BMA in Brief May 13, 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.

The supporting documents provided to the Alderman for this meeting can be found by clicking here.

A video of the full meeting can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.

Budget Work Session 5/8/19: In preparation for the proposal of the FY20 Budget a public  work session was held on 5/8/19. The budget was reviewed in about an hour and twenty minutes. All of the department heads were present to answer questions however, there were only a few. Those questions included the impact of the $2.5M grant to GPAC and questions about expense in the special revenue drug fund. The City Administrator identified budget amendments that will need to be made based on the GPAC grant and FAC recommendation for school security funding.

6. Citizens to Be Heard – (7:51) Two spoke in favor of GCC Purchase. Fourteen residents spoke against the cell phone tower citing health, environmental and property value impacts, one person spoke in favor of the cell phone tower.

Note: Alderman Massey was not present for the Executive Session or BMA meeting. No notice was given as to the reason for the absence.

9. Preliminary Agenda – (1:20:21) Reviewed in executive session and questions were asked and answered. No adjustments were made or proposed and the Preliminary Agenda was approved (4-0)

10. Contract – Germantown Athletic Club Renovations Phase IV – (1:22:10) Phase IV is the addition of a Mezzanine and sitting area for a cafe. It will include a rework of the entry and check in desk. There will be additional activity space in the lower level. The funds for these improvements come from the dues generated by members and not from tax revenues. This phase totals $1,412,493. Passed (4-0)

11. Supplement No. 6 – Germantown Athletic Club Renovations Phase IV CEI – (1:29:29) This item is for the approval of the contract administration and construction inspections. This fee is $29,500 for Phase IV and brings the total for all the phases of this project to $415,000. Passed (4-0)

12. Ordinance No. 2019-1 – Ordinance to Adopt the FY20 Budget – First Reading – (1:32:14) The proposed budget is for $58.9M for the General fund and $22.5M of Capital improvements. The proposed budget does not include any impacts for the potential purchase of the Germantown Country Club. The purchase impact is unknown and would be added as an amendment when additional details would be finalized. A fifteen page summary of the budget is presented as the Ordinance which can be found by clicking here. Monday, June 10, 2019 will be set as the public hearing for the budget. Amendments to the budget were made based on the feedback for the FAC related to school security. The funds will be targeted via grants and if not successful the FAC recommends provided funds in the FY21 budget to pay in July 2020 to meet security upgrades. Additional amendments were made to funding related to GPAC to account for the $2.5M grant from the state of Tennessee. Passed (4-0)

13. Ordinance No. 2019-2 – Year-End Budget Adjustments – First Reading – (2:18:25) An extensive list of adjustments was presented to account for changes during the year. The detailed list can be reviewed by clicking here. When reviewing this list note that the changes is the total in the “Proposed Adjustment” column of the document. Second reading and public hearing will be held on June 10, 2019. Passed (4-0)

14. Ordinance No. 2019-3 – Real and Personal Property Taxes – First Reading – (2:33:08) This Ordinance sets the 2020 tax rate at $1.95, no change from the FY19 rate. A second reading and public hearing will be held on June 10, 2019. Passed (4-0)

15. Ordinance No. 2019-4 – Germantown Municipal School District Year-End Budget Adjustments – First Reading – (2:35:12) Similar to the BMA, GMSD must amend their budget for actual spending that hits throughout the year. A 31 page summary of the changes can be found by clicking here. A second reading and public hearing will be held on June 10, 2019. Passed (4-0)

16. Ordinance No. 2019-10 – Rezoning of a 15.229 Acre Portion of the Fulmer Property (South Side of Wolf River Blvd.) from “R” to “O” Office Zoning – First Reading – (2:38:30) This item is the rezoning of 15 acres of the 190 of the land known as Fulmer Farms. The section of land in question borders Wolf River Parkway with the Vineyard subdivision on the western border. The purpose of the proposed property is for medical office space which is consistent with the use of other land along this section of Wolf River. Concept site plans can be reviewed by clicking here. A second reading and public hearing will be held on June 10, 2019. Passed (4-0)

BMA in Brief – April 22, 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.

The agenda packets sent to the aldermen can be found by clicking here.

The whole meeting can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here.

6. Citizens to Be Heard – (5:13) There were seven citizens that addressed the board of Mayor and Aldermen. Three of them addressed the city’s interest in purchasing the Germantown Country club. Two spoke in favor and one spoke against. Four speakers addressed the Board on the topic of a cell tower at Dogwood Elementary School. All spoke against the potential approval of this project.

9. Beer Board – (39:38) Vote to issue beer permit for Mantra India Grill (Passed 5-0)

10. Preliminary Agenda(42:27) (Passed 5-0)

11. Contract – Farmington Playground Renovation Phase 2 – (43:21) Parks and Recreation Director Pam Beasley presented the contract from Legacy Construction in the amount of $433,857. She discussed the challenges of Phase one, including unmarked and outdated utility lines maps and rain delays. There were no change orders to phase one and the work was done to city standards. Construction will not start until School is out for the summer and efforts will be made to keep park equipment open as much as possible over the summer. There will be a basketball goals on the multiple purpose court (height not yet determined). (Passed 5-0)

12. Contract – Safe Routes to School Phase 1 & 2 – (59:47) Project funded by TDOT through grants. The project addresses the “Safe Routes to School” program with the goal of addressing safety issues within a one mile radius of the school. The one mile radius is the standard due to bussing rules that only provide bussing within a one mile radius. The project is funded by the city then reimbursed once work is complete and meet TDOT standards. Total contract is $754,160.50. (Passed 5-0)

13. Contract – Signal Upgrades – (1:07:00)The upgrades are for three intersections. Those intersections include Poplar Pike & Hacks Cross, Poplar Pike & Germantown Rd/Arthur and Poplar Ave & Kirby. Contract total value is $1,059,753.40. This project is 100% reimbursable by TDOT. (Passed 5-0)

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)

Germantown? There’s an App for That!

At the January 29 Technology Commission it was announced that City would soon be launching the “Germantown on the Go” app. The app is currently available in the App Store for both Apple and Android. The city has been testing the app for the last several months and setting up procedures to address the community feedback expected from the app.

Community feedback? Yes, the app will allow you to interact with the city to address many of the day to day concerns and questions that you see pop up on social media. Who do you call about that pot hole? Well, take a picture of it, tag it on a map and send it to the city. Animal complaints? Tag it on the map, write a note and post a picture. In addition to issues with roads and animals, the app allows you to report issues for Code Enforcement, drainage, traffic and trash.

The app allows easy access to the city calendar, news, contacts and social media posts. This new way to connect to the city gives citizens an easy way to stay informed and address concerns in the palm of their hands. Remember, you can always find more info on the City Web page. Expect to see more from the City in coming weeks as they promote the launch of this new tool.

 

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BMA in Brief – February 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.

The Consent Agenda was amended to move the approval Professional Services agreement of the Golf Course Appraisal to the regular agenda. The commission appointments were moved to the Consent Agenda. There were no Citizens to be Heard.

The meeting can be viewed by clicking here.

9. Consent Agenda – Passed as amended 5-0 (begins approximately 15:14)

10. Appointments to Commissions – Moved to Consent Agenda

11. Contract – Winchester Road Resurfacing Project – 80 % of this project is funded by a TDOT grant of $1.1M. The city match for this project is $296K. The bid came in over budget and the Metropolitan Planning Organization agreed to fund the overage. Passed 5-0 (begins approximately 16:54)

12. Supplement No. 1 – Construction Engineering and Inspection Services – Winchester Rd – This contract is required to make sure that the project meets the state of Tennessee requirements due to this being funded by a TDOT grant. This will be funded as well 80/20 by TDOT grant with the city’s portion being $142K. Passed 5-0 (begins approximately 32:42)

13. Development Contract 1226 and Final Site Plan for New Cell Tower @ Madonna Learning Center – This is a T-mobile tower being moved from a MLGW transmission tower to a new stand alone tower on the Madonna Learning Center property. The Design and Review Commission (DRC) approved a design of a 140 foot mono pole design as opposed to the mono pine design. Alderman Massey moved to send the review the back to the DRC, seconded by Alderman Sanders. The motion to return the proposal to DRC failed 2-3 with Aldermen Massey and Sanders voting yes. Alderman Sanders moved to amend the motion to classify the tower as a Mono Pine, seconded by Vice Mayor Gibson. The amendment failed 2-3 with Alderman Massey and Sanders voting yes. Contract passed as submitted. Passed 4-1 (begins approximately 37:25)

14. Ordinance No. 2019-5 – Amendment to Zoning Ordinance Chapter 23 – Smart Code: Site Standards 3rd and Final Reading – This is the final reading for a change to the code for curb cut widths to address issues with access for emergency equipment. Approved 5-0 (begins approximately 1:10:11)

15. Ordinance No. 2019-6 – Amendment to Zoning Ordinance Chapter 23 – Wireless Transmission Facility 3rd and Final Reading – This change to the ordinance has two parts. First, it allows staff to approve minor changes to existing cell towers. Those types of changes currently require approval of the BMA. Staff updated the language to clarify approvals were only for existing facilities. The second change places process in place for the coming small cell technology. Alderman Massey moved to send the wording back to the Planning Commission and the motion failed due to a lack of a second. Alderman Sanders moved to amend the wording as proposed by staff and that amendment passed 4-0 with Alderman Massey abstaining. Alderman Sanders moved to change the wording to allow for and 18 inch pole and passed 4-0 with Alderman Massey abstaining. The extra two inches allow all the equipment associated with small cells to stay inside the pole. Alderman Massey moved to postpone the vote until staff presents a redline version of the document. The motion to postpone failed 2-3 with Aldermen Massey and Sanders voting yes. The amended ordinance was approved 4-1 (begins approximately 1:13:15)

16. Ordinance No. 2019-7 Amendment to Subdivision Ordinance Chapter 17-60 – Parkland Dedication – First Reading – 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. Public Hearing date: March 25, 2019 First Reading Approved 4-1 (begins approximately 1:48:19)

17. Ordinance No. 2019-8 Amendment to the Vegetation Ordinance Chapter 22 – Tree Preservation and PlantingFirst Reading –  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.  Public Hearing date: March 25, 2019 Passed 4-1 (begins approximately 2:07:19)

18. Ordinance No. 2019-9 Amendment to Chapter 2, Article VI, Division 2 – Purchasing – First Reading – 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.  Passed 4-1 (begins approximately 2:18:07)

19. Professional Services Agreement Appraisal – Germantown Country Club – This is approval for an appraisal for the Germantown Country Club property. The city is interested in bidding when the trustee for the family issues a request for proposal (RFP), estimated to happen in March. The appraisal helps to justify the proposed price when the city makes their potential offer. The offer will need to be reviewed by the Financial Advisory Commission and BMA for approval prior to submission to the trustee. Approved 5-0 (begins approximately 2:41:32)

20. Parliamentarian and debate of timeline of public debate during agenda items. This item was removed as there was not a 2/3 majority to add the item. A vote to reconsider passed 3-2 (begins approximately 2:48:10)

Beer Board Hearing – Suspension/Revocation of Beer License – The Fresh Market – Fresh Market was found guilty of selling beer to a minor and fined $1,500 for the offense. This was the fourth offense at this location dating back to 2006. Fine approved 5-0. (begins approximately 2:55:45)

 

BMA in Brief (Board Retreat) – February 23, 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.

The BMA meet for a retreat session in the Economic and Community Development building on Saturday, February 23. No votes were taken and the meeting was not streamed via the usual methods. The meeting ran the full four hours.

Water Tower Discussion – Public Works Director Bo Mills and Assistant Director Andy Sanders gave a presentation about the need for an additional water tower. The discussion centered around the lack of a back up for the current water tower. Several risks associated with the lack of a back up tower included lack of fire support, air in the water mains causing damage to city and residential plumbing, and health risk associated with air bringing bacteria into the system. Sites were discussed including the new school and Forest Hill Irene south of Winchester. Alternatives were also discussed including an underground pumping system. We will write a separate blog post covering the details of this topic.

Sales Tax Issues – Discussion revolved around the state’s allocation of sales tax revenues. Issues were raised about the allocation of taxes collected via internet sales. The Tennessee Municipal League, a group of municipalities that advocate together at the state level, has submitted legislation to address the concerns of cities like Germantown. Germantown actually worked on similar legislation in prior years but lacked broader support across the state to see it approved. This will be a key item in the city’s legislative agenda in Nashville this year.

Legal Update – This was a closed door session for city officials only. The media and community members were required to step out of the room and remove their cameras.

Germantown Country Club – Parks and Recreation Director Pam Beasley gave a summary of the discussion held by the team that pulled together the Parks Master Plan. They met a couple of weeks ago to discuss the desire of the community to purchase the land and potential uses for the land. The group recommended purchase of the land however, potential uses would be decided after the purchase. The city has ordered an appraisal of the land and plans to respond to an RFP (Request for Proposal or Bid process) from the trustee of the land. This process will happen quickly over the next month or two. The city’s capacity to issue debt to purchase this land was also discussed. The Parks and Recreation Commission and Financial Advisory Commission will meet to address concerns in the coming weeks.

CIP & School Projects – The city has requested departments provide their proposed projects for the FY20 budget. There are 42 projects that have been submitted as part of this process and they will be prioritized in coming budget discussion. There is a work session scheduled for CIP (Capital Improvement Program) on March 27. There are several projects on the CIP list that will be dependent on prioritization by the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization). The MPO is the local government organization that prioritizes Federal funds for municipal project.  As we reported earlier the city has made its list of requests for State and Federal funding and should receive the approved list in late May or June. The initial FY20 request for school projects total $7.2M including an expansion to Houston Middle School. The cost for the expansion at HMS were originally estimated to be $5M but need to be updated as construction costs have increased since the project was first put on the 5 year CIP plan. The city is also funding $200K per year for the next 5 years for the Houston High Field House. Other GMSD requests for FY20 include another $500K for security upgrades ($500K was spent in FY19) and $1.5M for boiler upgrades to Riverdale. To facilitate alignment Jason Huisman, the Assistant City Administrator, sits on the facilities committee for GMSD. The city is working with GMSD to build out their 5 year CIP needs and make sure the budget includes their requests.

Rules of Engagement – The only discussion on this topic was the mention of an orientation session with the new Parliamentarian, which will be on Monday before the BMA meeting.

Moratorium Update – This update was brief as it began with about 20 minutes left in the four hour session. No results were presented. Staff discussed that the focus had been on four major areas: Schools, Public Safety, Fire/EMS and Infrastructure/Transportation Systems. The city has gathered a lot of data and is working to process it into impact by district, not just an all up city level. Legal Counsel advised the Aldermen that any actions taken should be in line with or supported by the data. The Attorney cited that courts recently held that Covington’s apartment moratorium violated the Fair Housing Act as it wasn’t supported by the type of analysis currently being done by Germantown. Staff stated that the goal is to present the results from the study in April or May.

BMA in Brief – February 11, 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.Screen Shot 2019-02-12 at 8.04.25 PM.png

The video recording for this meeting is not currently available via the usual Youtube links. The video can be accessed through the City web page by clicking here and scrolling down “Archived Videos”.  Simply click on February 11, 2019 meeting to watch the video. The “Consent Agenda” was modified to remove item “a.” and make it item 15 on the regular agenda. There were no “Citizens to Be Heard” submissions and no citizens spoke in any of the public hearings.

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9. Beer Board:

a. Leadership Germantown Trivia Night – permit for the sale of beer at the annual fundraiser to be held on February 23 at the Great Hall. Passed 4-1, Alderman Massey voting “No”

b. Exxon Food Mart (1300 South Germantown Rd.) – permit for sale of off premise consumption beer. Passed 5-0

10. Consent Agenda – Passed 5-0

11. Ordinance 2019-5 – Amendment to Smart Code Site Standards 2nd reading – Wording change to allow for driveway widths of 30.  This addresses an issue in the wording and allows for curb cuts that accommodate emergency equipment. Staff will research potential wording changes for the 3rd reading to address potential issues with TDOT and curb cuts on Poplar. Passed 5-0

12. Ordinance 2019-6 Amendment to Wireless Transmission Zoning 2nd reading – Amendment addresses two issues. The first issue is around existing macro towers requiring BMA approval for routine upgrades (e.g. antenna replacement, 4G to 5G upgrades). The second part of this amendment is placing rules around the placement of “Small Cell” technology in the city. Passed 3-2 Aldermen Sanders and Massey voting “No.”

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13. Telecommunications Franchise Agreement – XO Communications – Ten year franchise agreement to allow XO Communications, a Verizon subsidiary, to install fiber optic communications underground in right-of-way. Passed 5-0

14.Wireless Equipment Upgrade Verizon @ OLPH – Approval of antenna upgrades to the existing tower at OLPH. Passed 5-0

15. Shelby County Schools Facility Usage Agreement – Extension of the agreement to allow Germantown Middle and High to use Germantown Parks and Recs facilities. The agreement also allow Germantown Parks and Rec to use school basketball courts for youth leagues. Passed 5-0