1. The regularly scheduled meeting of the Tyler City Council was called to order at 7:08 p.m., on November 7, 2005, at the Tyler Fire Hall. Mayor VanDeVere and Council Members Harper, Hunt, and Williamson present. Staff Present: Luger, Petersen, and Spindler. Guest Present: Larry Hansen from the Lincoln County Board and Bill Helget and Andrew Kehren from Bolton and Menk.
2. Motion by Hunt to approve the agenda with one addition. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
3. Motion by VanDeVere to approve the November 7, 2005 minutes. Seconded by Hunt and approved unanimously.
4. No items were presented under public express.
5. Luger informed the Council of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) which requires all cities to have at least one voting machine that is handicap accessible and a counter that can read the new ballots. The Federal Government has allocated money to each city and township to pay for one machine; to fund the second machine, the County recommends sharing voting districts with surrounding cities and townships. To lessen the cost, Hope and Marshfield townships are interested in sharing a voting district with the City of Tyler. After some discussion, Hunt motioned to share a voting district with Hope and Marshfield townships and to accept the Lincoln County Election Equipment Plan. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
6. Luger explained the situation regarding the real estate transfer to the Tyler School District. Glen Petersen wanted the Council to be aware of the property the City owns and which parcel the school district is interested in. No action needs to be taken.
7. At the October 3, 2005 Council Meeting, the Council discussed the possibility of adopting Lincoln County’s Meth Lab Ordinance. The topic was tabled to the November meeting since no one had the opportunity to read the ordinance. After reviewing the ordinance, Hunt asked if the City would be covered and if it would be held liable for any costs. Luger believed the City was covered under Lincoln County’s Ordinance and all costs incurred as a result of a meth lab would be billed to the landowner.
Spindler questioned why the City would not adopt their own ordinance by using Lincoln County’s Ordinance as a template and replacing every reference to Lincoln County with the City of Tyler. VanDeVere stated that most cities adopt the County’s Meth Lab Ordinance to be protected under the County and to keep consistency between cities.
Hunt asked Petersen if the City would be covered under the County’s Meth Lab Ordinance, even though it does not specifically mention the City of Tyler. Petersen believed that the City is covered under the ordinance and will remain covered unless the City enacts a separate ordinance.
8. Luger explained the situation regarding the city debit card and requested that the City Council authorize a debit card account from the general fund instead of a separate account. She affirmed that the account would be closely monitored and that a spending limit would be imposed with no cash withdrawals. Hunt agreed with the proposal and motioned to approve opening a city debit card from the general fund with a limit of $2,500. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
9. Petersen briefly outlined the City Code and requested that the Council set a public hearing and establish a committee to review the City Code in more depth. Petersen highlighted the more controversial ordinances and explained his logic behind some of the stipulations. VanDeVere and Hunt volunteered to be on the city code committee. Motion by Williamson to set the public hearing for the City Code on December 5th at 7:00 p.m. Seconded by Hunt and approved unanimously.
10. Petersen had nothing to report under the city attorney report. For TRED, Petersen briefly mentioned the progress on the hospital project. VanDeVere asked the status of the wetland delineation. Petersen stated that the wetlands south of Bergstrom Street were delineated, but the north side was not included in the report. VanDeVere asked if the State allows cities to diminish wetlands that are within city limits due to disease carrying mosquitoes. Andrew Kehren from Bolton and Menk had only heard of the State protecting wetlands, no matter what the circumstances.
11. Bill Helget, from Bolton and Menk informed the Council that there were two deductions from Partial Pay Estimate No. 6. The first deduction is for re-testing gravel on Bradley Street and the second deduction is for potential liquidated damages. Helget stated that Partial Pay Estimate No. 6 mostly consists of the alley paving project and recommended approval of payment.
Kehren explained to the Council that a letter from Bolton and Menk was sent to McLaughlin and Shultz informing them that their work is past the completion date and that the City is reserving their right to assess liquidated damages as stipulated in the agreement. McLaughlin and Shultz sent a letter in response giving justification for the late work. Kehren did not agree with all of McLaughlin and Schultz explanations and strongly recommended not paying the final payment until the work is complete.
Motion by VanDeVere to pay Partial Pay Estimate No. 6 in the amount of $91,475.02 to McLaughlin and Schultz. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously. Motion by VanDeVere to reject McLaughlin and Schultz request. Seconded by Harper and approved unanimously.
12. VanDeVere asked if the State is still paying for two-thirds of the costs associated with the airport. Luger responded that the State has made changes to the grant agreement due to lack of funding. Luger highlighted some areas of concern to the Council and asked for their feedback. Harper believed the City should accept the agreement despite the stipulations and motioned to accept the grant agreement for the Tyler Municipal Airport. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
13. Luger informed the Council that the City received a check for $601 from the Shaokatan Charity. VanDeVere asked if the check could be held for the budget committee to discuss, the Council agreed to hold the check and designate it on a later date.
14. VanDeVere commented on Officer Nafziger resignation and motioned to accept Nafziger’s resignation with thanks for his service effective November 21, 2005. Seconded by Hunt and approved unanimously.
Luger mentioned that the Personnel Policy does not refer to any procedure concerning reimbursement for sick and/or vacation time when an employee willingly resigns. She further mentioned that whenever the Personnel Policy does not reference a certain topic, it is at the discretion of the Council. After some discussion, the Council agreed to refer the manner to the Personnel Committee.
15. Spindler gave the monthly report for the Police Department where he reviewed the police report and highlighted some of the more unusual events. He mentioned that the individuals who stole the Halloween decorations were caught and sentenced to community service in lieu of criminal charges. Spindler also stated that the police dog was used last month for a demonstration and a school search.
Spindler requested authorization from the Council to open a credit card to purchase gas during non-business hours for emergency use only. VanDeVere asked if fuel is ever purchased from the Corner Store. Spindler replied that the police department has not purchased from them in the past and would prefer alternating between local gas stations. Hunt expressed concern over the possibility of the credit card being used to fuel personal vehicles since no one can monitor which vehicle is being fueled after hours. Spindler suggested turning in the receipt whenever an after-hour fuel purchase is made. Luger stated that if the credit card is being used excessively, the credit card agreement will be re-evaluated.
16. Lutterman had nothing to report for the Utility Department.
17. Luger gave the monthly utility board report where she informed the Council that a $15 fee has been implemented on all hand-delivered notices. She also mentioned that the utility deposit for Morning Sun residents has been changed due to many residents being unable to afford the deposit. Residents that have a good payment record will not be charged a deposit and those that have a questionable background will be required to pay 50% of their rental deposit for their utility deposit.
Luger stated that the Utility Board also recommends increasing the utility deposit from $50 to $100 to cover costs incurred by the City if the resident leaves un-expectantly. Motion by Hunt to increase the utility deposit from $50 to $100. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
VanDeVere reminded the Council of David Drown’s recommendation to raise water and sewer rates to cover some of the sewer and water improvements. The Utility Board recommends increasing the flat sewer rate from $4.00 to $5.00 and the sewer rate charge from $1.00 to $1.25. Motion by VanDeVere to raise rates as presented and to take affect on December 1. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
18. Luger had nothing to report for the Park and Recreation Board Report.
19. Luger reminded the Council of the Truth-in-Taxation hearing that is set for December 5, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. She also mentioned the discussion she had with Dale Krueger, the hospital administrator regarding the money that the hospital owes and the possibility of ending the lease with the City. VanDeVere asked if the hospital lease covers the REA and Clinic Project Loans. After some discussion, Luger agreed to research the issue further.
20. VanDeVere stated that the burn site will be closed on Wednesday nights after daylight savings time. He also recommended setting a date to close the burn site, the Council agreed to close the burn site the weekend after Thanksgiving unless there is a major snowstorm. The official last day of operation will be November 27, 2005 unless there is a major snowstorm prior to that date.
VanDeVere requested authorization from the Council to have the Police Department work with the Utility Department by writing tickets to residents who are violating the snow emergency so the Utility Department can remove snow in a timely manner.
21. Motion by VanDeVere to approve the bills. Seconded by Williamson and approved unanimously.
22. There being no further business before the Council, Mayor VanDeVere adjourned the meeting at 9:57 p.m.