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City Commission Work Session Minutes - December 9, 2021

Updated: Mar 1, 2022

1) Call to Order Mayor Anderson called the meeting to order at 1:04 p.m.

2) Discussion Item(s) a. Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act

Mayor Anderson stated that the discussion would focus on priorities for the Infrastructure Bill and the Urban Planning Continuing Services item (9e) carried over from the December 8th commission meeting. He began the discussion by reviewing the Summary of Commission Priorities document distributed on November 9th and listed the top priorities on the list: Central Park post office, Mead Garden, Emerald Necklace Parking Garages and Global List of land. He explained that he added the following topics to the list: Event Center parking, Strategic Planning for parks and lakes.

Commissioner Sullivan stated that he was not prepared to participate in the meeting and departed at 1:10 p.m.

Commissioner Weaver added that due to the lengthy commission meeting on 12/8, he hadn’t had time to prepare for this work session. He expressed concern regarding parking for the Events Center. He stated that the promoters of the project should be held accountable for the parking issues and that the Library Board should come up with a viable plan.

Commissioner DeCiccio stated that the library has had a difficult time with fundraising and stated that a lot of people who committed to provide funding have refused to pay leaving the library in a difficult position. She stated that what is causing the problem is the Event Center, not the Library. The Library, standing on its own, has enough parking. It is when the event center was added and there are events that there is not enough parking. Discussion followed on the parking issues impacting the Events Center.

Mayor Anderson suggested rescheduling a work session to discuss the Infrastructure Bill after the commission had time to review and sort their priorities for the Bill.

Mr. Knight stated that city has received the format by which the federal government will use to distribute the infrastructure funds and feels the commission has a couple of months to decide what project funding they would like to request.He explained that there were three allotments of funds; Transportation, Electric and Water/Sewer. He stated that the government is developing grant programs for those segments and that Director of Budget Peter Moore has prepared a list of items from the five-year capital plan and strategic priorities list that may eligible for the funding.

Commissioner Cooper requested a link to the Bill and would like to understand the criteria used by staff to select the projects for the program.

Mr. Moore presented a spreadsheet of grant eligible CIP projects for funding recommended by staff. Mr. Knight explained that the list is based on what staff knows of the bill at this time.

In response to questions, Mr. Knight stated that an overpass bridge, trails and safety improvements may be eligible for funding with the bill. Mr. Moore will provide the commission with the project list (from staff) and documents received thus far that include what types of projects could be eligible for grants. He reviewed the types of grants being offered for transportation, water & sewer and electric and discussed which projects staff feels could be eligible for funding including pedestrian bridges, septic to sewer conversions, under grounding of electric lines and substation hardening and upgrades.

Mayor Anderson asked if there is any funding for high-level study for solar and battery storage. Mr. Moore stated that there is funding for studies on how to develop better solar and wind power and energy audits.

Commissioner Cooper asked if the ground storage for water and distribution of reclaimed water on line 13 of the project list is for reuse. Director of Water/Waste Water David Zusi explained that the ground storage tank expansion is for storing reclaimed water. In response to questions, Mr. Zusi stated that the city’s nine-hole golf course and cemeteries are not on reclaimed water, he listed the areas of the city currently using reclaimed water. In-depth discussion followed on the costs and storage requirements related to providing reclaimed water to other areas of the city.

Mr. Moore clarified under the energy bill, there is grant funding for emergency efficiency and conservation. He stated that there are renewable energy efficiency items that should be added to the list.

Commissioner Cooper stated that she believes there are ARPA funds available to assist with renovating the old library building to bring it to a usable and leasable status. Commissioner Weaver supported seeking funds to renovate the building. Mayor Anderson noted that there was consensus to begin an RFP to assess the commercial viability of the first floor. He stated that the options are to determine what types of uses could go into the building on each floor or demolition. Discussion followed on the viability of the building and renovations needed.

Mayor Anderson asked if any of the infrastructure bill included funding for Fire Department buildings. Mr. Knight stated that buildings do not appear to be on the funding list from information he and Mr. Moore have gathered thus far.

Discussion followed on funding for asbestos pipes. Mr. Zusi stated that the pipes are assessed every year as part of the ongoing water replacement program for older pipes. He explained when the pipes have exceeded their life expectancy, they are replaced.

Commission Cooper suggested adding the asbestos pipe replacement to the project list for funding to accelerate the program.

Mayor Anderson stated that a study of the Brewer Avenue/ Aloma Avenue intersection should be added to the list. He stated that Transportation Manager Sarah Walter should review the list and make MetroPlan aware of what the city’s priorities are as well as inform them that the city is willing to cost share for the transportation projects.

After discussion, Mayor Anderson suggested continuing the work session to a date prior to the next commission meeting. Consensus was to schedule the next work session on January 6, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.

3) Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 2:03 p.m.

Posted to on February 23, 2022.

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