Council Authorizes Bond Contracts a Solid Waste Provider and Changes to Police Handbook
February 20, 2018- Council waded through a behemoth agenda packet which tackled contracts, handbook policies and a budget schedule along with other agenda items. The following information provides glimpses and highlighting into large issues and should further curiosity grip the reader, city staff provides staggeringly deep information in the packets for the public’s perusal, also the staff member who presented is also a valuable contact for citizens with questions.
Buried in the changes to The City of Murphy Policies and Procedures Employee Handbook is an interesting item that applies a low cost solution to a stated morale issue. Jana Traxler, MS, SPHR, Human Resources Director presented. The following was provided in the staff report and picked from a larger list of changes.
Sick Leave Donations: When an employee has a qualifying event through the FMLA, they are eligible for leave donations through the shared leave program once they have exhausted all personal leave accruals. Currently, any employee in need of this remains anonymous on the shared leave request form that is sent out. However, numerous employees have requested that the name of the person in need be released as they would be more apt to donate their leave if they knew who would be receiving it. Employees have expressed that they do not want to blindly donate their leave to someone who they feel could be abusing the leave system. Accordingly, this change proposes to release the name of any employee requesting shared leave through the shared leave program. The City Attorney’s office verified this policy does not breach any HIPAA privacy laws. The City will require employees to sign a consent form for the release for their name and the form will also state that the nature of their illness or injury involved is private data and will not be disclosed.
Merit Pay Rate Increases: The City implemented a brand new performance evaluation tool in FY17 in conjunction with the new pay plan. The parameters for the plan included that non-sworn employees who received an “exceptional” rating qualified for up to 130% of the percentage rate Council approved for merit pay increases, employees who received an “acceptable” rating qualified for up to 80% of the percentage rate Council approved for merit pay increases, and employees who received an “unacceptable” rating are not eligible for a merit pay increase. The evaluation tool worked very well, but employee’s voiced a resounding dissatisfaction with an “acceptable” rating only qualifying for 80% of the Council approved merit percentage rate. This had a noticeable impact on morale. Accordingly, we are proposing to update the tool to reflect that employees who received an “acceptable” rating are eligible to receive up to 100% of the Council directed merit percentage rate. If every employee who received 80% of the 3% merit increase (2.4%) in FY17 had received 100% of the 3% instead, the fiscal impact of this change would have been an increase of $15,674 across all funds if it would have been in place during the last performance review period.
Tim Rogers, Public Services Director, presented several resolutions in association with execution of contracts associated to the approved bond issue. Council approved the following: Resolution Number 18-R-866 authorizing the City Manager to execute a General Services Agreement and Scope of Services with BW2 Engineers, Inc. for Project #2018-02-50.118 Travis Estates Drainage Improvements and Street Panel Replacement. Resolution Number 18-R-867 authorizing the City Manager to execute a General Services Agreement and Scope of Services with Binkley & Barfield, Inc. for Project #2018-02-50.113 - N. Maxwell Creek Road Improvements. Resolution Number 18-R-868 authorizing the City Manager to execute a General Services Agreement and Scope of Services with Neel-Schaffer, Inc. for Waters Edge Park Drainage Culvert Improvements, Right Turn Lane Northbound South Murphy Road @ F.M. 544, - McWhirter Road Drainage Improvements, and Timbers Addition Drainage Channel Improvements.
Council approved the Meter Technician position being transferred from the customer service department to the water department. They then approved the interdepartmental transfer of remaining unspent budget funds for the Meter Technician position from the customer service department to the water department, effective March 3, 2018.
Council approved Ordinance Number 18-02-1078 granting a public service franchise to Allied Waste Systems, Incorporated, d/b/a Republic Services of Plano, approving an exclusive contract for solid waste and recycling services within the City of Murphy, Karen L. Montgomery, CPA, Finance Director, presented. City staff provided the following in its summary of the agenda item which included additional information on the details, it has been condensed here: The contract with Republic Services has an overall value of $1,514,283. The cost of residential services is estimated to increase 26%, for continued weekly collection of trash, recycling and bulky waste. The cost for commercial dumpster services is an increase of 3%.
The contract sets forth the residential charge of $13.49 per month, as compared to the current charge of $10.55 per month. The city then adds 25.6% to cover franchise fees and administrative costs for a total monthly residential bill of $13.25. When the 25.6% is added to the new charge of $13.49, the residential monthly bill is $16.94, an increase of $3.69 per month.
No residential or commercial rates have increased in the last five years. Had council stayed with the current provider, rates would have increased and in a larger amount according to Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Berthiaume. Staff plans to revise the fee schedule to incorporate the new rates for the April 17th council meeting (bills will not rise until after this date). That will ensure the residential rates recover the estimated cost of service.
The contract includes $10,000 for the Keep Murphy Beautiful program, $2,000 of which is designated for the art contest winner truck wrap. And, it includes $5,000 for a public education and outreach program.
Council approved ordinance number 18-02-1079 amending the FY18 revenue, expenditures and fund balances in the police seizure fund. City staff provided the following summary: Chapter 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure sets forth the requirements for police departments and prosecutors regarding the proper procedures for seizure of property that was used in the commission of a crime. Chapter 59 also contains the requirements for how seized funds may be utilized.
The City of Murphy maintains a seized property fund, which is a restricted fund. When property is seized, the police department must notify Collin County and obtain approval to dispose of the seized property. Seized property that is legally marketable will be sold at auction, and the proceeds deposited into the City’s restricted seizure fund. The City must also remit 20% of the proceeds to Collin County. Property seized that is not legally marketable is disposed of by the Murphy police department.
Seizure funds can be used for the purchase of items related to criminal enforcement and crime prevention. Specific examples of items that can be purchased are protective body armor, uniforms, and vehicles and/or bicycles.
The current fund balance in the seizure fund is $15,595. The police department would like to spend approximately $8,400 for the purchase of tactical equipment to outfit two Murphy fire rescue personnel to utilize during tactical emergency situations and purchase and outfit three new police bicycles.
Council approved Ordinance No. 18-021080 eliminating the minimum acreage amounts for a planned development. It was stated to be in order to provide the City of Murphy with the highest and best use of properties. Jared Mayfield, AICP, Director of Community & Economic Development presented.
The FY 2019 City of Murphy Budget Calendar was discussed by Mike Castro, PhD, City Manager. It has a council retreat in May, Work Sessions in Jun/Jul and hearings in September.