Council Holds Work Session, Regular Meeting Combo Event
July 3, 2018- City Council held a combined work session and regular meeting on Tuesday July 3rd. The work session was a conversation about storm water utility fees and the regular meeting was a mix of administrative items and approvals.
The current storm water fee is a flat rate of $3 per each parcel of property. This means that regardless of status as residential or commercial, all property owners in the City are paying the same rate even though commercial properties contribute to storm water runoff much more than residential. Current revenues in the amount of approximately $224,000 annually is allocated for storm water related operations and maintenance. Council recommended retaining a flat fee rate for residential properties (amount to be determined), and using the amount of impervious area to determine specific amounts for non-residential properties. Council debated the merits of creating a “credit” program so that property owners could improve their land and receive a lower fee, as well as the concept of exempting certain property owners from the fee; no decision on these items will be made until the storm water fee study returns information on the impact of these items.
City Manager Castro made his upcoming events update, informing council that the city hall entrance by the pond will continue to be closed through July 22nd. A Low-cost vaccine clinic will be held Saturday, July 21, from 10:00 AM until 12:00 PM at the animal shelter facility (located behind the Community Center at 203 North Murphy Rd. )
The City Manager was approved by Resolution Number 18-R-88 to execute a contract effective September 1, 2018 with Brinson Benefits for benefits advisory services, FSA/HRA/COBRA administration and telemedicine services; Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas (BCBSTX) for group medical insurance; Ameritas for group dental insurance; VSP for group vision insurance; Cigna for long-term disability insurance; Alliance Work Partners for the Employee Assistance Program; and Dearborn National for basic life and AD&D insurance.
Council passed Ordinance Number 18-07-1094 authorizing the issuance of Tax Notes in the amount of $1,085,000 for security system improvements to municipal buildings and facilities, the purchase of equipment and machinery relating to information technology, and computer networks and audio visual systems for the City.
Resolution No. 18-R-884 appoints Weaver and Tidwell, LLP to perform the City’s annual audit. Previously Patillo, Brown and Hill LLP performed the audit but is limited to 5 years and no longer eligible. Out of eleven requests put out, the City received three proposals, three declines and no response from the other firms. The three proposals received were scored using a matrix of criteria (technical, financial and references). According to staff, “After evaluating the RFP’s (Requests For Proposal), one of the proposing firms was eliminated from consideration and interviews were conducted with the other two firms. Weaver and Tidwell were scored the highest on all three evaluation criteria and the interviews. Their proposal reflects a 30% discount off the standard fee and the Finance staff will be extended invitations to Weaver continuing professional education (CPE) events. In addition, we checked Weaver's references and they all came back strong especially in the areas of thoroughness and responsiveness.”
Water conservation continues to be on the agenda as Murphy has exceeded the water usage CAP and will now be subject to higher rates. Some interesting information concerning the Splash Pad was given. At the beginning of the season; the splash pad used approximately 225 gallons per minute. Through reductions in flow, open dates and times of operation, this usage has been reduced to 130 gallons per minute. Council’s conservation efforts have borne the following, in 2017, the splash pad usage totaled 19,000,000 gallons. Due to the aforementioned reductions, the 2018 projected total is approximately 5,000,000 gallons.
In a correction to a previous article, Ordinance 18-07-1093 amending Chapter 24 of the code to allow donation boxes was passed at this meeting not the previous meeting as reported last issue.