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Central City’s 2014 Budget reviewed and approved

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Council discusses parking, HPC, and BID

By David Josselyn

  The Central City Council met for a regular meeting on Tuesday, November 5th, at 7:06pm. All members were present.

Consent Agenda

  The first item of business was approving the consent agenda which included the regular bill lists of October 17th, 23rd, and 31st, and the City Council minutes of October 15th. Alderman Spain moved to approve the consent agenda and was seconded by Alderman Gaines. The motion passed unanimously.

Public Forum

  The Council opened the floor to the public for addressing any issue on the evening’s agenda. Three residents spoke to the council during this time regarding the 2014 budget.

  Joe Behm, Executive Director of the Business Improvement District, brought up his concerns about the lack of funding for a new parking structure. He stated that after reviewing the budget, as far as they can tell, there doesn’t appear to be any line item for additional parking. “We would love to see a budget item that indicates ‘x’ number of dollars” to go to engineering and planning for additional parking. Regarding marketing, Joe also requested on behalf of the BID, that the fund be increased from fifty thousand to seventy-five thousand arguing that the fund brings events like the Bacon Fest and Beer Fest and along with it, many people. They would like to expand the summer events and need additional funding.

  Joe Tenucci, resident of Central, next queried the Council regarding two items on the 2014 budget. Joe noticed that revenue from property taxes were increasing as will revenue from device fees. He questioned with the number of devices going down, how device fee revenue will go up and how will property tax revenue increase without taxes being raised. Finance Director Shannon Flowers answered his questions saying that in both situations, it is not an increase in revenues he’s seeing, but rather an increase in allocation. Since our bond payments are retiring this year, the full amount of device fees and property taxes are reflected in next year’s budget.

  Ann Dodson of GF Gaming then addressed the council regarding a new parking structure not being in the budget saying, “because we have that revenue from the retired bond, I would like to request Council take that money and allocate it to continue to plan for a parking structure.”

Flood regulation revisions approved

  The second reading of ordinance 13-15 brought no objections or new discussion. The ordinance will make Central City’s regulations line up with the state which reflects new federal regulations. All municipalities are required to match the new federal guidelines with a deadline of January 2014. Adoption will ensure that residents will be getting lower rates for flood insurance than if this were not passed. There was no public comment. Alderman Heider moved to approve the ordinance and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The motion passed unanimously.

New alternate for the HPC selected

  An open position for alternate to the Historic Preservation Council was filled by the City Council. There were three applicants and after deliberation, it was decided to award Barbara Thielemann the position. The support went to Barbara due to her longevity in the county, her experience as a member of the city planning commission, and her involvement with the Historical Society. Alderman Gaines also liked another applicant because of her work in city government for 20 years, but believes she would be a good fit for the planning commission if Barbara were to step down. Mayor Engels stated that “it’s a delight to do this and very painful” because we have three very good candidates and have to turn two of them down. He then agreed that Barbara would be a good fit for the position.

New Director for the BID ratified

  The Council received a request from Thomas Robb, President of the Central City Business Improvement District (BID) to ratify their appointment of Ann Dodson as Director of the BID. Alderman Voorhies moved to accept Ann Dodson as the Director of the BID and was seconded by Alderman Gaines. The motion passed unanimously. Ms. Dodson is filling a seat vacated by Ross Grimes.

2014 Budget Approved on First Reading

  Finance Director Shannon Flowers presented the first reading of Ordinance 13-16 which includes approval of the 2014 Budget, adopting the Capital Improvement Plan, and setting a Property Tax Mill Levy. Flowers advised that there is an option to make changes before the second reading. The total city budget is 4.9 million divided into four separate funds: water, public property trust, historical preservation, and the general fund. Alderman Gaines moved to approve the first reading of Ordinance 13-16 and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. Alderman Spain stated that as many times as the gaming commission has come to us about a parking structure, I think we need to give them a definite answer. The council agreed to have a discussion and give them an answer by the second reading. The motion passed unanimously. The second and final reading will be on November 19th.

Quartz Hill Remediation Project to be monitored by City

  City Planner Robert Fejeran presented Resolution 13-23. The resolution will help preserve the lode-out chute on Quartz Hill by having the City monitor the structure during the Quartz Hill Remediation Project. The lode-out chute is in the upper lot of the Quartz Hill tailings and can easily be seen from Nevada Street. Alderman Gaines confirmed that this means the structure is going to stay; that it’s not going anywhere. When asked when the project is expected to start, Fejeran replied that the contractor is planning to start after finishing their current project and it should be by the end of November. The contractor for the Quartz Hill project is the same one currently working on Lawrence Street. Alderman Spain moved to approve Resolution 13-23 and was seconded by Alderman Voorhies. The motion passed unanimously.

Executive Session

  The regular council meeting concluded and the council then met for an executive session to discuss a personnel matter and to instruct negotiators regarding new development within the City of Central.

Next Meeting

  Mark your calendars for Tuesday, November 19th for the next regular council meeting.

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