One proposal is a retail sales tax rebate.
During Monday’s city council meeting, members discussed the definition of a new business, and whether to allow businesses that opened in 2018 and are not under a current business incentive policy into the new program.
New retail businesses would be allowed to choose the sales tax rebate program or the existing utility incentive program.
The discussion will continue at the next city council meeting.
In other business, City Attorney Olavee Raub reported the second real estate contract for the water exploration project has been received. The city hopes to finalize the purchase by the end of the year.
The complete Dec. 3 meeting minutes follow.
ELLIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING
December 3, 2018
CALL TO ORDER
Mayor David McDaniel called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m. Present were Council members Bret Andries, Holly Aschenbrenner, Susan Eaton, Jolene Niernberger, Dena Patee, and Bob Redger. Also present were Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman, City Clerk Amy Burton, Police Chief Taft Yates (arrived at 8:40 p.m.), and City Attorney Olavee Raub.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
AMENDMENTS TO AGENDA
Martin LaBarge, Steve Ferland, and Gary Luea.
Council member Bob Redger moved to approve the consent agenda containing the Minutes from the Regular Meeting on November 19, 2018 and Bills Ordinance #2058. Council member Jolene Niernberger seconded the motion. The Council approved the consent agenda 6-0.
PRESENTATIONS OF AWARDS, PROCLAMATIONS, REQUESTS & PETITIONS (HEARINGS)
Parks: Special Project
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman reported that no bids were received from contractors for construction of the South Park bathrooms. Prior to requesting the entire project be bid out, Council had asked Mr. Scheuerman to present individual bids for materials and labor for the City to construct the bathrooms. Those bids totaled $19,200. Mr. Scheuerman noted he would like to revisit the construction project in the spring; however, updated bids may need to be obtained. Council expressed concern that the individual bids have already been made public.
General Government: Policy
City Clerk Amy Burton and City Attorney Olavee Raub presented the proposed Retail Sales Tax Rebate Policy. Council discussed the definition of a new business, and whether to allow businesses that opened in 2018 and are not under a current business incentive policy into the new program. New retail businesses will be allowed to choose the sales tax rebate program or the existing utility incentive program. Council suggested several revisions to the policy for further consideration at the next Council meeting.
Mr. Scheuerman discussed possible options for the use of budgeted funds for investigation into the City’s inflow and infiltration (I&I) issue at the Wastewater Treatment Plant. An engineer has suggested the use of a flow meter during dry and wet periods to compare water amounts flowing through a particular area to try to narrow down where the I&I may be occurring. Mr. Scheuerman would like to wait until next year to hire a service contractor in order to combine the budgeted funds for 2018 and 2019 in hopes to get a reduced fee to camera more linear feet of sewer line. It was the consensus of Council to allow Mr. Scheuerman to obtain quotes for five flow meters.
General Government: Licenses/Permits
Council member Dena Patee moved to approve the Application for License to Sell Cereal Malt Beverages for Rich’s IGA, Weber’s Service & Repair, and Love’s Travel Stops. Council member Bob Redger seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
Council member Dena Patee moved to approve the purchase of polymer from Brenntag for the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the amount of $5,620.20, with funds to come from the Sewer Utility fund. Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
REPORTS FROM CITY OFFICIALS
Public Works Director Alan Scheuerman reminded residents that City Code prohibits residents and snow removal contractors from pushing or piling snow onto City streets. Council then discussed the desired specifications for the two pickups to be purchased in 2019.
Police Chief Taft Yates presented the Department’s Monthly Activity Report for November and the December Staff Calendar. Chief Yates reviewed an email from Ellis County Emergency Manager Darin Myers regarding a grant for the 911 Emergency systems.
City Clerk Amy Burton presented the October Health Insurance Savings Report. The City’s Christmas Party will be January 5th at the VFW Hall.
General Government: Financial
The Clerk’s office has experienced an influx of insufficient checks returned for various payments. This is putting a strain on the Petty Cash fund, where the insufficient checks are accounted for until collected. After further discussion regarding procedures and the use of the fund, Council member Bret Andries moved to direct City Attorney Olavee Raub to draft an ordinance increasing the Petty Cash Fund to $2,500 effective December 1st, and to authorize City Clerk Amy Burton to increase the Petty Cash fund immediately due to the emergency situation of lack of funds available. Council member Dena Patee seconded the motion. The motion carried 6-0.
City Attorney Olavee Raub reported that the second real estate contract for the Water Exploration Project has been received. Ms. Raub has started preparing the closing documents and hopes to have the land purchase finalized by the end of the year.
Ms. Raub provided information regarding the possible ordinance suggested by the League regarding small cell communication antennas that was discussed at the last meeting. The FCC has adopted new rules limiting state and local control; however, governments have the ability to adopt an ordinance specifying aesthetic requirements. Ms. Raub will provide additional information in the Council packets for the next meeting.
Mayor Update and Announcements
Council member Bob Redger moved and Council member Holly Aschenbrenner seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried 6-0. The meeting adjourned at 8:56 p.m.