MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
OF THE WALHALLA CITY COUNCIL
December 15, 2020
Present: Mayor Danny Edwards, Councilwoman Sarai Melendez, Councilman Danny Woodward, Councilman Keith Pace, Councilman Josh Roberts, and Brent Taylor, City Administrator.
Absent: Councilman David Underwood and Councilman Dennis Owens
Guest: Jason White Payne, White & Schmutz CPA, PA
The Mayor led the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
Approval of Minutes: On a motion by Mr. Woodward, seconded by Mr. Pace and unanimously carried, the minutes for the regular meeting on November 17, 2020 meeting were approved.
Discussion: There was no discussion.
Jason White, the City’s Auditor, presented the City’s Audit to Council. He supplied the Compliance Document for both the City’s Genera Fund and Water and Sewer Fund. He said, “There was a decrease of approximately $386,000 in the General Fund balance. The Hospitality Fund had a positive change of $37,000. The Water Fund had an increase $722,000 increase in Water and the Sewer Fund had an increase $122,000. This was an overall increase $845,000. He highlighted a large contribution that came from the Sewer Authority of nearly $1,000,000. If you take that out there is a loss of $270,000 for all funds combined.
The Mayor reminded everybody the money refunded from the Sewer Authority is designated for Sewer projects.
The Mayor inquired about the how the interest expense is reported for payment of the bonds and stated that sewer lost $111,000 for the year on operations. The Auditor confirmed his statement.
Mr. White showed a document with recommendations and Council responses. He also showed another document where budget adjustments had been made.
Mr. White recommends that we close the credit card account and have just one account that receives the revenues. Ms. Melendez asked, “What is reason for this account? Mr. White replied, “It was probably necessary for the City to begin accepting credit cards, but really isn’t needed now.
He also recommended we determine a minimum balance and invest the other funds into investment funds such as the Local Government Investment Pool. He recommends we have a minimum of 2-3 months of operating cash on hand. The City has really great cash balance. The City would should keep a $4-5 million on hand to maintain a good rating with bonding agencies.
We will need to have a depreciation fund for the water plant now that it is coming online. Mr. Roberts asked him to clarify what that means for the City. Mr. White explained, The City needs to set aside money during the expected useful life of the plant which is typically 50 years.
Mr. White also stated we needed to set up a couple of other funds as well.
Mr. Woodward asked, “If we need to pull money for an unexpected expense during the year, how would we do that?” Mr. White indicated a budget adjustment would need to be done to use reserve funds or investment funds.
Ms. Melendez asked, “What is a good budget time process?’ The Administrator said, “We will send packets out at the end of December and expect them returned from the Department Heads by the end of January. The first reading of the budget will be in April. Council deliberations will take place from April through June. The budget is adopted at second reading in June.” The Auditor said, “That is a good time frame.”
Reading of Resolutions and Ordinances:
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-19 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK- The motion was seconded by Mr. Pace and was carried unanimously.
Discussion: There was no discussion.
Mr. Pace made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-20 AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING THE MINIMUM REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE CONSTRUCTION, CONDITIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF ALL PROPERTY, BUILDINGS, AND STRUCTURES, BY PROVIDING THE STANDARDS FOR SUPPLIED UTILITIES AND FACILITIES AND OTHER PHYSICAL THINGS AND CONDITIONS ESSENTIAL TO ENSURE STRUCTURES ARE SAFE, SANITARY, AND FIT FOR OCCUPATION AND USE; AND THE CONDEMNATION OF BUILDINGS AND STRUCTURES UNFIT FOR HUMAN OCCUPANCY AND USE THE DEMOLITION OF SUCH STRUCTURES; KNOWN AS THE BUILDING CODE. – The motion was seconded by Mr. Roberts and was carried unanimously.
Discussion: There was no discussion
Mr. Roberts made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-21 AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING AUTHORIZATION FOR THE CITY TO ENTER A LEASE-PURCHASE OR SIMILAR AGREEMENT AND OTHER MATTERS The motion was seconded by Mr. Woodward and was carried unanimously.
Discussion: The Administrator explained this ordinance provides for the lease purchase of vehicles and equipment in the Street Department, Water and Sewer Department, Parks and Recreation Department. The Council approved this means of financing when they approved the budget earlier this year.
Mr. Pace made a motion to approve ORDINANCE 2020-22 AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND ORDINANCE 2012-01 GOVERNING GARBAGE, TRASH AND REFUSE. The motion was seconded by Mr. Roberts and was carried unanimously.
Discussion: The Administrator explained the changes in this ordinance. 1) It eliminates the confusion of whether a citizen gets debris removal if they don’t have garbage collection on a property. This mostly refers to vacant lots. 2) The Department will pick up debris left by a contractor although it is highly encouraged for the contractor to take it with him. 3) It reinforces a fee to citizens that put out debris more than 5 yards in a 30-day period. The charge is an additional $100 per 5 yards.
Unfortunately, at this point in the meeting the recorder failed to operate. No ordinances or resolutions were acted on and no other significant action took place.
Brent Taylor, City Administrator