At the May 1 meeting of the Preston City Council, approval was given for payment in full to Ledegar Roofing, a total of $80,649 pending a satisfactory inspection by the architect on Wednesday. The work on the city hall roof was completed this last week. The total includes an additional cost of $520 to replace 160 square feet of deteriorated wood decking.
City Administrator Joe Hoffman said there was almost no insulation in the old roof. Now, with adequate insulation the energy efficiency of the building should be greatly improved.
Hoffman noted the mural was delivered this day. It may be mounted after the scaffolding is down.
The total project includes the roof replacement, exterior wall insulation system and painting, canopy and lighting, retaining wall, sidewalk, sign, and a small amount of interior work. A rough estimate of the total cost is about $175,000.
Hoffman explained he will put together a number of options for how to best fund the city hall improvements. Preston Public Utility will cost share $43,000 or more. Hoffman noted the EDA development fund is funded by tax dollars and a portion of that fund would be one option to pay for the project without taking funds from the city’s General Fund.
Councilman Robert Maust suggested the improvements, because of their expected longer life, could be funded from the Capital Improvement fund.
Jason Boynton, Smith Schafer and Associates, presented a summary of the city’s 2016 audit. The city received an unmodified “clean” opinion on the 2016 financial statements.
General tax levy revenues contributed 36% of the total governmental revenues. Local Government Aid represented 23% of the total revenues. LGA had increased less than $500 over 2015.
The city’s General Fund reserves equal 63% of the annual general fund expenditures. This is 14% lower than 2015 when reserves were 77% of general fund expenditures.
Capital improvement reserve has a fund balance of $345,365. All bonds are being paid on a timely basis and debt service funds are adequately funded.
Electric and Water funds generate sufficient cash from operations to meet annual debt service and capital purchases. However, the Sewer Fund is not generating sufficient cash from operations to meet debt service obligations. Hoffman noted that sewer rates have been raised each year, but sewer sales are decreasing especially for the larger customers who have become more efficient. The Storm Water Drainage Utility Fund shows a deficient before transfers.
A motion to accept the audit was approved.
Other business in brief
• A variance request from Alton Erickson, Brownsville St. NW, for an addition to his house was approved as recommended by Planning and Zoning. He plans to build a 10 foot by 18 foot covered porch over the existing patio. The variance allows for a 7-foot setback. City code requires a 15-foot side setback and a 20-foot setback from low density residential zones.
• A motion to repair a 2009 Silverado pickup owned with the Preston Utility was approved. The pickup has a broken frame. Insurance will pay for parts and labor in the amount of $7,144 for a full frame replacement. A $250 deductible will be paid by the city. City staff recommended that the Utility buy out the city’s share of the repaired truck, valued by the insurer at $19,000. The motion approved included an offer to the Utility to buy the city’s interest in the vehicle for $8,500.
• A request from Dan Christianson for the city to contribute $506.22 for the alley portion when the bank seals and stripes its lots was discussed. Hoffman was directed to check the city’s alley policy. No action was taken this day.
• The appointment of Chad Grabau to the Park Board was approved.