Item N (City Hall, Activity Center, and Public Works Presentations)
The budget every year has a component of what staff would like, and (sometimes versus) what the council would like. As part of that, the departments present what they accomplished over the last year and what they want to accomplish next year along with what resources they feel are needed to get there.
And therein lies the struggle for the council. What is being asked for, versus what is really needed, can be frustrating for both sides to determine. I have not made it a secret that I believe this city has gotten used to spending all of the excess in taxes that the new housing has brought in, and that's a difficult habit to break. On the other hand there are certainly more needs in a city that has seen growth.
Public Works is requesting 2 new employees. I'm not sold that we need 2 at this time. Both of these would be completely paid out of taxes (rather than fees).
City hall is requesting 2 also. One is a development director. When Tina left (she was both our Administrator and Community Director), we decided to contract the development director out. That made sense then and I'm not sure much has changed. If we see a drop in development activity, hiring a very expensive (I'm guessing about $200k) person would not be the smartest move. That cost would come out of fees rather than taxes. The 2nd person they're looking at would be an administrative assistant (if we keep the current administrator/accountant dual role) or a full administrator. The latter would be another possible $200k cost, mostly paid for through taxes. The administrator assistant would be a ground level person. I do have concerns that a full time administrator would be inefficient and wouldn't help much in backing up staff. At this point though, I'm certainly open to reasons for either.
If anybody is interested in these presentations, I have the power points, or you can watch the meeting.
Item O (French Lake Road bids)
The information for this wasn't in the packet but it was provided to the council via email after the packet was sent out on Friday. This was due to the some questions that came up on the bids.
This project was to do the rebuild on West French Lake road from were the Dayton Parkway intersects, west up to the Graco improvement. The estimate was $5M and the low bid came in at $4.3M. Assuming we have no surprises along the entire project, that means the estimated $1.5M the city would put into the entire project from taxes is now reduced to about $800k.
At this time the work is scheduled to start mid-July.
Item P&Q (Easement vacations)
These items are primarily procedural and are common during the development phase of a property. State statute requires a public hearing whenever easements are removed by the city.
Item R (Approval of Bids for CR 81/Dayton Parkway
This was to finalize the work needed to get to the bidding process for the section of Dayton Parkway between highway 81 and the Cube's portion of Dayton Parkway.
This work (after a bid is selected) is expected to start early August of this year.
Item S&T (Pre and Final
Plat, Site Plan, IUP, and DA for Inland Development)
This property is located between Troy Lane and Dayton Parkway and will be a 330,000 sq. foot warehouse. It will be accessed by highway 81 and also to the north via what is being called Troy Lane Extension which Inland will build. That road will connect the north side of Try Lane to West French Lake road.
Item U (RFP for City Administrator)
More discussion on finalizing a path to fill the administrator position. It's my belief the city doesn't need a full time administrator, but I believe (and did at the time) that the last solution (combined administrator / Development Director) was a bad answer from the start. The city was planning a significant development effort and it should have been obvious that would lead to a load on that position (and clearly did). A decision was made by the council to quantify the workload and we'll see where that leads to for staffing.
Item V (Leasing of Squad Cars)
As with everything, squad cars are becoming hard to get delivery on. Staff believes they have found a way to lease the cars (apparently other communities are currently doing it) and possibly save money at the same time.
As always, feel very free to contact me if you have any questions about these topics or anything else going on in our city.