City Council Minutes
June 27, 2008
The City Council met in regular session on Friday, June 27, 2008 in Council Chambers. A quorum being present, Mayor Cleveland L. Rippons called the meeting to order at _:00 a.m. Those Commissioners in attendance were Commissioners Knox, Sydnor, Cephas, Brooks, and Travers.
Mayor Rippons said the purpose of this meeting is to discuss, refine, and approve the City's budget for the next fiscal year.
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion pursuant to the recommendation of the City Auditor and the City Treasurer to formally allocate and appropriate $1,536,635 of the City's sewer fund money to the City's general fund for the Year 2007 budget ending June 30, 2007. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. Rob Collison said this is basically a housekeeping item from the City auditors. As of June 30, 2007, that amount of funds needed to be transferred and allocated from the Sewer Fund to the City's General Fund. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to adopt the General Operating Fund Budget in the amount of $12,884,676. Commissioner Cephas seconded the motion. Ed Kinnamon said he met with 2 Commissioners on Monday and made some modification to the budget. An increase in the faith-based summer programs was made. There was also an adjustment from one part of the budget to another from operations to capital for renovations to the 307 Gay Street building. He said he was requested to increase his operations budget by an amount to allocate funding for a performance audit. He increased it by $70,000. The final budget that Mr. Johnson had to referred to yesterday is included with the one modification of taking 1 employee out of the Marina Fund and putting it in as a contractual position. Octavene Saunders requested that her organization not be known as a faith-based organization. They are a 501(c)3 community organization. Rob Collison said there is a governor's coordinator for faith-based initiatives and he will run these budget appropriations by that coordinator for correct compliance. Mayor Rippons asked Commissioner Sydnor if he would like to amend his motion to include the consideration that the City check for compliance. Commissioner Sydnor said normally they will give us information. We can have someone to make sure that they are in compliance and that would pertain to the churches. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Knox made a motion to adopt the Capital Fund Budget in the amount $3,665,225. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The passed unanimously.
Commissioner Cephas made a motion to adopt the Sewer Fund Budget in the amount $7,109,557. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Travers made a motion to adopt the Marina Fund Budget in the amount of $1,390,777. Commissioner Brooks seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Brooks made a motion to adopt the Municipal Utilities Commission Fund Budget in the amount $1,640,686. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Travers made a motion to adopt the monthly water rate at $7.90; the sewer rate at 250% of the basic water rate which would be $19.75 per month; and the disposal rate at $6.50 per month. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Rippons said Rob Collison has asked for a ruling on contributions to faith-based organizations. Rob Collison said they should have guideline to make sure that community-based services are public in nature and are in compliance with faith-based initiatives. Mayor Rippons said there are directives at the State level. Rob Collison said he will work with Kathy Foster to make sure they are adhered to. Commissioner Sydnor said these appropriations have been given out before and did not go through this process although we realize that it can be faith-based. Rob Collison said he is doing this to avoid the challenge after the fact. Commissioner Cephas asked if there is any problem with any other organization that the City donates funds to. We may wish to check them out also. Commissioner Sydnor said some of the organizations may be using a particular church but as long as they are not using the funds for a church function and are using them to benefit the youth of the community without any discrimination, they should be acceptable. Rob Collison said they cannot limit it just to their religious members. If they have a checklist, it could help us cover all bases. Octavene Saunders said for organizations such as the Pine Street Committee, they have to have their 990s up to date, their Form 1 up to date, and they have to be recognized as a non-profit to asked for donations. They have all those documents. Commissioner Knox made a motion that Kathy Foster to handle the paperwork. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. Commissioner Sydnor asked to be the liaison. The motion passed unanimously.
Commissioner Sydnor said the next regularly-schedule Council meeting will be July 14th. The Charter states that the new Council will be sworn in on the third Monday of July. Rob Collison said Council could cancel the July 14th meeting and then meet on July 21st and 28th. The Council used to meet every Monday. When they changed the meeting dates to the second and fourth Mondays, they did not amend this section of the Charter to state that the new Council would be sworn in at the meeting directly following the election. Ed Kinnamon when the Charter Amendment was drafted concerning Special Election, it was stated that the new Commissioner would be sworn in at the next Council meeting. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to hold the Council meetings on the third and fourth Mondays of July. Commissioner Sydnor seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously. Rob Collison said the meetings will be on July 21st and July 28th.
Ed Kinnamon said the City received a request from the Pine Street Committee to hold a carnival day on Wednesday, July 16th. They would like the 600 block of Pine Street blocked off from Cross Street to Cedar Street and a request from DPW to assist with street sweeping and trash receptacles. They would also like a noise variance from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Commissioner Cephas made a motion to approve the request. Commissioner Travers seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Steve Johnson said Wednesday night he gave Council a copy of 5 additional invoices and recommended that they all be deferred for payment until July 1st however today he would like Council to approve payment on July 1st. Commissioner Sydnor made a motion to approve payment of the invoices. Commissioner Knox seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Rob Collison said the settlement on the MUC building has been completed and the funds have been delivered to the City.
Rob Collison announced that last night Ed Kinnamon was recognized as Public Service Person of the Year by Rotary.
With no further business, Mayor Rippons adjourned the meeting at 10:50 a.m. I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and accurate account of the Council meeting Friday, June 27, 2008, insofar as I personally am aware.
Edwin C. Kinnamon, Clerk & Treasurer