by Council Member Grieve.   Motion carried by voice vote at 8:55 p.m.




                                                                                                         Janet Parks, City Recorder