MINUTES FOR CITY COUNCIL STUDY SESSION
Monday, March 16, 2009
Siskiyou Room, 51 Winburn Way
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 5:33 p.m.
Councilor Voisin, Jackson, Silbiger and Chapman were present. Councilor Navickas arrived at 5:35 p.m. and Councilor Lemhouse at 5:39 p.m.
1. Discussion of Water and Wastewater utility rates effective April 20, 2009.
Administrative Services Director Lee Tuneberg explained the rate increase consisted of water and sewer and the cost to the community would be an average of $6.66 per month through out the year based on a family of four living in a 1,500 square foot house on a corner lot during the winter months.
Mr. Tuneberg provided a presentation that included the following: (presentation attached)
Mr. Tuneberg stated it would be difficult to pay back the $700,000 loan from this year in bonds. The Cemetery Trust Fund has approximately $800,000 that qualifies as a Capital Interfund Loan with a five-year pay back period. If the Council decided to use the Cemetery Trust Fund as a Capital Interfund Loan, staff would identify a sequence of payments over the five years of the loan, restoring it with interest.
Mr. Tuneberg explained what was required for Water Revenue Bonds, Full Faith and Credit Bonds and the implications of lending money to the City from other City funds. Reducing internal costs would require an alternate revenue stream. He used the Technology Debt as an example stating enterprises contributed heavily to the annual $1.4million the City pays towards this debt. The General Fund was recently increased to keep property taxes and charges low, not paying franchise fees to this fund would create a tremendous shortfall.
City Administrator Martha Bennett suggested that if the Council went with tiered rates to have a 10% base charge on the low tier and increase the upper tiers accordingly. The problem with both funds is operating costs exceed revenue and due to the economic situation, the City has gone into money reserved for Systems Development Charges (SDC).
Mr. Tuneberg commented in the event of a dry summer and high tourism season, staff would ask for a rates decrease next year as long as the summer did not incur conservation or penalty charges.
2. Discussion of the FY10 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) project list, the overall FY10-15 CIP Program in concept, and the FY10 Capital Equipment Plan.
Public Works Director Mike Faught responded to an earlier inquiry regarding $500,000 in the proposed budget, explaining $350,000 was for the Wastewater Master Plan and $150,000 he recommended as reimbursement for each of the Systems Development Charges (SDC) funds.
Mr. Faught provided a presentation that included (presentation attached):
Mr. Faught explained the City is in permit review with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) regarding water temperature and will have five years to go through the study and determine a solution.
Mr. Faught noted that the Public Works Department would submit a Stimulus Package application for $4million April 15, 2009 for consideration pending the Council's approval.
Director of Electric Utilities Dick Wanderscheid explained projects for the Electric Department depend on new construction that is currently down this year but costs are recovered through fees.
Interim Information Technology Director Michael Ainsworth noted the department had deployed approximately six extensions using the mesh net systems obtained from Medford and added mesh net goes one tenth of a mile where Wi Max goes five miles.
Telecommunication Engineer Richard Holbo discussed desktop and laptop replacement periods explaining that staff used a three-year replacement period because of warranties and the increased maintenance costs staff and hardware incurred when previous replacement periods were extended.
Meeting was adjourned at 7:39 p.m.
Assistant to the City Recorder