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Preston City Council Report: Preston union accepts COLA increase


Fri, Dec 21st, 2007
Posted in Government

PRESTON - The Preston City Council met December 17 with only an operating quorum. David Harrison and Robert Sauer were absent. The Preston Public Employees Association (PPEA) had voted not to contest the council's offer of a 3% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2008. Members representing the union did make clear that they were displeased with the council's unwillingness to negotiate. It was noted that the October Midwest Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Midwest was 4.3%. The union's disappointment was also expressed in a letter to the council dated December 12 signed by the union's president, Dan Boesen.

Mayor Kurt Reicks hoped that scheduled contract negotiations set for next year will resolve this annual source of contention with the union over the COLA increase. City Administrator Joe Hoffman suggested the wording in the current contract and the minutes of the meeting for which it was approved created a sort of "gray" area. PPEA representatives agreed that "gray" areas needed to be cleared up as much as possible in the next contract negotiation. Hoffman added that negotiations needed to start in the spring before the city determines its budget.

Parking Zone

The Fillmore County Developmental Achievement Center requested that a physically disabled parking zone be established in front of Thrifty Threads at 106 Main Street SE. Hoffman explained that the zone would be forty feet, enough to park two cars or one larger vehicle, in this case a bus. The zone would allow physically disabled individuals who work in the store easier access.

Council members Heath Mensink and Jon Haugan asked if other business people in the area had been consulted. Hoffman said that he would send out letters to those businesses. The resolution was tabled until the first meeting in January to allow time to notify business people.

Variance

Joe Hoffman explained that property owned by Jason and Nellie Majerus is zoned R3. This requires a 15 foot set-back rather than the 10 foot set-back required for R2 properties. The Majerus' tore down an old home and need to have a ten foot set-back on the west and a 14 foot set-back on the east for their rebuilding plans. Hoffman added that there is no objection from adjoining property owners. He added that the property skirts the flood plain on the southeast. However, the new home will not have a basement, which negates the issue. The variance was approved.

Tax Levy

The final tax levy collectible in 2008 was adopted in the amount of $540,680.

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