Aurora City Council Minutes


 I KNOW IT SEEMS LIKE THE MINUTES ARE BEHIND, BUT REMEMBER ONLY APPROVED MINUTES ARE POSTED.  USUALLY THE MINUTES FROM A CITY COUNCIL MEETING ARE APPROVED THE FOLLOWING MONTH.  FOR INSTANCE, MAY 2021 CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES WILL BE APPROVED AT THE JUNE 2021 CITY COUNCIL MEETING AND THEN POSTED FOLLOWING THAT MEETING.

City of Aurora

City Council Meeting     

June 21, 2021

Page 1

 

 

CITY OF AURORA

PUBLIC HEARING & CITY COUNCIL MEETING

JUNE 21, 2021

FINAL

 

     The Aurora City Council came to order at 7:00 pm.  Mayor Quarnberg informed the public that proper notice for the public hearing and city council meeting had been given.  

 

Public Hearing: 

 

The purpose of the public hearing was to allow citizens to discuss the final FY 2020-21 Budget, review the proposed FY 2021-22 Budget, discuss the proposed property tax rate and to discuss the compensation schedule for employees, utility rates and future projects. 

 

The City Council was presented with a final budget where Mr. Johnson informed them that they will end the year under budget and in the black.  Mr. Johnson stated that last year during the Coronavirus pandemic, it was determined that the city should cut expect a 10% decrease in revenue as well as a 10% decrease in expenditures.  As it turned out, the city experienced growth and an increase in revenue that exceeded expectations.  The increase in revenue allowed most of the city to function normally with repairs and operations.  There was also some small growth seen within the city and the cost of home sales and appraisals had driven the property tax needed for the coming year to 0.000879.  Mr. Johnson also discussed the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year.  It was noted that there could be an increase in sales tax revenue as well as Class C Road money.  The Council discussed any future expenditures that could come up other than the culinary well project that was currently underway.  It was proposed that a chip and seal of the city streets should be done next Spring in order to keep the roads in Aurora City in good repair.  The Police Department discussed a need to purchase a new body camera and computer system that would allow them to inventory the footage gathered by the police department.  The Council also discussed compensating employees who work for Aurora City.  There was a discussion of the affordability of giving a cost of living wage increase.  Police Chief Matt McLean stated that he felt it was important to pay police officers in the police department the same amount as a starting wage for a Sheriff’s Deputy.  That wage would be $20.00 per hour.  It was also brought up that Mr. Bosh had been offered a wage increase if he were willing to take and pass the three certifications that would be needed to run the public works department in Aurora City when he was hired.  Mr. Bosh has completed that task.  It was determined that a $2000.00 increase in wage was offered if Mr. Bosh would complete the certifications.  The conversations turned to utility rates.  The Council discussed the need to keep in head of costs and inflation by having a small increase in the utility rates each year.  After the increase from the new White’s Sanitation contract and the fuel surcharge, it was decided to not increase any utility rates at this time. 

 

Mayor Quarnberg thanked everyone for their comments and the meeting moved to the regularly scheduled city council meeting.

 

 

PRESENT:        Mayor: Daven Quarnberg

                        Council Member:  Jim Harrison

Council Member: Nancy Kennedy

                        Council Member: Kelly Mason

                        Council Member: Andy Rasmussen

                        Council Member:  Kent Mickelsen               

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:  Clint Johnson, City Recorder

                        Maintenance Manager:  Jordon Bosh

                        Maintenance Supervisor: Dan Rasmussen

                        Police Chief:  Matt McLean

 

EXCUSED:       

 

VISITORS: Parker Vercimak – Jones & DeMille, Eric Mason-Mason Machinery, John and Lisa Kottsick , Stuart Reid

 

Jim Harrison offered an opening expression of choice, and the Council recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

City Council Meeting-

 

1-      APPROVAL OF MINUTES-

 

The City Council reviewed the minutes of the May 17, 2021, and May 24, 2021, City Council meetings.  A few corrections were made.

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City Council Meeting

June 21, 2021

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City Council Member Andy Rasmussen moved to accept the minutes of the two meetings as corrected.  City Council Member Kent Mickelsen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved by members:  Rasmussen, Mickelsen, Kennedy, Harrison, and Mason.

 

2-      OPEN SESSION-

 

No members of the community came forward with concerns for the Council. 

 

3-      BID DISCUSSION AND AWARDING OF BID-

 

Parker Vercimak of Jones and DeMille informed the City Council that Aurora City had received four bids for their drilling of a new culinary well portion of the water project.  Mr. Vercimak informed the Council that the apparent low bidder was Hydro Resources, a company located in Denver, Colorado.  He also stated that he had been in contact with the company and that they had drilling rigs in the area and were willing to work with the city regarding timing and schedule.  The Council discussed the need to review references and prior work.  Mr. Vercimak stated that all of the people he had been in contact with were very comfortable with Hydro Resources and that he would have no problem moving forward with awarding of the bid.

 

City Council Member Kent Mickelsen moved to award the drilling of the culinary water well to the low bidder Hydro Resources with a bid of $430,700.00.  City Council Member Andy Rasmussen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved by members: Mickelsen, Rasmussen, Kennedy, Mason and Harrison. 

 

4-      CHIEF MCLEAN- BODY CAMERA PURCHASE/TASER/HIRING NEW OFFICER-

 

Aurora City Police Chief Matt McLean approached the Council and informed them that he has purchased a body camera and taser for the Police Department.  The cost of the items was $2268.68.  Chief McLean stated that he will also need the city to purchase a desktop computer with scanner and external hard drive in order to store the video taken.  He also stated that with his promotion at the Sevier County Jail, he has had trouble filling his hourly commitment to Aurora City and would like to hire Stuart Reid to fill in for him when he would be unable to patrol.

 

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City Council Meeting

June 21, 2021

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5-      BACKHOE LEASE OPTIONS-

 

Eric Mason from Mason Machinery returned to the City Council meeting to discuss options for Aurora City to continue to participate in the Backhoe leasing program.  In previous City Council meetings, Mr. Mason had provided two options to the City.  The Council discussed the option of buying the backhoe outright or following up on the leasing program.  After a lengthy discussion, it was determined that Aurora City would continue to use the current backhoe until it approaches the maximum number of hours which will likely be around November and then make a decision at that time.  Money will be set aside in order to make the backhoe purchase at the time or to continue with the leasing program.

 

6-      APPROVAL OF THE FINAL FY 2020-2021 BUDGET

 

The City Council took all of the information offered during the public hearing into consideration. 

 

City Council Member Kelly Mason moved to accept the final version of the FY 2020-21 Budget.  The motion was seconded by City Council Member Kent Mickelsen.  The motion was approved by members:  Mason, Mickelsen, Kennedy, Rasmussen and Harrison.

 

7-      APPROVAL OF THE FY 2021-22 BUDGET AND COMPENSATION SCHEDULE-

 

The City Council reviewed some of the project increases in funding and determined to add some money into the equipment PTIF fund to allow for the purchase of the police equipment and some equipment for the Fire Department.  The Council also directed that money be put in the PTIF fund account for a future backhoe purchase.  The Council also discussed increasing the police officers’ hourly rate to $20.00/hr.  The Council also discussed giving city employees a 2.5% cost of living pay increase.  This will cover all city employees except Mayor, Council and Planning Commission members.  Also, the Council discussed increasing Mr. Bosh’s salary by $2000.00 because he had achieved the necessary certifications. 

 

City Council Member Andy Rasmussen made the motion to approve the FY2021-22 Budget with the increase in compensation schedule discussed.  The motion was

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City Council Meeting

June 21, 2021

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seconded by City Council Member Jim Harrison.  The motion was approved by members:  Rasmussen, Harrison, Mason, Kennedy and Mickelsen.

 

8-      APPROVAL OF PROPERTY TAX RATE-

 

The City Council discussed the certified tax rate set by the State Tax Commission.  The rate would decrease taxes on all property located within Aurora City limits to 0.000879.

 

City Council Member Andy Rasmussen moved to accept the certified tax rate at 0.00879.  Council Member Kent Mickelsen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved by members:  Rasmussen, Mickelsen, Kennedy, Harrison and Mason.

 

9-      APPROVAL OF UTILITY RATES-

 

The City Council determined to make no changes to the current utility rates.

 

10-   INACTIVE METERS DISCUSSION-

 

The issue of how to charge the reconnection of inactive meters has been on the agenda for several months.  The Council has discussed setting a fee to reconnect an inactive meter, setting a monthly charge for inactive meters or just determining that reconnecting an inactive meter, even after many years, is a cost of doing business.  The fact that a customer has already paid a connection and impact fee should be enough to allow for the reconnection of service when the customer requests such a connection.  None of the Council Members was prepared to make a motion on the issue so it was determined to place it on the next month’s agenda.

 

11-  DEPARTMENT REVIEWS-

 

City Buildings-  Mr. Harrison reported that the small vacuum was in need of repair and that there were a few places the needed a paint touch-up.  Repairs to the kitchen from the water leak was also discussed.

Planning and Zoning-  Ms. Kennedy reported that the Planning Commission was diligently working on the subdivision ordinance and meeting regularly.

Parks and Recreation-  Mr. Mason stated that NS Recreation held their regular meeting, set a budget, approved future recreation sports.  The Board is still working on obtaining

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City Council Meeting

June 21, 2021

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the property east of the NS Community Center. 

Cemetery- The Council continues to discuss issues with the cemetery and changes that need to be made to the ordinance in order to accommodate cremation burials better.

 

12-    4TH OF JULY DISCUSSION-

 

Council Member Rasmussen said that the final touches on the July 4th celebration were being set.  Council Members were given assignments to help with the celebration.  Mr. Mickelsen and Mr. Harrison both stated that they would be unable to help with this year’s celebration.  A local ban on fireworks was discussed because of the exceptionally dry conditions.  Mayor Quarnberg stated that the Fire Department had discussed such a ban but determined to ask residents for their cooperation in not using personal fireworks this year.  The Council did not ban personal fireworks but directed Mr. Johnson to make the citizens aware that they were responsible for any fires set by using personal fireworks.

 

13-  OPEN MEETINGS TRAINING-

 

Mr. Johnson prepared a small presentation on the open meetings law and the City Council discussed some of the more applicable portions of meeting as a quorum, posting meeting agendas and doing city business in a transparent way.

 

14-  REVIEW OF WATER USE REPORTS, DELIQUENT WATER REPORT AND FINANCIAL STATEMENTS WITH THE REVIEW OF THE CHECK REGISTER.

 

The City Council reviewed each report and asked questions pertaining to specific

 

15-   CLOSED SESSION-

 

The City Council voted to go into closed session to discuss employee welfare.

 

City Council Member Nancy Kennedy moved to go into closed session.  City Council Member Andy Rasmussen seconded the motion.  A roll call vote was taken.  Those voting “aye” included:  Ms. Kennedy, Mr. Rasmussen, Mr. Mason, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Mickelsen.

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City Council Meeting

June 21, 2021

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16-   VOTE TO COME OUT OF CLOSED SESSION-

 

City Council Member Kelly Mason voted to come out of closed session.  Mr. Mickelsen seconded the motion.  The motion was approved on a roll call vote.  Those voting “aye” included Mr. Mason, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Mickelsen, Ms. Kennedy, and Mr. Rasmussen.

 

17-    RETIREMENT PLANS FOR MR. RASMUSSEN-

 

City Council Member Nancy Kennedy moved for Aurora City to prepare for the retirement of Mr. Rasmussen and set aside a retirement bonus for Mr. Rasmussen that will be the same dollar figure that Aurora City would have paid to provide health insurance for Mr. Rasmussen.  The City will pay for Mr. Rasmussen’s current insurance and then offer him the difference in the amount for a retirement bonus.  Council Member Kelly Mason seconded the motion.  The motion was approved by members Kennedy, Mason, Harrison and Mickelsen.  Mr. Rasmussen abstained because of a conflict of interest.

 

18-  ADJOURNMENT-

 

The Council completed their business and the meeting was adjourned at 11:05 pm with Kent Mickelsen offering a closing expression of choice.

 

 

 

 

Approved: ________________________________________

 

 

Mayor: ___________________________________________

 

 

Recorder:  _________________________________________