Regular Meeting of the Council Members of the City of Nixa, Missouri
Nixa City Hall November 13th, 2018 6:00 p.m.
The regular monthly meeting of the Nixa City Council was called to order by Mayor Brian Steele. Attending were Council Members Matt Barker, Justin Orf, Jimmy Ledbetter Jr., Aron Peterson, Darlene Graham and Scott Perryman.
The pledge of allegiance was given.
Finance Director Donna Swatzell provided a presentation on the 2019 Enterprise Funds which included the Electric, Water, Wastewater and Recycling Departments. This presentation is available for review at City Hall. Beginning with the Electric Fund, Swatzell stated the 2018 estimated ending fund balance is $11,744,313.00. Swatzell explained the electric bonds were paid off in 2018 with the sale of the transmission line and no other debts are owed. Swatzell highlighted some of the 2019 operational budget expense items including: building maintenance and repairs, computer equipment, computer services, computer software, mailing services, transformers, underground electric supplies and salaries. Public Works Director Doug Colvin joined the discussion and provided information on the proposed AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) capital improvement project. Colvin expressed his support in moving toward an AMI metering system. Colvin reported the cost analysis indicates the project savings would be at least eight (8) years out. Colvin explained Nixa may be able to cut some personnel eventually; however, Colvin believes the biggest benefit would be in customer service improvements. Residents would be able to monitor their usage and make adjustments accordingly to help them save money on their bills. Council discussed the AMI project and had Colvin answer questions regarding the benefits. Colvin told Council he expects a new rate study to be completed by the end of the month. Colvin reviewed the 2019 capital improvement projects (CIPs) for the department. These CIPs included system improvements, equipment, and transportation. Colvin explained the proposed $2,310,000.00 AMI project is a turn-key project for the electric meters. Swatzell reported the total costs for the 2019 Electric CIPs are budgeted at $3,853,333.00. Swatzell said an increase in electric rates or reduction of operational expenses will be needed to continue the current rate of operation in the Electric Department. The 2019 estimated ending balance for the Electric Department is $10,247,831.00. Moving on with the presentation, Swatzell introduced the 2019 Water Fund information and provided the estimated 2018 ending fund balance of $4,883,501.00. Swatzell introduced the 2019 Water Fund CIPs including: system improvements, equipment and transportation. The 2019 CIPs are estimated to cost around $2,976,833.00 leaving an estimated ending balance of $2,205,788.00. Swatzell briefly reviewed the Wastewater and Recycling budget numbers. The Wastewater 2018 estimated ending balance was shown as $4,747,754.00. Swatzell provided information on the 2019 operational expenses including professional fees, tools/small equipment and maintenance and repairs. The 2019 CIPS for the department included system improvements, equipment, transportation and land improvements. Council briefly discussed future needs for the Wastewater Department and the expected areas of growth. Water Quality Superintendent Milton Dickensheet provided information on the department’s future needs and answered questions on the 2019 CIP equipment needs. Swatzell wrapped up the presentation stating the estimated ending balance for the Wastewater Department is projected at $3,857,410.00. The draft budget will be ready for review at the next meeting. Council thanked Swatzell for her presentation and all the hard work going into the budget preparation.
Public Works Director Doug Colvin explained that a request for proposal was sent out for residential trash service. Colvin said staff received two (2) bids; however, one (1) of the bids was incomplete. The proposal would provide residential trash services, curb-side recycling services and includes supplying containers and services for the city facilities. Special services were also included in the proposal. The contract would be a five (5) year contract beginning January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023. Pricing for the services was discussed. The new rate, beginning in 2019, would be $11.48 per month for weekly trash pick-up and bi-weekly curb-side recycling. Colvin recommends awarding the bid to Republic Services. Chris Snyder, Republic Services was in attendance of the meeting and available for questions. Council asked Snyder if Republic Services was willing to change the recycling to a weekly pick-up. Snyder said he would need to submit a proposal for the extra cost. After a brief discussion, Ledbetter made a motion to award the bid, as submitted, to Republic Services with Barker seconding and all Council members voting aye.
Approving the Renewal of a Lease for Facilities Financed Through the Public Building Corporation was presented. Ledbetter made a motion to approve Bill #2018-111 on first reading and pass to second with Peterson seconding. City Administrator Jimmy Liles explained this annual ordinance for their consideration authorizes the appropriation of funds to extend the lease on the City Hall and Police Department Facilities. Mayor Steele opened the public hearing for comments, no comments were made, and the hearing was closed. Mayor Steele called for a vote on the motion and all Council members voted aye. Bill# 2018-111 was presented for final reading. Ledbetter made a motion to approve Bill #2018-111 on final reading and pass into law with Orf seconding and Orf, Ledbetter, Peterson, Graham, Perryman and Barker voting aye on roll call vote.
Repealing Chapter 103-Buildings and Building Regulations, Article I-In General, Sections 103-1 through 103-4, Article II-Housing Occupancy Code Inspections and Certificates, Sections 103-27 through Section 103-43 and Enacting New Sections 103-1 through 103-4 and Sections 103-27 through 103-43 was presented. Ledbetter made a motion to approve Bill #2018-112 on first reading and pass to second with Peterson seconding. Planning and Development Director Travis Cossey explained this ordinance addressed the proposed adoption of the 2018 International Building Code and the 2017 National Electric Codes. Cossey explained the changes would go into effect on January 1, 2019. Cossey said that staff had formed a work group with surrounding jurisdictions, Ozark, Republic, Battlefield and Christian County to ensure that the surrounding communities adopted a uniform set of codes for area builders. Cossey said adopting the new codes would help ensure that construction in Nixa is kept at a high standard. Mayor Steele opened the public hearing for comments, no comments were made, and the hearing was closed. Mayor Steele called for a vote on the motion and all Council members voted aye. Bill# 2018-112 was presented for final reading. Ledbetter made a motion to approve Bill #2018-112 on final reading and pass into law with Orf seconding and Ledbetter, Peterson, Graham, Perryman, Barker and Orf voting aye on roll call vote.
Unfinished Business Items:
Stefanie Fuller, 979 W. Cambridge, asked Council about the status on the consideration of a bike lane on Pembrook. Cossey provided information on the proposed restricted parking and bike lane on Pembrook Avenue. Cossey stated while the street’s width would accommodate a bike lane, he did find several difficulties and explained the bike lane was not in the city’s best interest to pursue. First of all, parking would have to be restricted on one (1) side of the street. Also, the lane would have to be located on the north side of the road. Given the existing sidewalk in place, and the need to follow that infrastructure, a bike lane is not advisable due to safety concerns. Major Joe Campbell added information on the matter. Campbell also stated some safety concerns on the proposal and the need for the bike lane to be located on the north side of the road. Campbell said the police department spent time in the area researching the matter and saw no issues during the monitored time. Colvin interjected that he advises against installing a bike lane on one (1) side of the street because it makes the lane a one-way bike lane. Cossey explained that all property owners on Pembrook were sent letters about the proposed bike lane. Cossey stated that once the letters were sent out, city staff received several calls from the owners in opposition of the bike lane. Cossey said that some of those in opposition attended the last Council meeting and addressed Council with their concerns on the matter. After a brief discussion, Council said this project would not be moving forward. They had too many in opposition of the project and staff had several concerns with the proposal. Fuller voiced her disappointment in the decision.
New business Items:
Park and Recreation Director Matt Crouse presented an update on the NCIP Action Plans. This update is available to review at City Hall. Liles recommends beginning a new NCIP/strategic plan in the spring of 2020. Liles would like to review and discuss the process and make recommendations before starting the next strategic planning project.
Next up, Campbell provided Council with information on the proposed revisions to the police policy manual. These new and/or revised policies included: Pursuit Vehicle Operation, Missing Persons, Subpoenas and Court Appearances, Private Person Arrests, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation, Off-Duty Law Enforcement Actions, Traffic Function and Responsibility, Vehicle Maintenance, Vehicle Use, Personal Protective Equipment and Recruitment and Selection. Campbell said he had reviewed the policies as presented and had City Attorney Ricker review them as well. Campbell was available for any questions on the policies. Campbell will be bringing back a resolution for the revised policies at the next Council meeting.
Human Resource Director Amanda Hunsucker introduced information on the proposed revised personnel handbook policies. Hunsucker stated the sick leave policy is being revised to be more specific about the use of sick leave time and the hiring policy is being revised to include special requirements for the hiring of police officers. Hunsucker was available for questions. A resolution will be brought back at the next meeting on the changes.
Crouse asked Council for direction regarding the effects from the passage of Proposition B. Crouse stated the minimum wage is set to raise $.85 per hour each year for the next five (5) years. Crouse stated that in 2019 this raise will increase the Park Department’s budget by $17,000.00 to $ 18,000.00. City Attorney Tim Ricker explained that the city is exempt from this minimum wage change, but wages would not be competitive. Crouse is looking for direction from Council. Suggested options from Crouse included increasing program registration fees, increasing fitness membership fees, and increasing pool admission fees. Council directed Crouse to research and provide information if the department on increasing fitness center membership fees.
Councilman Ledbetter reported that a special event permit is being submitted for the Caroling at the Crossroads event. This event is planned for December 1st. The Downtown Revitalization Committee is planning to close South Main Street around 4:00 p.m. for the festivities. The Mayor’s Tree Lighting ceremony will be held that evening along with caroling and other activities. A resolution will be presented at the next meeting. Crouse added that the Christmas parade will be held on Sunday, December 2nd at 2:00 p.m.
Mayor and Council Member Reports:
Councilman Matt Barker provided a Council Liaison Report on the Finance and Human Resource Departments. Council thanked Barker for his report and the information provided on each of the departments.
At 8:20 p.m., Ledbetter made a motion to adjourn with Peterson seconding and all Council members voting aye.