City of Nezperce, Idaho - Regular City Council Meeting - February 9, 2016
Tuesday, March 08 2016 @ 08:03 AM PST
Contributed by: Admin
CITY OF NEZPERCE, IDAHO
PUBLIC HEARING & REGULAR MEETING
February 9, 2016
MINUTES OF THE PUBLIC HEARING AND REGULAR MEETING OF THE NEZPERCE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEZPERCE, IDAHO, HELD ON February 9, 2016.
PLACE: Nezperce City Hall, 502 5th Ave.
I. THE MEETING WAS CALLED TO ORDER BY MAYOR BATEMAN AT 5:30 P.M.
II. Pledge of Allegiance: The pledge was led by Mayor Steve Bateman.
III. PRESENT were Mayor Steve Bateman, Councilmen James Zenner, Jerry Elven, Mike Jensen and Tyler Nelson; Maintenance Supervisor Craig Cardwell and Clerk Rhonda Schmidt. Public in attendance were: Steve Wherry of the Lewis County Herald, Randy Winner, Michelle & Robert Lyons. Auditor Steve Clack entered at 6:00PM.
IV. PUBLIC HEARING – Proposed Water Usage Fee Increase
Four people attended the Public Hearing with Auditor Steve Clack entering at 6PM. Mayor Bateman lead off the hearing by informing the public that the water department is not self-sustaining-hasn’t been for years and we foresee some maintenance repairs that need to be addressed. Because of needed repairs the council decided to increase the water usage fee at the last council meeting. Cm. Elven voiced that the water department has been in the red for years while the other departments are doing well. Michelle Lyons asked why? Bateman commented that our auditor has recommended the council raise water fees for years. Cardwell explained that we need a new controller for the wells and it has been 10 years since we pulled the pump in one well and 20 years for the other. Randy Winner asked if we are planning for the future or just band aiding the system. Bateman explained that we have no reserve funds for future projects but that with a fee increase and the cell tower lease monies going to the water department that we will be able to get things turned around fairly quickly. Winner added that he would like the city to be proactive in their thinking. Winner did some research of other city rates and hook-up rates and believes that Nezperce is right in there with hookup fees but charging less than other cities are for water fees. Michelle Lyons asked if the city has looked into grants. Cardwell replied that water grant monies go toward water protection or education not regular maintenance. Cm. Elven added that this is not a high income city and that the city is funding a sewer project this year. Cardwell included that sewer is holding its own so we have done little sewer projects while the water department has no reserves for upgrades. We have a nice system but we need regular maintenance to keep things going well. Cm. Zenner feels that with the proposed water usage increase we are putting it on 5 businesses rather than everyone on the system. Cm. Jensen added that a big water user is putting more on the system than the moderate water user so therefore those using more should be paying more. Cm. Nelson stated that we can do something now or freak out later; we can raise the base as well as the usage rate therefore everyone pays their part. Winner said that he would like to see an increase on the base rate as well as the usage rate this town needs to be proactive and plan for the future. Auditor Clack brought up sanitation and asked where we would like to see that rate? Cm. Zenner informed the council that the citizens/business people that he spoke with understand the need to increase fees but would prefer a 50% increase this year and a 50% increase next year. Bateman said that seniors don’t want the base go up. The mayor then closed the hearing as no one else had comments to make. Visitors were asked to stay for the rest of the meeting if they so liked.
V. AMENDMENT TO AGENDA
VI. MINUTES: of the previous meetings of 1/12/16 were approved as emailed upon a motion by Cm. Nelson, motion was seconded by Cm. Elven, motion carried.
VII. TREASURER’S REPORT AND MONTHLY BILLS:
The Clerk’s Monthly Treasurer’s Report dated February 9, 2016, was examined and approved, showing the following:
Funds on Hand $365,337.50
All bills and payroll disbursements were examined and approved for payment upon a motion by Cm. Jensen and seconded by Cm. Nelson in the total of $38,355.92 check numbers 12688 through 12730, motion carried. Receipts since the last meeting were shown as $182,957.55. The checks and stub approvals were signed appropriately by all parties as well as the Payment Approval Reports for February.
VIII. BUSINESS TO BE CONDUCTED
A. FYE 2014-2015 Audit: Auditor Steve Clack informed the council that this was a great audit in fact he couldn’t come up with even one recommendation for this new fiscal year. Everything he asked of Clerk Schmidt has been implemented and things have never been better. Clack gave a rundown on fund cash totals; with the cell tower lease monies going to the water fund last year and this coming year plus an increase in fees the water fund will be back in the black generating reserve funds for maintenance needs. Discussion ensued on what to do with three past-due accounts. Cm. Jensen moved to give the owner the opportunity to pay and if not cap the services and the outstanding bill will be given to the county for collection. If the properties sell then the new owner will have to pay the hook-up fee. Motion was duly seconded and the motion carried.
B. Fire Station Update: The ICDBG grant application has made it to the second round. Commerce has asked for an addendum to the application.
C. Bond Resolution – Fire Station Project: Clerk Schmidt will contact the bond attorney so that we get an ordinance in our hands by the next meeting.
D. Liquor Ordinance – 2016-4: Tabled until the next meeting.
E. Water Usage Fee Increase: After a lengthy discussion and many different options discussed the consensus of the council is to appease as many residents as possible. Following discussion Cm. Nelson made a motion to raise the monthly base rate from $16.00 to $16.75 and increase the water usage rate from .005 to .0075. The motion was seconded by Cm. Elven. Mayor Bateman asked for a roll call vote:
Councilman Jensen Aye,
Councilman Zenner Nay,
Councilman Elven Aye,
Councilman Nelson Aye.
Motion carried. The council then turned their attention to setting a disconnect fee for water and sewer services. Cm. Elven made a motion to charge a $150.00 disconnect fee per service, Cm. Nelson seconded the motion, motion carried. The fee changes will be on Resolution R2016-5.
F. Suspension of Sewer Charge – Scott Branson 703 Oak Street: Branson spoke with the Mayor and requested that we do not suspend the sewer fee instead asked us to run the sewer line into the lot and continue to charge him the fee.
G. Arbor Day 2016: The council decided that Arbor Day will be on Friday, May 5th. We will be focusing on plantings at the RV Park.
H. City Official at the Capital: Cm. Zenner attended and informed the council on the day.
IX. DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS
RV Upgrade: Craig gave a rundown of what is left to complete. There are lots of small things to do before landscaping.
Streets: Sweeper repairs are underway plus 2 screens replaced at a cost of $875.00 each. Mayor Bateman said that the bridge on 5th needs some attention as there is erosion around the bottom. Street projects this year will be in the industrial area. We need rock for sealcoating. Prairie Highway asked if the city is interested in purchasing a crack seal trailer with them. Bateman and Cardwell will follow up with PHD. Cardwell will also look into finding a backhoe grant to piggy-back off of and get prices.
Parks: Maintenance plans to trim trees in parks and alleys as the weather gets better.
Airport: Cardwell plans to shoot a line for the sewer replacement as he gears up for that spring project.
Certifications: Cardwell and Clairmont will attend local water and sewer classes to get their CEU’s. Cardwell will be looking at classes to get his Road Master certification.
Attorney Contract: Herrington’s one year contract expires in February so he sent one for this year. Cm. Elven moved to sign the contract, motion was seconded by Zenner, motion carried.
Housing Forum in Potlach on March 16th: Received a flyer and Christine from CEDA as she wants someone to attend to talk about our homes.
It was decided that the Clerk would write an article for the herald explaining the water increase decision by the council and how to figure the increase.
X. COUNCIL COMMENT
Goffer population: The council discussed the best way to handle the goffer population in the southeast area of town.
XI. PUBLIC COMMENT
Public comments are included in the public hearing notes.
Fireman’s Ball – March 12th at the Legion Hall
CEDA Annual Meeting – April 20, 2016 (new day and month) Lindsey Creek Winery
Arbor Day – May 5th
Community Wide Yard Sale Day – May 14, 2016
The next city council meeting will be on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 5:30 PM at City Hall. This meeting will begin with a public hearing.
Steve A. Bateman, Mayor Rhonda J. Schmidt, Clerk-Treasurer