BMA in Brief – March 25, 2019

To help you stay informed we will do our best to provide high level summaries for the bi-monthly Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA) meetings. These summaries will be fact based with a focus on key items covered in the meetings and summaries of the votes taken. Where needed we will cover important discussions individually.

6. Citizens to be Heard (7:19)There were four citizens that addressed the board. Three of them spoke in opposition to the location of a proposed cell phone tower on the campus of Dogwood Elementary. The contract for this project is not yet before the BMA but is anticipated in the next month or so as the construction is targeted for this summer while school is out. The fourth resident spoke about Senate Bill 1292 currently in the state legislature and his concerns about transparency.

The “Packets” with supporting documents provided to the Aldermen can be found by clicking here.

Agenda Amendments: The Agenda was amended with Items 10 (Alderman Liaison GAC) and Item 15 (Public to Private Street Conversion) being moved to the Consent Agenda.  Item b. (Sewer Manhole Rehabilitation) on the consent agenda was moved to the regular agenda as item 10.  Item c. (Change Order GPAC) on the consent agenda was moved to the regular agenda as item 15. Item g. (Supplement No. 1 On-Call Services) on the consent agenda was moved to the regular agenda as item 16.

10. Change Order – Sewer Manhole Rehabilitation (33:06)This proposal shifts funding (in the utility fund) from work that was budgeted for cured in place pipe work to the cover 35 additional manholes in the Woodridge and Poplar Estates Subdivisions. This increases the contract from $150K to $215K. This contract is part of a cooperative and uses a bid from Cookville, TN. The work is needed to reduce infiltration of rain water into the sewer system. Rain water in the sanitary sewer can contribute to backups in homes. Passed (5-0)

11. Approval of Warrant – Thornwood Planned Development – Sign Policy (39:28)The current code applied to this area requires that each business apply for a warrant individually with the city to allow for standard signage which is similar to what is permitted in other commercial districts. Passed (4-1)

12. Ordinance 2019-7 Amendment to Subdivision Ordinance – Parkland Dedication – Second Reading & Public Hearing (1:01:39)The amendment changes the wording to address the use of the term “Parks Districts” which the city does not have. The change also allows the Parks Director to review the preliminary plans prior to going to the Parks Commission. The ordinance also addresses the need for Smart Code properties to make land or financial contributions in lieu of park land. In the public hearing, one citizen addressed the board with concerns about the lack of a time limit to spend the funds collected via these fees and spoke in support of a proposed motion to review impacts. In discussion, a motion was made to apply a process for review of the location and potential usage on a case by case basis. City does not use true impact fees, they use negotiated development contracts to account for sewer usage and road items. Questions about whether park dedication is an impact fee. Amendment passes 4-1. There was additional discussion around the change in wording from Parks and Recreation commission to Parks Director and what the impact was to the commission and how the city charter worded the establishment of the Parks and Recreation Commission. Passed (3-2)

13. Ordinance 2019-8 Amendment to Vegetation Ordinance – Tree Preservation & Planting Requirements Second Reading & Public Hearing (1:30:44) The ordinance makes two specific changes. First, it establishes the option of payment in-leiu of tree dedication. Previously, trees would have to be replaced or dedicated on public land. In some cases neither of these options are viable. The funds from these payment should be used for maintenance or replacement of public trees. The second part establishes the option of a cap to the fee. It will be at the discretion of the Design Review Commission and requires a report from an independent arborist, at the applicants expense. The public hearing did not have anyone step forward to address the board on this subject. Passed (4-1)

14. Ordinance 2019-9 Amendment to Chapter 2 Article VI, Division 2 – Purchasing Second Reading & Public Hearing (1:55:20) This Ordinance change updated the amount of approvals for items requiring bids to be in line with state approved limits. The changes will help to streamline the approval process for these services. Section 2-328, the ordinance moves the threshold for requiring competitive sealed bids from $10K to $25K. It also moves the threshold for having three competitive quotes from a range of $4,000-$9,999.99 to a range of $10,000-$24,999. Section 2-331, this change allows the city administrator or Mayor to approve change orders up to $10K vs. the current threshold of $2,500. Section 2-337 raised the limit of bids needed for disposal of assets from $2,500 to $5,000. There was significant discussion around what could be approved under and how many transactions fall into this window. When questioned about visibility of spending for the BMA, staff indicated that only budgeted items could be purchased using this process. That being the case the BMA has visibility to proposed spending in the budget process and reporting on spending made using these approvals will be provided to the BMA. The public hearing did not have anyone step forward to address the board on this subject. Passed (3-2)

15. Change Order – GPAC Grove $5,175.83 (2:40:15) The contract increased to $3,955,219.67 reflecting a 0.13% increase to project. The change is needed to address “unsuitable soils” that have to be made to build the project. An additional change order will come to a future BMA to address additional areas of the site that need work for “unsuitable soils”. Passed (4-1)

16. Supplement 1 – FY19 On-Call Professional Services Agreement – Traffic Engineering (2:55:00)This is an increase to the contract from $50k to $70k or a 40% increase. The workload for budgeted items has been lower than planned however, several unbudgeted projects have resulted in the need for additional funds. Those include an in-depth study on Wolf River school traffic, striping plan for additional road work and preparation of TIP applications for state and federal funding. This firm provides traffic engineering and signal maintenance services for the city. Passed (4-1)

Author: Brian Ueleke

Husband, Father and Germantown resident. Offering experienced perspective with a Finance degree, MBA and 15 years of Corporate Finance experience in budgeting, operational and capital project analysis.

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