To: Mayor Allen Green
Vice Mayor Dennis Kennedy
Council Member Bob Ford
Council Member Donald Burnette
Council Member Robert Pohlmann
From: Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager
Subject: Agenda Commentary for Regular City Council Meeting of
March 20, 2012
Date: March 13, 2012
The workshop for March 20 is the Fire Pension Board. It will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.
Item 1 - Pledge of Allegiance
Item 2 - Silent Invocation
Item 3 - Roll Call
B. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION (Non-agenda – 15 minutes)
C. CONSENT AGENDA
Item 4 - Approval of Minutes
Attached are the City Council meeting minutes from the meetings held recently. Should you have questions, please feel free to contact Robin or me.
Attached are the monthly reports from the Community Development Department. Should you have questions, please feel free to contact Wayne Clark or me.
With the move to County dispatch for 911 the remaining hole in lost productivity is Police Motors. This can be corrected with the installation of rugged laptops on the motorcycles which will give the Officers the benefit of filing crash reports in the field. Currently the officer must return to the PD to complete the report. This is a loss of approximately 30 minutes per report. If we enable the officers to enter the majority of the information into the report while on scene, and then complete the report within a few minutes after clearing the scene without having to return to the PD, this would allow each motor officer to remain out on the road for longer periods of time, available for calls, and thereby reducing the response times to those calls for service. Currently Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach and VCSO are using this technology to great advantage. Project costs for the five rugged Panasonic Toughbook’s is approximately $19,000.00.
For further information contact Tony Marino, Director Information Technology.
Staff recommends approval of the purchase and installation rugged laptops on Port Orange PD motorcycles.
Information Technology infrastructure consists of a very elaborate and complex system of Ethernet switches, routers, IP cameras, servers, fiber optics and Cat 5e wiring and wiring closets to operate the City network of Email, IP telephony, webservers, security Cams and applications software. In accordance with City policy and procedures, the department implements competitive bid and purchasing practices whenever possible. In some instances, however, it is not practical to obtain competitive quotes due to the specialized nature of certain wiring and equipment installation requirements unique to the Port Orange environment. Equipment standardization and wiring standards are a very important consideration. For example, the City has built new facilities in the past where our current vendor had to re-wire the facility due to the building contractor’s work not interfacing with our network standards. Our current wiring vendor, Teitjen technology has wired the new Police Department, Adult Activity Center, and City Hall and is familiar with our wiring standards. DiamondQuest has installed security network cameras for our Public Utilities department at their water plants, for Parks and Rec at the Adult Activity Center and for IT at City Hall utilizing equipment that interfaces with our software. Few vendors are utilized on an annual basis for specific products and services that exceed $25,000. Staff recommends the waiver of bid procedures and validation of the following vendors as a sole source for standardization purposes.
Tietjen Technology – Network infrastructure wiring and layout.
Diamondquest – Network security cameras
For further information contact Tony Marino, Director Information Technology.
Staff recommends approval to waive bid procedures and validate Diamond Quest, and Tietjen Technology as Sole Source Vendors for standardization purposes
In accordance to Florida Statutes Section 119.071(5) we do not have the authority to release information that would identify or locate a child/children who participate(s) in or the identity and location of the parents or guardian of a child/children who participate(s) in the City recreational programs except as required by law or a court order. In order for the City to participate as a Charter Organization in the Babe Ruth League, Inc., a release of this information is required to be provided along with rosters including participant information. Since the City may have liability for a release, it is recommended to have the Permission, Release and Waiver for Participation in Babe Ruth League Baseball/Softball form signed and notarized by each parent/guardian for the authorization and release of this protected information after they have received and reviewed a full disclosure before signing. In order for the City to participate in the Babe Ruth League, these forms must be completed by each participant and rosters with information provided to Babe Ruth League, Inc. prior to the first game scheduled for opening day of April 4, 2012. Permission, Release and Waiver for Participation in Babe Ruth League Baseball/Softball form attached.
Staff recommends approval of the form for Permission, Release, and Waiver for Participation in Babe Ruth League, Baseball/Softball.
The City solicited proposals, on RFP #12-24, for Lending or Investment Banking Services for the refunding of the City’s Water and Sewer Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2003. Six proposals were received from investment bankers and three from banks. After reviewing all proposals, the committee selected 3 investment bankers to come to the City and conduct an oral presentation. The committee then ranked the 3 investment bankers and the results are as follows:
1) Merchant Capital
2) First Southwest
3) RBC Capital Markets
The City has not ruled out the option of entering into a commercial bank loan with one of the banks that submitted proposals. This recommendation, to use an underwriter or enter into a commercial bank loan, will be based on what is in the best interest of the City. Please also see the attached letter from our Financial Advisor which provides additional details.
Staff recommends approval of the underwriter rankings of #1) Merchant Capital, #2) First Southwest, and #3) RBC Capital Markets, to allow staff to work with Merchant Capital on a contingent basis until a later date when a bond purchase agreement would be approved by the City Council authorizing Merchant Capital to serve as underwriter for the refunding of the City’s Water and Sewer Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2003 and, at the same time, continue discussions with JP Morgan Chase and PNC Bank for an appropriate alternative to bond issuance.
Quotes for appraisal services were requested from appraisers on the State of Florida’s list of qualified appraisers for State land acquisition. Twelve (12) appraisers whose offices are located in Volusia County were invited to submit quotes. Three (3) appraisers submitted quotes for appraising the sixteen (16) parcels that are the subject of RFP #12-2. A map of the subject parcels or portions of parcels to be appraised is attached for reference.
The bids received were $30,000; $29,600 and $21,000, submitted by Doyle Appraisal Services, Inc.; George Goodman Consulting, Inc.; and Pomeroy Appraisal Associates of Florida, Inc., respectively. All three (3) firms indicated they could complete the job within 45 – 60 days.
City Resolution No. 12-9, approved by the City Council on February 2, 2012, appropriated $50,000 in FY 2011 Carry Forward Funds to account #001-1000-519-31-13 for these appraisal services.
Staff recommends approval of waiver of purchasing procedure for one (1) vendor with a cumulative total quote that exceeds the $25,000 bid threshold and to authorize the Mayor and City Manager to execute Agreements for Appraisal Services with the two (2) vendors that gave the lowest quotes.
City Manager Comments: Should the City not receive any proposals to swap, sale, or trade land, then this item will be removed from the Agenda. In the RFP, there is a requirement for appraisals to determine the value of the property.
Dredging & Marine Consultants (DMC) designed and permitted the Russell Property Floating Dock and ADA Ramp System. Because of their previous work on the Russell launch facility, it is in the best interest of the City to restate and amend DMC’s R.F.S.Q # 08-02 Professional Services contract to oversee the construction of the dock and ramp system. The contract would include contract administration, bidding services, contract preparation, and inspection services.
Attached is a budget breakdown of DMC’s proposed services in the amount not to exceed $30,700.00. Included in the budget is sufficient number of inspection hours (214 hrs.) and on an as needed basis onsite construction resolution ($5,700.00).
Funding is available in Parks and Recreation’s account number: 315-5100-572-6397 (Project #QPC036). The City secured a $100,000 grant from the Florida Inland Navigational District (FIND) to construct the launch and ramp system on the Russell property.
Staff recommends approval to restate and amend Dredging & Marine Consultants’ Russell Property Floating Dock and ADA Ramp System R.F.S.Q # 08-02 Professional Services contract to include contract administration, bidding services, contract preparation, and inspection services, and authorization the Mayor and City Manager to sign and execute all required contract documents.
City Manager Comments: There were three components to the DMC service proposal. The first relates to services related to the bidding process. As you will recall, this bid was originally rejected by the City Council as being outside the budget. The project was rebid with modifications. The second aspect is the inspection services. The third aspect of the contract is onsite construction resolution. This a flat fee amount for the three services.
The Public Utilities Department has been working closely with Quentin L. Hampton and Associates over the past 20 years to develop and improve our utility atlas and composite utility as-built mappings. Under this proposed scope of services, QLHA will accurately update the current configuration of the City’s potable water, sanitary sewer and reclaimed water system maps throughout our City’s utility service area. Since our last update of the utility atlas (2008) and composite utility mappings (2010) there have been substantial utility improvements to the City’s three utility systems, see attached projects listings. Funding for this project is available in Utility Mapping MMP001, account # 42103005366397.
Staff recommends approval of the issuance of a purchase order to the firm of Quentin L. Hampton and Associates, Inc. (QLHA) per Contract Addendum No. 24 pertaining to utilities mapping services in the amount of $59,370.00 and to authorize the Mayor and City Manager to execute the associated contract documents.
D. TABLED ITEMS
Item 13 - Board Appointments
This item will remain on the table. The City has received one additional applicant for this Board.
E. REPORT FROM ADVISORY BOARDS
Bobby Ball will attend to bring you up to date on the activities of the Citizen Advisory Committee for the Transportation Planning Organization.
F. FINANCE (John Shelley)
Attached is the proposed Solid Waste Rate Resolution that when authorized, becomes effective April 1, 2012. Based on our new Solid Waste Contract with Waste Pro. of Florida, residential rates have decreased. The attached rate resolution adopts rates that reduce the residential rates according to the new contracted rates. The existing residential rate is $18.80 and the proposed new rate is $18.30 or a reduction of $0.50 per month. Although commercial charges have increased we are not proposing to increase commercial rates at this time. Should you have any questions pertaining to the attached rate resolution, John Shelley will be available to answer inquiries.
Staff recommends approval of Resolution 12-13.
City Manager Comments: At the last Council Meeting, the Council authorized staff to bring back a rate adjustment that was revenue neutral and left the commercial rates unchanged. The rate resolution that is before the City Council achieves that goal. The financial analysis completed by Finance indicates that the City Council can also reduce its solid waste rate for the residential customer as well for the remainder of the year. The City Council would not have to appropriate any fund equity to balance the solid waste budget.
It has been the City Council’s policy to refrain from using equity to balance operating budgets. This Resolution achieves that goal. However, it is anticipated that when the current hauler ask for a rate adjustment next year that the City will be faced with increasing solid waste rates or using a portion of the equity above the 15% level to balance the 2012-13 Operating budget.
The solid waste actual expenditures for the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2011 was $8,011,205. The current budget adopted for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2012 was $6,943,560. If the rates are adjusted, the budget will further amended to bring to bring the expenses and revenues in line with the rates.
According to the analysis provided by Finance, there will be no need to use any equity that exists in the Solid Waste Fund. The Solid Waste Fund has appropriately $1.8 million in equity reserves. This money remains in the fund. Staff is not proposing to move the funds to any other fund. Staff is not proposing to use any of the fund balance to further reduce the solid waste rates. Finally, the staff is recommending that current equity reserves remain in this Fund to be sure to hold down rates in the future and to maintain adequate reserves in case an emergency storm situation occurs.
The City Staff has completed review of various Police Trust Funds for the Fiscal Year 2012. The attached budget resolution provides for the recognition of the budget changes recommended from this review. In addition, on December 13, 2011 City Council approved acceptance of grant funds from the U.S. Department of Justice, Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program in the amount of $10,000. The attached budget resolution appropriates budgets revenues and expenditures for this grant. Further, on January 24, 2012 City Council approved acceptance of funding from Port Orange Community Trust for the Dog Park Pavilion Project. The attached budget resolution appropriates budgets revenues and expenditures for this donation.
Staff recommends approval of Resolution No. 12-14.
City Council has discussed and reviewed a proposed Budget Carryover Appropriation Policy. The Budget Carryover Appropriation Policy should be comprehensive and allow the City to operate and fund activities as prescribed by City Council. The Policy should also be able to evolve and meet the expectations of economic conditions and at the same time provide guidelines for municipal operations. The attached resolution adopts the proposed carryover policy incorporating the direction of City Council. Please see the attached for detail.
Staff recommends approval of Resolution No. 12-15.
G. PUBLIC SAFETY (Gerald Monahan)
The Interlocal Agreement has been in effect since 1980. The agreement provides for any agency to request mutual aid assistance from another agency, when their resources have been exhausted and/or to bring an emergency under control in a timely manner. Amendment One updates this agreement to include Volusia County Fire Services.
Staff recommends approval of the Interlocal Agreement, Amendment One, by and between all fire rescue agencies in Volusia County, to provide mutual aid upon request of another agency in the County.
City Manager Comments: The City Council adopted the mutual aid agreement some months ago. The County prior to signing the agreement made a map change. The City staff has reviewed the proposed change and finds that it is non-consequential and recommends approval.
H. PARKS AND RECREATION (Susan Lovallo)
Item 19 - First Reading – Ordinance No. 2012-6 – Amendment to the Code of Ordinances of the City of Port Orange, Florida, Chapter 50, Sections 50-58 and 50-61, increasing the number of members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board from seven to ten, authorizing the chairmen to break a tie vote and increasing the number of members required for a quorum to six, and removing a restriction on service on other city boards
Due to a recent vacancy on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, several applications for appointment and for re-appointment were considered at the February 21, 2012 City Council meeting. City Council agreed that the number of board members established by Ordinance should be increased from seven to ten. Staff recommends amending the City of Port Orange Code of Ordinances, Chapter 50, Sections 50-58 and 50-61, increasing the number of Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Members, authorizing the Chairman to break a tie vote and increasing the number of members required for a quorum to six, and removing a restriction on service on other city boards.
Staff recommends approval of Ordinance No.: 2012-6.
The City entered into a five-year contract for golf course management services with Kemper Sports Management, Inc. (Kemper) in 2002 and a subsequent five-year extension in 2007. The current term will expire on September 30, 2012 and a new Request for Proposals (RFP) must be advertised. The attached draft RFP contains policy elements from the original 2002 version that the City Council may wish to change or discuss prior to issuing a new RFP. In particular:
Staff will revise the RFP to include the City Council’s changes prior to advertising. We anticipate issuing the RFP in April so that sufficient time exists to plan for an orderly transition. The golf course management contract is now managed by the Parks & Recreation Department and the lake maintenance is performed under the direction and guidance of the Public Works Department.
Staff recommends authorizing advertisement of RFP #12-11 Management Services for the Golf Club at Cypress Head incorporating any changes made at the direction of City Council.
City Manager Comments: Golf Course values are very low. Recently, Turnbull was sold was less than $1 million. In the past, the City Council has acted as the selection committee. I would recommend the City Council sit as the selection body for the management firm. The City has retained ownership of all the equipment. The golf course pays a lease fee to the fleet fund to pay for its rental of the carts and all of the other equipment. We have found that it is very beneficial for the City to owned the equipment as a guard against default. Our current contract has an incentive clause to encourage the company to find ways to increase the revenues. The current contract was for five years with a five extension. Because of the bonds that are outstanding that were used to finance the golf course, I would recommend that we continue with the five year with a five year option. Finally, an item that was not included in the discussion is whether the City wants to divide the restaurant away from the golf course management. There are pros and cons. The major pro is that the restaurant potentially could be run by a restaurant professional. However, because of the location of the restaurant and the remainder of the operation, it could be very difficult in terms of facilities management. Daytona Beach’s municipal course divides the two apart with the City managing the golf course and a separate entity managing the restaurant.
I. HUMAN RESOURCES (Rob Zicker)
The City has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Police Benevolent Association, covering City police officers for the period October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2012. The collective bargaining agreement contains certain changes to the City of Port Orange Police Pension Fund to comply with recent statutory changes. In order to implement the changes to the Police Pension Fund contained in the collective bargaining agreement, an amendment to Section 54-122 of Article V of Chapter 54 of the City Code is necessary.
Staff recommends approval of Ordinance 2012-4
Item 22 - First Reading – Ordinance No. 2012-5 – Proposing revisions to Chapter 2, Article I, Section 2-2, Fingerprinting, other identification of officers and employees, City of Port Orange Code of Ordinances
Amending Chapter 2, ARTICLE I, Section 2-2 - Fingerprinting, other identification of officers and employees, City of Port Orange Code of Ordinances providing that all persons employed by the City or who hold any official position with the City shall undergo a comprehensive background check. To be current with the technology available, the City has the capability of running a comprehensive background screening that includes a national criminal record search, a national sex offender registry search, driving history, and a social trace in lieu of fingerprinting.
Staff recommends approval of Ordinance No. 2012-5.
J. ADMINISTRATION (Ken Parker)
Several years ago, the Port Orange City Council authorized a matching grant program for neighborhoods, the Neighborhood Investment Program. The programs, policies and procedures are attached. The City Council funded the program with $50,000 with the thought of replenishing the grant fund annually depending on the amount of funds available after all obligations were met at the end of the fiscal year.
It has been several years since the City Council last awarded grants to make improvement in neighborhoods. Neighborhoods have upgraded their entrance signs, completed community landscape projects as well as other neighborhood improvements.
Last year, the City Council indicated they wanted to reinstate the program. In the carry forward budget Resolution No. 11-63, the staff had proposed for $50,000 be appropriated for the Neighborhood Investment Program.
At the time this was discussed, Council indicated they desired to expand the program to include neighborhoods without formal homeowners’ associations. The Council indicated they wanted the grant program to be open to all neighborhoods in Port Orange. We have not redrafted the policies. However, if the Council decides to reinstate the Neighborhood Investment Program, then we will present the draft changes to the program prior to advertising and inviting proposals.
Funds are available after all legal obligations have been booked and paid for from last year’s budget. If the Council desires to encourage neighborhood investment through the Neighborhood Investment Program, we will bring back the budget resolution and then revise the policies and procedures.
Last fall, I brought to your attention an approach taken by the City of Deland to get vacant lots mowed quicker when they are in violation of the mowing standards. Deland provided see money so that the City Code Enforcement officers could issue a work order to an approved private company to mow the vacant lots, board up abandoned houses and clean up vacant properties. The Code Enforcement staff, after finding of non-compliance, rather than contacting Public Works to mow the property, they had the property brought into compliance and a lien was placed on the property. The revenues from the paid liens went back into the fund. Since the inception of their program, Deland has not had to place any additional funds into their program.
What are some of the outcomes?
In the Carry Forward Budget Resolution No. 11-63, I had included funds for two items related to Code Enforcement. The first was $30,000 as the seed money to allow Code Enforcement to use a private contractor to expedite compliance mowing, cleaning, etc. In the budget, we requested $30,000 be set aside for legal assistance for Code officers. The City Attorney represents the Code Board. She cannot represent the Code officers before the board or assist them in case preparation.
Does the City Council desire to use funds to seed the use of a private contractor to bring properties into compliance? Does the Council desire to provide additional funds to provide the Code Enforcement staff with legal representation at board meetings and help in case preparation? In many cases, the officers do not need legal help but when they do, they need to be able to have that assistance. This is an item that needs to be budgeted each year as part of the normal operating budget.
Some years ago, the Public Works Employee Savings Fund was created. When it was originally created the profit made from the snack machines located at Public Works were deposited into this Fund. Finance receipted in the monies received and accounted for all expenditures from the Fund.
A second set of items were included. Those were the items that were collected from the right-of-way, from vacant lots and other City property. Also, when the City was in the solid waste collection business, there would be items brought to the yard from the routes. Those items would be placed on the scrap pile and sold. The proceeds would be placed into the 623 Fund. Again, receipts were received from the sale and the checks were deposited into the account.
A third set of items were included from scrap items no longer needed by the City. Usually, these items were scrap pipe, metal and a variety of other items. Again, these items were sold; the checks were made out to the City of Port Orange and deposited into the 623 Fund. Finance would receipt in the monies and account for the expense.
The final element was the sign blanks that could no longer be used. Originally, the sign blanks were stripped and reused. There came a time when they could not be stripped because of the reduced thickness. At some point the company stopped stripping the sign and the City began recycling the old signs with the proceeds going into the 623 Fund. The metal recycling company issued the checks in the City’s name. Those checks were deposited into the Fund to be used by the Public Works Department.
I have already put changes in place. First, any and all City owned materials will be sold with the proceeds placed in the appropriate operating fund, not the 623 Fund.
The question that the City Council needs to answer is whether to close the 623 fund. Conceivably, the only revenue that would go into the fund was any proceeds from the snack machines. Snack machine proceeds go into the Scholarship Fund. Proceeds at City Hall pay for the expense of the machines. These are low volume machines. At the Police Department, any proceeds pay for the snacks and any proceeds go into the Police Benefit Fund.
The question was raised about materials removed from the public right-of-ways, vacant lots, etc. I have taken the position that those items will be sold and placed in the appropriate operating fund to offset the cost associated with the City employees picking up items from the right-of-way and cleaning lots.
The final item that went into the 623 Fund was items employees brought from home. It was estimated that 60% of the material that was in the scrap pile came from employees. I have taken the position that anything placed on City property belongs to the City and must be disposed of in accordance with the disposal process.
What are the City Council’s options?
1. Status Quo – No change.
2. Close the 623 Fund. There is a fund balance in the fund. Closing the 623 Fund would mean the proceeds would be deposited in either the General or Gasoline Tax Fund. These are funds that signage material and the salaries for the signage employees are paid from.
3. Allow the 623 Fund to continue but only the proceeds from the snack machines to go into the 623 Fund. All other materials would be sold with the proceeds going into the appropriate operating fund.
4. Allow the proceeds from the snack machines and the sale of items brought from home to be deposited into the 623 Fund. All of the items picked up from the right-of-way, from vacant lots or other city-related collection would be sold and funds deposited in the appropriate operating fund. All City items would be sold and placed in the appropriate operating fund.
Each of you has seen the revisions that we have already made in our policy and procedures related to scrap items. Since 623 is a City-controlled fund, it requires Council direction. No funds will be disbursed from the fund until Council provides direction on whether to continue the Fund.
One final item related to the 623 Fund. It was a discretionary fund operated outside the appropriation’s process. The Public Works Director would requisition funds for Public Works’ use. They used the funds to purchase shirts, t-shirts, jackets and insulated shirts. They used the funds for lunches to recognize employees for job performance. They used the funds for retirement functions and gifts for retiring employees. They used the funds to supplement holiday lunches for the Public Works employees. Public Works Directors have used the Fund to reward employees for excellent performance after an emergency event. They have used the funds during the year as a morale booster by providing a cookout for lunch.
By administrative policy, I have directed all City items to be sold in accordance with the purchasing policies and procedures. The only items of question are the snack machines and personal items brought to City yards. In reality, by depositing an item of City property for disposal, it becomes City property and therefore subject to being disposed of by City rules and regulations.
Close the 623 Fund and place the proceeds in the 301 Fund, the Gasoline Tax Fund. The proceeds will be used to purchase sign materials. All items placed on City-owned property become the property of the City of Port Orange and shall be sold in accordance with the City’s disposal policies and procedures.
Council Member Don Burnette requested that this item be placed on the City Council Agenda for discussion purposes.
The City of Port Orange began charging availability charge fees for water, sewer, and solid waste in the early 1980s. Actually they were in place before I arrived in August 1984. The City Council reviewed several options at the time the availability fee was adopted. Among the options reviewed was charging only those connected to the water and sewer system the monthly rates. What the Council determined was that the costs associated with the fixed cost of the system should be allocated among all properties whether occupied or not. The City Council determined that properties where there was no house/commercial building and only vacant land without a water meter would not be charged an availability fee.
Additionally, the City Council determined that if a property relinquished their water and sewer reservation of capacity that a vacant home or commercial property could be relieved of paying the availability fee. If the property owner released the capacity reservation, it means that in order to receive water and sewer service, the property would be required to pay the water and sewer impact fees. Releasing the capacity means that the reservation for that specific unit has been added back to the City’s capacity to resell. Releasing the capacity means that there is no guarantee that water and sewer capacity would be available if the property owner at a later date decided to reconnect.
Why did the Council decide to charge a monthly availability fee? First, it relates to capacity. The City has to have the capacity to serve that unit whether it is occupied or vacant. The water plants are sized. The pipes are sized. The wellfields are sized. Staffing is in place at the plant. Water, sewer and reclaimed water and solid waste are demand services, meaning you can’t increase or decrease the line sizes, the vehicles sizes or even reduce employees since you don’t know whether the unit will be occupied or vacant. Therefore, the assumption has to be that the unit is occupied. Second, the Council felt that it was more equitable to all of the rate payers to charge an availability fee rather than increase the rates on the occupied properties. This has allowed the rated to be lower for all residents. Third, the Council determined that the availability charge would cover the fixed costs with use rates covering the variable costs.
One of the things the Council did on the solid waste side is to allow a vacation rate for unoccupied units. This still covers the fixed costs but it takes into consideration that the truck is not collecting the volume at the home. What we have found out over the years is that most vacant units do generate some solid waste, usually in the form of yard waste. The Council felt that the vacation rate would handle the fixed cost and the yard waste that potentially would be generated by the vacant unit on a periodic basis.
If the City Council desired to move away from the previous policy of availability charges, it would require a rate study for water, sewer, reclaimed water and solid waste. It would potentially increase the charges to occupied units to offset the reduction that would be given to owners of unoccupied units. Without a rate study, it would be very difficult to estimate the impact on the utility system.
A number of cities use the availability model. There are a number of cities that use the occupied model. The decision relates to allocating of the fixed costs over the rate base.
Every so often, the Council reviews availability charges. The previous City Council reviewed availability fees and determined that equitable allocation to all users, whether occupied or unoccupied, was in the best interest of the entire community.
I’ve attached a copy of a letter that we normally send to individuals when the question of availability fees is raised. I look forward to discussing this issue with the Council on Tuesday.
K. COUNCIL COMMENTS
Item 27 - Comments/Concerns from Council Members
At this time council members may discuss various matters or concerns.