Final Wednesday Meeting for City Council
Under New Business, the Council approved a contract for garbage services, heard the first reading of new Municipal Codes and received a first quarter update on the 2014 City budget.
Brent Kirk, Public Works Supervisor, explained that garbage fees for composting landscape materials will be going up slightly, $.30 per month per family. According to the garbage company, the change is due to a recent adoption of state law and the need to off-set processing fees.
The Council debated the legality of changing the rates for a condition not specified in the contract. City Attorney Thomas Graafstra said he was skeptical about the reason for the increase, but would not challenge it due to the nominal amount. Mayor Golston asked Kirk to call the company and clarify the reason for the increase. The vote was continued to the May 19th meeting.
The City staff and legal team have been working together for several years to bring the Municipal Codes into a final format suitable for City adoption. A draft was presented on March 27, 2014. The adoption process requirs a first reading and a public hearing before adoption. City Attorney Graafstra completed the required first reading by reading the summary statement and a public hearing was set for May 5, 2014 at 7:45 PM.
Brent Kirk updated the Council on the annual budget through the first quarter. A system has been set up to monitor revenues and expenditures on a monthly basis throughout the year. This will allow identification of potential issues before they develop into a significant financial problem for the City.
Brent Kirk worked with Fred Cruger to develop the budget tracking system. Kirk told the Council, “Everything looks really solid right now!” He explained that they have reigned in expenditures and are doing everything possible to sell unneeded vehicles to recoup revenues. “We are on our way to one of the most solid years since I have been here,” said Kirk.
Staff Reports: Police Chief David Bowman provided the Council with data showing police activity for March 2014. He reported dealing with a few more vehicle thefts, saying that certain individuals were released from jail and he thinks they are responsible.
On March 10, a Sheriff’s Office traffic pursuit ended within the City limits, on Hemming Way. The pursuit involved a reckless driver in a stolen vehicle who attempted at one point to ram a deputy’s vehicle. A lockdown of several schools and K-9 track eventually resulted in the apprehension of the suspect near the high school.
Chief Bowman said they are able to keep the office open most days and he has been hearing from citizens requesting help. He said they will be keeping the police website active but moving it back to the City website site, rather than a stand-alone site. Mayor Golston commented that he has been hearing good things about the police services. Golston requested a quarterly report on where the Chief sees the department heading.
The following charts and table compare calls for service in the reporting month to the same month in the previous year, and provide a monthly average (Typical Month) in each category. Data displayed is for all dispatch groups provided service by the Granite Falls (LL) Police agency.
Report presented by Granite Falls Chief of Police David Bowman
Table and charts compiled by Volunteer Ray Coleman
Click images to enlarge
Public Works Supervisor Brent Kirk said the City is now responsible for the landscaping in the roundabouts. He described them as a “big mess” right now. He told the Council he is thinking of hiring a landscaping business to clean them up and plant low maintenance materials. Mayor Golston asked about having volunteer groups take care of them. This would be a safety issue, according to Kirk, with the constant truck traffic.
In his Mayor Comments, Golston invited everyone to attend the Mariner game on May 11th when the Mountain Way Elementary choir will be singing the national anthem. Tickets are available for $15.
Councilman Tom FitzGerald questioned the approval of a contract with Marysville for movie projection equipment. He had concerns about “Flicks at the Falls” being scheduled on specific dates this summer without approval from the Little League, who host the event. He requested contact by the organizers to discuss dates and arrange for services to hold the event.
The meeting adjourned before 8:00.