June 11, 2024 Council Meeting and Work Session

Agenda (click to open)

View the meeting (click to open)

Current Events

  • Candidate sign up ended June 4th. There are 6 council candidates and 2 mayor candidates signed up.
  • If you or people in your area want to meet and discuss current/future topics related to the city, reach out to me to set up a time to visit. (email, phone call, or in person)
  • As you're driving on the river road by Stephens' park, you'll notice construction on the south side of the road. That's the new central water system treatment facility in progress.
  • Many of you are familiar with the phrase "rural look and feel" or "rural character." Dayton residents have said this is important to them and I agree. It's even in our mission statement. We've had a couple work sessions on the topic and I believe it'll result in a list of ideas we will be prioritizing for the future. If you have ideas, please let me know.

Work Session (Initial Budget Discussion)

This was the initial work session on the 2025 budget. The intent here is to get some idea of where staff is starting out with budget requests. 

The bottom line is, staff is proposing an 18% increase in spending. About half of that is additional staff / raises / union contracts, a quarter is equipment, and a quarter is additional money into pavement fund. Each of these has a lot of details behind it. 

As time goes on, we’ll hear more about the details but these continued double-digit requests get frustrating. Last year the initial request was 26% (to which my opponent was ok with). The previous 2 years, staff and the council did a good job reducing our tax rate from 54% down to 35% so I felt we could back off some and we settled on 18% (which was about the amount of growth we had). I’m not going to be so accommodating this year unless there’s some very convincing arguments. 

The only request I’m not at all ok with is a request to move our fire department to 4 full time employees. We went from no full-time employees to 2 in 2 years. Now the ask is 4. Rogers and Champlin don’t even have that. I believe we will need to go that direction in the next few years but I’m not convinced now is the time. 

We’ll likely have a budget work session once a month or so until we vote on a preliminary levy in September. 

Item O (West Territorial Infrastructure)

Around 2009, city water and sewer were extended west beyond Dayton Parkway on Territorial. This discussion was to look at what it would cost to extend that farther west and possible sources of funds to pay for the extension. There are a couple of development projects that would make use of the extension and the direction was given by the council to explore how much those assessments would get towards the cost. Staff was directed to get details on steps to finalize costs.

Item P (Dayton Parkway Intersections)

With the approval of the truck stop on the north side of the interchange and expected development to the south, it's clear that 2 of the intersections on Dayton Parkway will be needing traffic lights in the near future. The north side will intersect Territorial. Given that there are a few businesses in the area that cause the bulk of the traffic, it's likely those will pay a significant amount of the cost. There will still likely be a cost to the city but it will be roughly 25%. The south intersection doesn't exist yet, but will be about halfway between 94 and Brockton. That cost will be paid for entirely by the properties to the north and south since they are the reason the lights will be needed. Staff was directed to get details on steps to finalize costs.

Item Q (Dayton Parkway Alignment)

Since the final design of the Dayton Parkway was laid out, I've been vocal about the decision to go straight north across 117th and into a residential area instead of through Ag properties. To me what that'll do is stagnate that road right at 177th for what could be a long time. This item was brought by staff to explain how we got here (which probably doesn't matter much) and possible solutions. And as expected, the only solution is to possibly add a better path onto east bound 117th which will hopefully get some traffic relief until the Parkway is able to go across 117th. In the short term there is no action.

Item R (EDA)

The city of Dayton has access to a tax forfeit property just north west of the interchange. That property is guided commercial given it's right off the freeway. Staff has wanted to convert that to a fire training facility but they're basing that on a few assumptions that the majority of the council isn't on board with. And placing a government building on a prime piece of commercial property (given Dayton doesn't have enough as it is) doesn't seem like the best use to me. That being the case, the property seems like a good candidate for our EDA to get involved with to see if they can move the property to a good commercial owner. Unfortunately, due to a number of mistakes made around 2014 or so, the EDA's source documents are a mess. So we decided to table this until we can clean that up.

Item S (Police Retention Incentive)

Police officers are getting harder and harder to come by (for a number of reasons). One of the ways to keep them around is to offer some form of incentive. And... the best incentive is to use state grant money already allocated for just this use. For the officers with over 10 years of service, this means a $5k incentive. They will have to pay it back if they leave in the next 2 years. This was approved 5-0.

Closed session

This was regarding a civil suit against the city (more details once it's resolved).

Feel free to contact me for any questions, comments, or opinions you have.