City Council met in special session on June 27, 2016 at 7:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
Mayor Walker presided:
Pete Lane Amy Farris
City employee present was Clerk Kennedy.
Review and Discuss Walco Contract
Mayor Walker explained Walco submitted a revised contract and the only thing that is changing is the time the transfer station is open. The hours will be Monday through Friday 8am – 5pm and Saturday 8am – 2pm.
There is nothing in the contract that states Grangeville residents can dump for free. The Mayor had asked Marietta if it could be added to the contract. Walco wanted to leave the wording vague due to DEQ and not knowing if their regulations could be changed.
There was discussion on how long the contract should be and it was decided to remain at 5 years. Everyone felt Walco was doing a good job and wanted to renew the contract. It will be added to a future agenda.
Discuss revenue for the budget
Mayor Walker explained the intent behind buy in fees, their purpose, why citizens need to pay them and the history on how they came to be.
Clerk Kennedy explained that each equity buy in is based on an equivalent resident (ER) and there is a JUB rate study and chart that shows how each ER is determined. Public Works Director McFrederick calculates the fees based on the type of the project.
There was additional discussion on citizens that have asked or may ask in the future for waivers of buy in fees. During discussion, the importance of the buy in fees was stressed. Discussion focused on collecting those fees from all users to have funds set aside for future expansion. It was also stated other developers/users to this point have paid the fees as outlined in the ordinance, with the exception of the area by the Depot that was recently cleaned up by the City.
It was also stated that a waiver process is not included in the equity buy in ordinance so citizens asking for the waiver should not be allowed on the agenda.
There was discussion that if an ordinance doesn’t have an appeal or waiver process, such as the ordinance on buy in fees, then the citizen should not be able to get on the agenda to ask for a waiver.
Mayor Walker felt the City should try harder to be creative to see if there is any way to balance the budget without taking money from reserves. An option for additional revenue is to consider a franchise fee. A 1% franchise fee with Avista would generate approximately $50,000/year.
It was asked if a fulltime ordinance officer should or could be funded to help ensure the City ordinances are enforced. There was discussion on how to come up with revenue to pay for a fulltime employee. Without any additional revenue to pay for a fulltime position, who will enforce the ordinances when a part time employee doesn’t have enough hours to get it all done? It was a general consensus of the Council that the officers could also do ordinance enforcement.
Salaries are set by a salary schedule in the police department. Mayor Walker would like to see the City move toward merit based pay rather than COLAs and asked the Council to consider the option.
There was discussion on property tax revenue and the levy limits in each fund.
Discuss possible grants
Kids Klub will be coming to the next meeting to ask the City to sponsor a grant. If the City sponsors the grant, it will have to be in the budget. The Council discussed other possible grant ideas including the Heritage Square bathroom project. Clerk Kennedy stated the City would not be ready to apply for a grant for Heritage Square this fall.
Councilman Peterson stated the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) just got back their 501c3 designation and they will start applying for grants.
The meeting adjourned at 8:10 P.M.
Bruce Walker – Mayor
Tonya Kennedy – Clerk