Mike Bubany, David Drown and Associates (DDA), presented information about their capital financial planning service at the January 22 meeting of the Chatfield City Council.
He explained that he has been discussing the benefits of the service with city staff for a couple of months. Information can easily be plugged in to show on a spread sheet the effect a particular project would have on tax payers. In the beginning an analysis is done to compare the city with 10 or so other cities of roughly the same size.
The first step is to collect data. This includes the city’s tax base, local government aid, general fund reserves (ideally 50% of expenditures), median household income, city’s debt per capita, and total cost of services (tax rates, sewer/water rates). This process helps determine the city’s general financial health.
The data allows DDA to propose target goals and/or financial constraints to guide the capital improvement planning process.
Once the data is compiled, the next step is a planning model. This will help determine how to best pay for a major project. Conservative growth rate projections can be taken into account. Graphs illustrate the city’s per capita debt burden and can show how a planned project can affect the per capita debt burden and future tax rates. The capital financial planning service is a management tool to find the best approach to financing projects while staying within financial constraints. It helps to find the balance between projects desired to meet community needs and a limited capacity to afford them.
DDA provides a minimum of three updates at no charge; Bubany said they will do more. The one time fee is a lump sum of $5,000 plus expenses not to exceed $250. The fee can be returned to the city over time as it will receive up to a $1,500 discount on future bond issuances until the full amount is returned. A PDF report will be issued with each update.
City Clerk Joel Young recommended purchasing the capital financial planning service; adding, it will be a great step in the right direction. Councilor Mike Urban said it will make it simple to see needed information in real time. The purchase was approved.
Other business in brief
• EDA Director Chris Giesen explained the EDA is looking for ways to market the lots along Industrial Drive. Most lots are zoned commercial which makes the EDA question whether Industrial Drive is the most appropriate name. The council approved changing the name to Enterprise Drive.
• A resolution was adopted approving an agreement between the city and Chatfield Trails Inc. It also authorized an application to OHV Trails Assistance Program for funding to possibly expand the Chatfield ATV Trail.
• A Pothole Filling Policy was approved. Burkholder said pothole filling is done in the spring or as needed. Pothole filling is part of the city’s pavement management program. Crews inspect the streets and locate potholes to be filled or a resident may call and complain about a pothole that needs attention. Potholes are defined as two inches or more in depth and over five inches in diameter.
• A proposal from Marco to upgrade the primary server to a Microsoft 365 tower server, to migrate data, and to provide complete managed IT services was approved. The total cost of products and Marco professional services is $27,954.06. This upgrade was approved during the 2018 budgeting process. Funding will come from reserves and recurring monthly charges are budgeted.