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Lanesboro City Council hears audit report

Fri, Jun 7th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Government

Jason Boynton of Smith Schafer and Associates presented the 2012 audit report at the regular Lanesboro City Council meeting on June 3.

Boynton went over the main points of the revenues and expenditures. The property tax revenue was very close to the amount that was levied at $435,144. Boynton noted that state LGA (Local Government Aid) had not increased at all, which is the same in all cities. The LGA accounted for 18 percent of the city’s total revenues.

General expenditures increased by only $1,066 from 2011. These include the mayor and council, administration, building, and election costs. Public safety expenditures, including police, fire and ambulance services, totaled $217,234. Boynton noted the Culture and Recreation expenditures had increased by almost $50,000 due to the landscaping project. Revenue from Buffalo Bill Days was $40,646, and the total cost was $38,388.

The unassigned general fund balance makes up 32 percent of the general fund expenditures. Boynton explained the state likes to see it from 30-50 percent, so they are still in range, but it’s something they should keep an eye on and be aware of.

All debts are being paid off in a timely manner, and there was no new debt issued in 2012.

Utility revenues are covering expenses well. Fund cash reserves are at $397,472.

Sewer and Street Projects

Dillon Dombrovski, an engineer with Yaggy Colby and Associates, had quotes from two contractors for the storm sewer project on Hwy. 250. The pipe under Riverside on the Root will be abandoned and re-routed to the south with an outlet into the river south of the building. Blitz Contracting was the low bid, and Dombrovski recommended they accept it. He said they have requested the project be done by mid to end of July so it is done before Buffalo Bill Days.

There was also discussion about the road project at the park. Dombrovski said the water table is within two or three feet of the existing surface at the area near the tennis courts. He spoke with geotechnical engineers who said if they do a reclaim and repave in that area, they will have the same problems return in two years. Dombrovski explained how they could look at a complete sub-cut and reclaim and reshape the area to help drain the water away. The cost of just the construction would be $127,000.

Mayor Steve Rahn said they should consider this, as it would be waste of money to do work on a road that will be damaged again in two years. Dombrovski is going to look into some legacy grants, and other funding options will be discussed when they go over the Capital Improvement Plan.

Ambulance Department

Ambulance Director David Haugen informed the council that he will be resigning his position as director as of July 1.

Haugen said there will be two EMTs completing their training this summer. They will have to take the national test before they can go on ambulance calls. They also have four first responders that are taking training in Spring Valley, Minn. The bare minimum for calls is one first responder and one EMT, so this will help cover on-call hours.

Haugen said they have not missed any calls, but it has been a strain to cover these hours.

With the strain of the position, a family, and two jobs, Haugen feels there should be a director who can give more time to the job. “It was not an easy decision,” he said. He will be staying on as an EMT.

There was some discussion about replacing the director, and Haugen said the consensus of the team was that it should be a paid, part-time position at 20 hours a week. “There’s nobody willing to take over my position as it is,” he stated. He added that he believed there would be a lot of interest if the position was paid. This person could help cover the daytime hours, which are the hardest to cover.

The council approved advertising for a part-time director, and Haugen will help create a job description.

“It’s a very important service for our community,” said Mayor Rahn.

Autumn Johnson informed the council about the Boy Scouts of America Explorer Program. The program is to encourage young people from age 14-20 to get involved in Emergency Medical Services. “It’s a great program, and a great experience for them,” said Johnson. She said hopefully some of these kids will come back and work on the ambulance crew someday. The council approved the program, as well as a checking account in Lanesboro.

A new ambulance is needed, as the current one is more than 10 years old. Johnson said they are looking at grant money to help out and to add to the money that is already budgeted. They are looking at a 2012 four-wheel drive ambulance which has a cost of $139,900.

City Administrator position

The contract for City Administrator David Todd was signed, and Todd will start on July 1. Interim City Administrator Theresa Coleman said she would be around for his first week to help out, and would also be available the second week, while Todd is at a conference.

Radium project

Councilor Joe O’Connor spoke about the bids received for the project to fix the water radium issue in Lanesboro. They received four bids, and Davy Engineering was the lowest bid. Davy Engineering did the preliminary study for the project. O’Connor explained they will do all of the engineering on the project, as well as submit reports to the state and help with funding options. He added there are a still a lot of unknowns about the project and costs. The council approved Davy Engineering contingent upon review by City Attorney Tom Manion.

Other Business

Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates will be at the Public Utilities Commission meeting on June 17 at 10:30 am, and at the joint City Council/Public Utilities meeting on July 1 at 5:30 pm to discuss the city’s Capital Improvement Plan.

The chicken/fowl ordinance was approved with minor changes.

It was approved to assess the unpaid utility bills of two residents to their property taxes.

A gambling license was approved for the Lanesboro Chamber of Commerce.

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