Special City Council Meeting - September 7, 2021

City Council

Special Meeting

September 7, 2021

 

The City of Titusville City Council met in special session on Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at Titusville City Hall, second floor, Council Chamber, 555 South Washington Avenue, Titusville, Florida 32796. Mayor Diesel called the City Council meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Those present in the Council Chamber included Mayor Daniel E. Diesel, Vice-Mayor Jo Lynn Nelson, City Council Members Robert L. Jordan, Jr., Joe C. Robinson, and Dr. Sarah Stoeckel. City Manager Scott Larese, City Attorney Richard Broome, and City Clerk Wanda Wells were also present. Assistant City Clerk Jolynn Donhoff completed the minutes of the meeting. 

 

Mayor Diesel requested a moment of silence. He then led those present in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. City Clerk Wanda Wells read the procedures for public comment and participation.

 

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City Manager Larese reviewed the purpose of the special City Council meeting, as provided in the Council agenda packet. The request was to conduct the first public hearing on the City's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022; read the related ordinances to adopt Tentative Operating and Voted Debt Service millages; Conduct the first reading of ordinances proposing the Fiscal Year 2022 Water/Sewer and Solid Waste rates; and adopt the Tentative Operating, Enterprise and Capital Budgets.

 

City Attorney Broome read the following proposed ordinances for the first time, by title only, as followed:

 

Ordinance No. 22-2021 - AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA, PROVIDING FOR THE MILLAGE FOR THE OPERATION OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE; AND VOTED DEBT SERVICE LEVY FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. 

 

Ordinance No. 23-2021 - AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA, ADOPTING THE GENERAL AND RELATED BUDGETS OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2022; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. 

 

Ordinance No. 24-2021 - AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA, AMENDING UTILITY SERVICE RATES AND CHARGES; AMENDING ARTICLES II & IV OF CHAPTER 21, UTILITIES, OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES; AMENDING § 21-27 RELATED TO THE CROSSCONNECTION CONTROL PROGRAM; AMENDING §§ 21- 241, 21-243 & 21-244 RELATED TO WATER & SEWER RATE SCHEDULES, WATER METER CHARGES, UTILITY BILLS & RELATED MATTERS; PROVIDING FINDINGS, RATIFICATION, INCORPORATION INTO THE CODE, SEVERABILITY, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE.


 

Ordinance No. 25-2021 - AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA; AMENDING SECTION 16-116 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES BY AMENDING AND ESTABLISHING AN INCREASE TO THE RESIDENTIAL MONTHLY CHARGE FOR SOLID WASTE, RECYCLING AND ADDITIONAL CART FEES; AND BY AMENDING SECTION 16-117 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES BY AMENDING AND ESTABLISHING AN INCREASE TO THE COMMERCIAL DUMPSTER AND COMMERCIAL CAN MONTHLY CHARGES FOR SOLID WASTE AND RECYCLING FEES AND INCREASING THE COMMERCIAL DUMPSTER RENTAL FEES; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY, REPEAL OF CONFLICTING ORDINANCES, AN EFFECTIVE DATE AND INCORPORATION INTO THE CODE. 

 

Ordinance No. 26–2021 - AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA, ADOPTING THE ENTERPRISE FUND AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM BUDGETS OF THE CITY OF TITUSVILLE FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2022; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.

 

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City Manager Larese gave a presentation that reviewed the following information:

 

  • Budget process and millage rate
  • Use of millage over the rollback rate
  • Strategic Plan Goals and Objectives for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022
  • FY 2022 Budget environment
  • FY 2022 budget priorities 
  • FY 2022 Proposed Budget All Funds Revenues and Expenditures
  • General Fund millage rate comparison
  • FY 2022 Proposed per capita ad valorem taxes
  • Proposed property tax on a residential home in Titusville based on $7.2145 mils and $8.2461 (max)
  • FY2022 Unfunded Priorities
  • Additional funding considerations 
  • Budget related ordinances scheduled for first reading 
  • Recommended actions and final public hearing on the FY 2022 budget scheduled for September 15, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.  

 

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Mayor Diesel highlighted the formal procedures related to the ordinances and the meeting. 

 

Member Robinson discussed inflation, preparing for the future and protecting the citizens, the unemployment rate was not static, unemployment benefits provided by the Federal government during current pandemic recently ended, kids returning to school, development projects, his feelings on the millage rate, preparing for future economic impacts, development projects were picked-up on the tax rolls in the subsequent year, etc. 

 

Vice-Mayor Nelson agreed with Member Robinson. She discussed being cautious adopting the budget, the estimated ad valorem taxes on a residential home, with a taxable value of $159,000, and a Public Works road project and costs.

 

Member Stoeckel discussed 5-year budgeting and her feelings on the proposed millage rate and use of funding. 

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Ordinance No. 22-2021 –

 

Mayor Diesel opened the first public hearing on Ordinance No. 22-2021. 

 

Stan Johnston distributed information. He expressed his dissatisfaction with the agenda packet and public input for the budget workshop held in August 2021. 

 

As there were no additional persons that wished to speak, the first public hearing on Ordinance No. 22-2021 was closed.

 

Per Mayor Diesel’s request, City Attorney Broome reviewed the purpose and any legal procedures required and followed at the prior special City Council meeting (budget workshop) in August 2021, where no propositions or formal Council action was proposed, and no actions were taken by the Council. 

 

Additionally, City Attorney Broome reviewed the legal procedures the City Council must follow at this meeting, which was the first public hearing on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget. 

 

Ordinance No. 23-2021 –

 

Mayor Diesel opened the first public hearing on Ordinance No. 23-2021. 

 

Stan Johnston did not agree with the City Attorney’s review and procedural context of the budget workshop held in August 2021. He continued and expressed his concerns on various items, costs, and his feelings of dishonesty.  

 

Nathan Slusher read from a prepared statement that reviewed his concerns on individual wealth, being careful with funding and allocating costs, removing all debt and becoming self-sustainable, and his recommendation to not rely on funding from any other government agency, in order to become a self-sufficient City. 

 

Trenton Mansfield recommended reducing the City’s millage rate. He also expressed concern on increased annual property taxes and his desire for City departments to cut their budgets. 

 

As there were no additional persons that wished to speak, the first public hearing on Ordinance No. 23-2021 was closed. 

 

 

Motion:

Member Jordan moved to tentatively adopt Ordinance No. 22-2021 providing for a millage rate for the operation of the City of Titusville at $8.2461 mils, which was 10% above the rolled-back millage rate of $6.8586 mils, and the Voted Debt Service levy millage rate for Fiscal Year 2022 at $0.2941 mils, as recommended. Vice-Mayor Nelson seconded the motion. 

 

City Attorney Broome advised that the tentative proposed adoption of Ordinance No. 22-2021, as moved or with a 10% increase above the rolled-back rate would be a percentage increase in property taxes, if tentatively adopted by the Council. 

 

Vice-Mayor Nelson seconded the motion and the roll call vote was: 

 

Member Robinson                  Yes

Member Jordan                       Yes

Mayor Diesel                          Yes

Vice-Mayor Nelson                Yes

Member Stoeckel                    Yes

 

The motion carried unanimously. 

 

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Motion

Vice-Mayor Nelson moved to tentatively adopt Ordinance No. 23-2021 adopting the General and Related Budgets of the City of Titusville for Fiscal Year 2022, as recommended. Member Jordan seconded the motion and the roll call vote was:

 

Member Jordan                       Yes

Mayor Diesel                          Yes

Vice-Mayor Nelson                Yes

Member Stoeckel                    Yes

Member Robinson                  Yes

 

The motion carried unanimously. 

 

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Ordinance No. 24-2021 – 

 

Member Robinson commented on understanding citizens that may not support the proposed ordinance and cost to citizens. The tentative proposed ordinance increased the cost of a residence having a ¾ pipe and that received 5,000 gallons by $2.54 per month. A commercial property of similar criteria would cost $3.23 more per month. Discussion briefly ensued how the revenue would be used to benefit the City’s utility infrastructure. 

 

Mayor Diesel asked if there were any persons wishing to speak on Ordinance No. 24-2021. 

 

Stan Johnston commented on his concerns of dishonesty and a prior boil water alert. 

 

There were no additional speakers.

 

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Ordinance No. 25-2021 –  

 

Mayor Diesel asked if there were any persons wishing to speak on Ordinance No. 25-2021. 

 

Stan Johnston supported Ordinance No. 25-2021 and the Solid Waste Program.  

 

There were no additional speakers. 

 

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Ordinance No. 26-2021 –  

 

Mayor Diesel opened the first public hearing on Ordinance No. 26-2021. 

 

Stan Johnston commented on the City having numerous flood zones that were not correct in documents and which should be identified for correction in the City’s budget. He also expressed concern on stormwater drainage areas not being maintained and the problem this would create during significant storm events. He also recommended budgeting for this scenario. 

 

As there were no additional persons that wished to speak, the first public hearing on Ordinance No. 26-2021 was closed.

 

Motion

Member Jordan moved to tentatively adopt Ordinance No. 26-2021, as recommended. Vice-Mayor Nelson seconded the motion and the roll call vote was:

 

Vice-Mayor Nelson                Yes

Member Stoeckel                    Yes

Member Robinson                  Yes

Member Jordan                       Yes

Mayor Diesel                          Yes

 

The motion carried unanimously. 

 

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Petitions from the Public Present – 

 

Nathan Slusher requested information on budget adoption procedures, why some ordinances required Council to consider tentatively adopting them, while others did not. Procedures were prescribed by various Florida Statutes and based on the content or action within proposed ordinances. 

 

Stan Johnston made comparisons to prior Councils and how the City was spending money. 

 

Trenton Mansfield felt that incremental cost increases to citizens for maintenance or improvement of the City added-up over time.   

 

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City Manager Larese advised that the second and final public hearing on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget related ordinances was scheduled for the special City Council meeting on September 15, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. 

 

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Mayor Diesel expressed concern for the community and persons being negatively impacted health wise by the pandemic and the contagious COVID-19 virus. Concerning upcoming ceremonies or events, he expressed concern about sending an erroneous impression that he or the City might be becoming relaxed by attending events, where the public gathering in close proximity to each other would not be in the best interest of public health and safety. This was not the case. For this reason, Mayor Diesel advised that he would not attend ceremonies and similar events as a representative of the City through November 1, 2021. Brief discussion ensued on these concerns and other Council were also concerned.

 

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With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 6:51 p.m.

 

 

 

 

______________________________

                                                                                                Daniel E. Diesel, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

 

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Wanda F. Wells, City Clerk