City of Byron Special City Council met Jan. 22.
Here is the minutes provided by the council:
1. CALL TO ORDER – Mayor Rickard called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.
2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Led by Mayor Rickard
3. ROLL CALL – Aldermen present: *Todd Isaacs, Emily Gerdes, Mittzi Fulrath, Zeke Hobbie, Michael Gyorkos, Christy Hanlin. Six members present by roll call vote. Quorum established.
* - denotes start of the roll call vote
Aldermen absent: Dan Reilly (military deployment)
PRESENT: Mayor John Rickard
City Clerk Caryn Huber
City Attorney Kim Krahenbuhl
Dir. Of Public WorksAaron Vincer
Police Chief Todd Murray
Dir. of Econ. Dev. Larry Hewitt
4. 2020-2021 BUDGET DISCUSSION – Alderman Isaacs gave an overview of the budget. He stressed the need to prioritize the city’s expenses. General Fund revenue is listed first on the budget worksheet. The general fund covers police, the city, public works, economic development and several other items. Sales tax and income tax provide most of the city’s income. He highlighted the utility tax line item and entered $100,000. Once we receive several months of payments, he will have a better idea of a realistic amount. Estimates are higher than $100,000. Several other items throughout the budget are highlighted – these are items that Alderman Isaacs needs to get more information on from the Department heads. The worksheet includes several years of actual income and expenditures, as well as estimates for this fiscal year, a three year average, and a proposed 2020-2021 budget. Under expenditures, all accounts beginning with 01-01 are city hall expenses, 01-04 are police expenditures. ESDA is 01-05, DARE is 01-06 (no longer used), planning and development is 01-07, public works is 01-09, and building and zoning is 01-11. Under public works, street improvements account for most of their budget. The revenue from our 1% sales tax, and the local use tax, are allocated to this line item. Once we make bond payments this year and next, we will be able to bond again. Under building and zoning, he noted that Director Hewitt’s wages are divided between this account (85%) and the TIF District account. Following the 01 accounts on the worksheet are separate accounts that have their own revenue and expenditures. The first is the TIF account, followed by the Tort account. The tort account covers insurance, and the income comes mainly from property taxes. The MFT (Motor Fuel Tax) has specific guidelines to account for how the money in this account is spent. Since it is easier to document physical items as opposed to labor costs, the public works department tends to use this money for materials. IMRF funds are from property taxes. The road and bridge funds are split 50/50 with the township. The funds are typically used to purchase equipment. Social Security monies come from property tax. The telecommunications tax is trending down. Half of the money goes to public works, 25% to the city and 25% to the police. Pending maintenance needs for city hall include roof repair, a HVAC unit, parking lot resurface, and a generator. The revenue under water and sewer bond and interest comes as a transfer from the water and sewer account to make bond payments on the Headworks project. Water/sewer depreciation includes rental money from cell phone towers. The hope is that this account will grow, and maintenance and repairs can be paid for out of this account. Water and sewer revenue and expenses are under 50-00, 50-01 and 50-02. Account 50-05 covers refuse and recycling. A small portion of the clerical wages are from this account. Under transfers (50-99), the transfer to depreciation fund covers $9.00 collected from every resident. The hope is that this money will build to where we can pay down on the loan for Headworks. We are unable to do anything with the loan for 10 years, at which time we can make a significant payment and possibly refinance. Alderman Isaacs estimates there are 5-6 more years until this time. Under the sewer connection fee, there is $300,000 in reserves in the event the water/sewer department needs it. These funds can also be used in the future to pay down the Headworks loan. The last several accounts are miscellaneous police funds. They are all by statute, and come from tickets, DUIs, etc. The e-citation fund is allocated for purchasing software, scanners, printers, for police cars. The police foundation fund, 78-00, is for DUI related enforcement and equipment.79-00 is for purchasing vehicles and equipment. Attorney Krahenbuhl estimates the utility tax to be approximately $220,000. Monthly payments will be cyclical depending on time of year.
a. Planning and Development – Director Hewitt highlighted areas to review in this budget cycle. The first is Land Planning – He would like to add $5,000 to the budget for engineering studies on larger projects. If we are doing concept plan reviews, we do get that money reimbursed. • Director Hewitt is in need of a city vehicle. He has done some research online, and hopes to add $20,000 under his equipment line. • He added $2,000 for miscellaneous census expenses. • In the Tourism fund, Director Hewitt would like to budget $10,000 for projects such as grant applications, signage, lighting projects, and other enhancement projects. • He also requested the addition of a special project fund, taken from a portion of the utility tax income, to be used for special projects. He hopes the fund will be able to accumulate until needed. • Director Hewitt reported that the Building and Zoning department is much the same as in the past. He will continue to upgrade small equipment such as a measuring wheel, electrical metering, etc. • There is a legal line item, and he suggested taking some of the legal funds from planning and development and putting it under Building and Zoning for compliance issues. • TIF – The County does not have the tax posting and final figures compiled yet. He hopes that some of the unused funds can be used to reconstruct the city hall parking lot.
b. Public Works – Director Vincer hopes to focus on working within the budget footprint of the last several years. • He is hoping to increase wages for part time summer employees (to $15/hour) to use for hydrant painting and sewer cleaning. • He asked for a $2,000 increase for equipment maintenance. • The engineering line item will probably need to be adjusted based on projects decided on for the street department. • They have recently made improvements to the Public Works building that make it easier for employees to maintain vehicles and equipment, but he would still like to leave $15,000 for improvements to booster stations, and roof and floor repairs. • Director Vincer has received estimates on street sweepers. He would like the road and bridge fund to become more of a capital replacement fund. We recently purchased a new dump truck and payments are being made out of this fund until 2023. There is a $170,000 sweeper that he feels is sufficient to meet our needs. If we received a loan over 5 years, the payment would be $35,000. The two payments total approximately $56,000. $60,000 in this line item would cover both payments. In 2023, the dump truck payments would end, allowing us to purchase another piece of equipment. There is also a $220,000 sweeper available, but we would need to extend payments out further in order to stay under payments totaling $60,000. Alderman Gerdes asked about alternatives to the street sweeper, such as a commercial leaf vacuum. Director Vincer said that a leaf vac will not pick up anything but leaves and we would need more to really keep the streets clean and the storm sewers clear. Purchasing the sweeper (as opposed to renting) would enable them to use the equipment when conditions are ideal. He would hope to replace the item in 10 years so it still has significant value. • Alderman Gerdes asked if we should consider adding more summer part time workers. Director Vincer explained that some part time hours are being used for Linda McNames, who has helped with public works and water projects. • There are not many changes in water and sewer. The $20,000 under 50-01-532 will cover engineering costs for a water facility project plan. • On the other side of the river, we have a well but no tank. They are exploring ways to put up storage there. There is only one river crossing, and we need to look for another water source in the event of a system failure. • Street projects under consideration are the completion of 3rd street to Route 2, and Mill Road.
c. Police – Chief Murray’s requests are in Dropbox. He would like to install cameras outside of city hall, at the public works building, and at well sites. The system would be the same as the one used at the schools and the fire department which would enable us to have access to more cameras via a phone app. • Discussions have started with the Fire Chief regarding moving the EOC to the fire Department. This would eliminate the need to replace the current size generator we have now, and allow us to purchase a more affordable, portable generator. • The heating and cooling units in city hall, along with roof repairs, need to be addressed. There is a cooling unit that will need to be replaced when the roof is redone. Estimated cost is $5,000. There is another unit that they were reluctant to turn on this year. • There are funds in the records management system that will be used for a system combining the sheriff’s office, Byron, Oregon and Rochelle. All will have access to the same information. • It has been difficult to staff crossing guards – Chief Murray would like to increase their pay from $20/day to $25 or $30/day. The school reimburses half of that amount. • He would also like to increase part time officers to $22.50/hour (currently at $20.00/hour). • Chief Murray also discussed the possibility of combining the technology funds into one line item. They are currently spread out between three departments. • The state training board has determined that agencies will have to pay for officer training and ask for reimbursement after training is complete. Cost is $6,000. We were on a waiting list and a spot opened up in January, however, there was not sufficient time for the candidate to give notice to his employer. We have two spots reserved in the May class, and two spots in the September class. Alderman Hobbie asked if officers have to reimburse the department if they leave early. Chief Murray explained that if we send the officer to school, they have a three year commitment to the department. If they leave early, they do need to reimburse for their training. Facebook posts announcing job openings have generated a lot of interest, but only three applications have been received so far.
Mayor Rickard adjourned the Special Budget meeting at 6:27 pm.