2017-04-18 City Council Meeting

PRATTVILLE CITY COUNCIL
CITY COUNCIL MINUTES
TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2017
6:00 P.M.

The Prattville City Council met in regular session on Tuesday, April 18, 2017, at 6:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. After the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, Council President Striplin gave the invocation. Roll was called and all Councilors were present.

THE CHARACTER TRAIT OF THE MONTH HUMILITY: Acknowledging that achievement results from others’ investment in life.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES: City Council Meeting April 4, 2017
Councilor Boone made a motion to adopt the minutes and Councilor Strichik seconded the motion. With no discussion, the minutes were adopted (7-0).

COMMENTS FROM PERSONS PRESENT REGARDING TONIGHT’S AGENDA:

Jon Lee Finnegan, 211 Deer Trace, addressed the Council regarding agenda expenditures of $729,000.00. At a recent Wastewater Committee meeting, a $25-30 million expansion project was discussed. Project Platinum is also included on tonight’s agenda. Ms. Finnegan read an excerpt from a recent newspaper article regarding public disclosure and transparency. Ms. Finnegan requested that the Council be very forthcoming and provide financial disclosure of any future projects.

MAYOR’S REPORT:

Mayor Gillespie requested a Point of Privilege. Chris Neuenschwander, Jackson Thornton, presented an overview of the Financial Audit. Jackson Thornton issued a clean audit opinion for fiscal year ending September 30, 2016. Mr. Neuenschwander presented some highlights from the financial report:

  • The City received the Certificate of Financial Reporting Excellence for 2014 and 2015, and has an expectation to receive again for 2016.
  • The Management Discussion and Analysis provided a snap shot of the City.
  • Cash was up approximately $2 million.
  • Property, plant & equipment was up approximately $5 million.
  • $80 million in total assets full accrual.
  • Over $9 million net income produced on full accrual.
  • Expenses are in control.
  • An improved net position to $20 million, with $80 million in total assets and $60 million in liabilities.
  • The top three revenue producers in the state for municipalities are sales tax, ad valorem tax, and business licenses. 75% of the general revenue of $30 million was sales tax revenue. This amount was up approximately $1 million over the prior year.
  • On the fund level, balances are solid.
  • The budget was exceeded by $2.5 million.
  • In the Enterprise Funds, the Sanitation Department has had a few challenges. With the implementation of a side-arm truck and the purchase of garbage cans, personnel costs have decreased. These measures should help bring the department into a positive impact or net neutral in future years.
  • The Historic Prattville Redevelopment Authority (HPRA) was blended in as a component unit. HPRA has had significant activity over the past year. As component unit, debt was reflected in financial statement, although it is not the City’s debt.
  • Pensions are 73% funded at year-end – where the City needs to be.

Council Strichik asked Mr. Neuenschwander about the City’s ad valorem funding level. Mr. Neuenschwander responded that ad valorem is probably the number three revenue. In order to increase ad valorem tax, the voters have a say. If the Council identifies a need for additional ad valorem tax, it must explain to the voters the need and use for the funds.

Mayor Gillespie thanked the Council, department heads, employees, and citizens of Prattville. Financial actions taken here have been able to improve the City’s standing and move it into the future.

The Community Chorus will hold their annual Dinner Concert on Thursday, April 20, and Friday, April 21, 2017.

The Fountain City Arts Festival Dinner, honoring best-selling author Ace Atkins, will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

The Prattville Pops will hold their Spring Concert on Sunday, April 30, 2017.

The splash pad will open for the season on Monday, May 1, 2017.

The City of Prattville has made a significant partnership investment with the Alabama Fire College. A class of 20 trainees will graduate from the Stanley Gann Fire Training Facility and Regional Training Center on April 20, 2017. Sixteen of these trainees are self-sponsored from several locations around the state, including Muscle Shoals. The facility continues to be highly utilized and very successful.

The site work has been almost completed for the Public Working Building. Agenda Item #1 will award the bid to construct the building itself. Mayor Gillespie thanked the Council Committees involved in this process. Separating the project into two parts saved the City approximately $93,000.00.

A team of City employees have analyzed several work order software systems. The “Mobile 311” software system will allow citizens to submit work orders any time from any location and attach photos. The facility asset management portion will provide description details for preventative maintenance, while supplying documentation and history. This system will manage rolling assets, city facilities, parks, roads, sanitation, urban management, wastewater, and more. The functionality in this app will far exceed any system the City has had in years past.

Alabama Power assessed the Autauga Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant for power usage to see how the City could be more efficient. The contract under consideration in Agenda Item #5 is the result of that assessment, which will allow the City to save almost $6,200.00 each year. Alabama Power is a valuable corporate partner. The City looks forward to partnering with them in the future on an LED lighting project.

Councilor Starnes asked for an updated on the Highway 31/Memorial Drive improvement project. Mayor Gillespie responded that discussions have been held and that funding for this project is included in the Planning Department budget. A meeting will be scheduled with Highway 31 stakeholders to discuss the direction for improvements.

Councilor Starnes noted that there are also several vacant buildings in the Mid-Town area, from Highway 31 to Larry Puckett Chevrolet. In the Silver Hills neighborhood area, privacy fences are down along Main Street allowing a view of the back of houses. Councilor Starnes asked if it is possible to plant bushes or trees along the right-of-way to beautify the area. The Mayor responded that the staff is looking at what type of vegetation can be placed around the city that is not only beautiful, but also maintenance free.

REPORT FROM COUNCIL ON SPECIAL COMMITTEES:

Councilor Cables reported that the Sanitation Committee met on April 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. Two orders of garbage cans have been received and are being placed in neighborhoods. Another order of garbage cans should arrive in the next few weeks and one additional order will be placed later in the summer. The second side-arm garbage truck arrived last week. These additions will continue to provide efficiencies in the department. Reserve funds will be set aside for the replacement of garbage cans in the future. Sight-work has been completed on the new Public Works Building and a bid will be considered tonight for construction of the new building.

Council President Striplin reported that the Wastewater Committee met on April 14, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. The Wastewater Committee met with Greg Thompson, Engineers of the South, and Chris Williams, Rice Advisory, LLC.

Mr. Thompson reported that the drawings for the Wastewater Expansion Project were essentially completed and under review. A tentative schedule was presented:

April 25, 2017 – deadline for bidders to submit pre-qualification requirements, which have been advertised in newspapers in Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Prattville.
May 4, 2017 – the pre-qualification process will be completed; plans and specifications will be issued to qualified bidders.
May 9, 2017 – a public meeting will be held in the Council chambers. Mr. Thompson and Wastewater personnel will be present to answer questions and guests will be required to sign-in.
June 8, 2017 – if the tentative above is met, a public bid opening will be held at City Hall.

Mr. Williams discussed options for financing up to $32 million dollars using a combination of funds from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, administered by ADECA, and the municipal bond market. Mr. Williams discussed the favorable features of each creditor. The total project cost after value engineering will determine what amount is borrowed from each entity.

REPORT ON THE STATUS OF CITY FINANCES:

Finance Director Daniel Oakley presented the finance reports for March 2017. The General Fund Revenue report showed that year-to-date revenue was $19,751,922.22. Revenue showed stagnant growth of 0.06% over the prior year.

The Tax Breakdown Comparison report showed revenue decreased by 9.47% in comparison to the prior year. The City will keep a close eye over the next few months and adjust spending accordingly.

The Expenses by Department report showed that with 50% of the budget year complete, overall expenses were at 45.48%.

The Wastewater Enterprise Fund Income Statement showed a net income of $99,177.59 for March 2017. Expenses were well under budget.

The Sanitation Enterprise Fund Income Statement showed a net loss of ($17,592.80) for March 2017. This was due to a third pay period in March. Overall expenses were below budget.

The Judicial Special Revenue Fund Income Statement showed a net income of $11,173.38 for March 2017. Expenses were below budget.

The Gas Tax Special Revenue Fund Income Statement, presented quarterly for January - March 2017, showed an increase in budgeted revenue. On the expense side, budgeted projects have not yet begun in earnest.

The Capital Projects Fund Income Statement was presented quarterly for January – March 2017. Several budgeted projects began during this second quarter.

The Group Health Fund continues to lose funds each month. Year-to-date, the General Fund has subsidized the General Health Fund a total of $369,000.00. The City will continue to look at cutting costs and increasing budgeted funding.

The Bank Balances report showed a total cash balance of $24,956,523.54 as of March 31, 2017.

The City Wide Accounts Payable and Debt Balances report show total debt at $38,333,353.56 as of March 31, 2017. The Woodvale Drainage Canal Restoration Project was included on the report.

CONSENT AGENDA:

1. RESOLUTION: To Name Voting Delegate and Alternates for the Annual Business Session during the 2017 Alabama League of Municipalities’ Convention in Birmingham. (Sponsored By: Council President Striplin)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 058

2. RESOLUTION: To Reject All Bids for Bid No. 017-003 for One (1) 2015 or Newer Toilet Trailer for the Parks and Recreation Department. (Sponsored By: Councilor Boone)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 059

3. RESOLUTION: To Support Project Platinum. (Sponsored By: Council President Striplin)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 060

Council President Pro Tempore Brown made a motion to place Items #1-3 on a Consent Agenda and Councilor Cables seconded the motion. The items were placed on a Consent Agenda (7-0). Councilor Starnes made a motion to adopt the Consent Agenda and Councilor Strichik seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the Consent Agenda was adopted with the following results:

AYES: JACKSON, BROWN, STARNES, STRIPLIN, CABLES, STRICHIK, BOONE 7
NAYS: NONE 0
ABSTAINED: NONE 0
ABSENT: NONE  

AGENDA:

1. RESOLUTION: To Amend the FY2017 Budget and to Award Bid No. 017-004 to Webb Builders, Inc. for the City of Prattville Public Works Building (Building and Sidewalks) on Doster Road at a Cost Not to Exceed $427,000.00. (Sponsored By: Council President Striplin)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 061

Councilor Jackson made a motion to adopt the Resolution and Council President Pro Tempore Brown seconded the motion. Councilor Cables asked Public Works Director Dale Gandy where the sidewalks included in the bid would be located. Mr. Gandy responded that the sidewalks included in the bid would be located around the building. There being no further discussion, the Resolution was adopted with the following results:

AYES: JACKSON, BROWN, STARNES, STRIPLIN, CABLES, STRICHIK, BOONE 7
NAYS: NONE 0
ABSTAINED: NONE 0
ABSENT: NONE  

2. RESOLUTION: To Release Funds for the Purchase of a Work Order Software System through the NJPA Purchasing Cooperative from Dude Solutions, Inc. at a Cost Not to Exceed $48,484.00. (Sponsored By: Council President Striplin)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 062

Council President Pro Tempore Brown made a motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilor Starnes seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the Resolution was adopted with the following results:

AYES: JACKSON, BROWN, STARNES, STRIPLIN, CABLES, STRICHIK, BOONE 7
NAYS: NONE 0
ABSTAINED: NONE 0
ABSENT: NONE  

3. RESOLUTION: To Release Funds for the Purchase of One (1) TYMCO Model 600 Street Sweeper through the NJPA Purchasing Cooperative from Ingram Equipment for the Public Works Department at a Cost Not to Exceed $206,903.00. (Sponsored By: Council President Striplin)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 063

Councilor Starnes made a motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilor Boone seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the Resolution was adopted with the following results:

AYES: JACKSON, BROWN, STARNES, STRIPLIN, CABLES, STRICHIK, BOONE 7
NAYS: NONE 0
ABSTAINED: NONE 0
ABSENT: NONE  

4. RESOLUTION: To Amend the FY2017 Budget and To Release Funds for the Purchase of One (1) 2017 Commercial Toilet Trailer from Satellite Industries for the Parks and Recreation Department at a Cost Not to Exceed $46,620.00. (Sponsored By: Councilor Boone)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 064

Councilor Boone made a motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilor Starnes seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the Resolution was adopted with the following results:

AYES: JACKSON, BROWN, STARNES, STRIPLIN, CABLES, STRICHIK, BOONE 7
NAYS: NONE 0
ABSTAINED: NONE 0
ABSENT: NONE  

5. RESOLUTION: To Authorize the Mayor to Enter into a Contract for Electric Service with Alabama Power for the Autauga Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. (Sponsored By: Council President Striplin)  RESOLUTION BOOK 2017, PAGE 065

Councilor Strichik made a motion to adopt the Resolution and Councilor Starnes seconded the motion. There being no discussion, the Resolution was adopted with the following results:

AYES: JACKSON, BROWN, STARNES, STRIPLIN, CABLES, STRICHIK, BOONE 7
NAYS: NONE 0
ABSTAINED: NONE 0
ABSENT: NONE  

COMMENTS FROM PERSONS PRESENT:

Anne DiPrizio, 310 Cambridge Street, approached the podium microphone. Council President Striplin addressed Ms. DiPrizio stating that last week during a visit to City Hall, unprovoked, you erupted into a violent verbally abusive tirade against City employees trying to assist you. That behavior is not condoned. This is a public microphone and as such you are entitled to its use. However, there is a limited time on your usage. At the end of your allotted time, you are invited to orderly return to your seat. If you don’t comply, you will be physically removed from this building and subject to potential legal actions. Just as my words and actions are being recorded, yours will be also be recorded for future reference. Your comments will be given the consideration they deserve. Ms. DiPrizio was given one and one-half minutes to address the Council.

Ms. DiPrizio spoke regarding the confederate flag. Ms. DiPrizio requested the Council adopt a resolution to discourage flying the confederate flag inside the city limits. Ms. DiPrizio encouraged that change start from the top down.

Jon Lee Finnegan, 211 Deer Trace, addressed the Council regarding garbage cans. Ms. Finnegan has emailed pictures to council members of overflowing garbage cans or cans left at the curb after the pick-up date. Ms. Finnegan asked the Council if an amendment to strengthen the ordinance was under consideration. Councilor Strichik responded that this is a work in progress. Councilor Strichik noted that he has visited other communities with issues far worse than our City and expressed gratitude to City staff and our residents for their assistance.

CLOSING COMMENTS: None

ADJOURN:

There being no further business to come before the council, Councilor Starnes made a motion to adjourn and Councilor Cables seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned (7-0) at 6:48 p.m.

APPROVED:

___________________________
Cathy Dickerson
City Clerk

___________________________
Albert Striplin, President
Prattville City Council

Character Trait for October

IACC Eagle LogoDependability
Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.

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