Council talks finances and more
A treasurer’s review of Fiscal Year 2020-21 was presented to members of the Chenoa City Council Tuesday evening.
Bryan Rowold reported the city general fund ended with a loss of $104,000 while motor fuel tax had a surplus and the TIF fund showed a deficit of $75,000. The water fund had a surplus of $94,000. This showed a surplus since money was transferred from the general fund to the sewer fund to pay for the water main project.
“You can have restricted cash and unrestricted cash,” Rowold explained.
DUI money which comes in must be spent on specific items while funds set aside for a project down the road would be considered council restricted money. Rowold said in theory, there is a full year’s worth of debt service payments in savings. He feels the city has been conservative in budgeting sales tax revenue.
Nine years of information on revenue and expenses in the various funds indicates the general fund tends to go up and down but the water and sewer fund typically sees consistent losses.
“The water and sewer fund definitely has a deficit issue,” observed Rowold.
It was suggested the city set funds aside for the swimming pool to create a fund covering repairs or any other issue which may arise.
“Either give more money when you transfer each year or set money aside on the general fund side and set it aside for swimming pool use.”
A couple of council members shared their thoughts on the budget once the information was presented.
“I think this should’ve been done in April,” said Streets Commissioner Joseph Bell.
“Let’s get a budget passed for this year,” suggested Water and Sewer Commissioner Lee Reinhart.
In other action during Tuesday’s regular meeting, the Chenoa City Council approved a motion to sell the leaf vacuum trailer. Commissioner Bell suggested using the money from the sale to purchase a portable generator and light tower for use around the city.
“We could also run sump pumps or anything else we need to,” Bell said.
City residents will continue with bagging and burning leaves.
“You are going to be buying more bags is the only thing,” noted Mayor Chris Wilder.
A bid for the park restroom project for block laying was given to Hoerr Equipment of Peoria for $17,200. Getting plumbing installed has been an issue since there was a bid of $29,000. Wilder said they will ask someone else to do that work.
“Plumbing right now is our next hold up,” Wilder explained.
A new water line must be installed for the type of toilets the city plans to use. The mayor reminded council members there is no engineering involved as it is a “straight forward” construction project.
“I’d like to see this project move forward,” Parks Commissioner Chad Daiker stated.
Restroom groundbreaking could happen in the next week but the horseshoe pits must be removed first.
During commissioner’s comments, Daiker reported the swimming pool has opened for the season and the heater was fixed. Group swim lessons will take place this summer and the pool parties are filling up fast.
“Everything is going pretty good at out there,” Daiker said.
Bell thanked Chenoa Township’s Tim Killian for his assistance with County Road 3000 North, which Bell considers a “pain” to maintain as chunks of brand new asphalt have peeled off. He also updated the group on the sink hole at Veto and Owsley streets. They initially filled it with gravel then tore up the middle but did not find any issues.
“We’ll have it looking presentable for the Fourth,” explained Bell.
City road chipping will soon begin for the summer with the hot weather coming in.
An amendment to the TIF redevelopment agreement between the city and PuppyDo Transformations was approved. Finance and Insurance Commissioner Kyle Buchanan said it was discovered after the fact that a five-year lease was in the contract and it should have been for one year.
“A five-year lease seemed like a long time,” said Buchanan.
The special use for Zack Lopeman was extended to allow campers on his Commercial Street property for a period of two years. This was a recommendation from the city zoning board. Following an executive session, the council authorized offering Dalton Campbell a position with the city at a rate of $18 per hour.
Dwayne Price appeared before the group presenting information on a memorial bench in honor of his father, Lester Price. The bench is six foot by three foot wide and a dedication ceremony is planned at the park June 19 at 10 a.m., recognizing all Lester has done for the city.
During public comment, concerns were expressed over threatening posts on Facebook related to an individual in town. A woman who just moved here said she appreciates, to a certain degree, the information she read on Facebook.
“This is a police department issue,” Mayor Wilder reminded the crowd.
“We can sit here at this table and have the guts and decency to say this has to stop,” commented Commissioner Reinhart.
The police chief reminded the audience the council has no authority over police matters.