In recognition of Cathy Enerson’s 13 years of service and dedication to improving the lives of Preston’s citizens, she was presented with a “key to the city” plaque at the city council’s February 16 meeting.
The meeting was totally virtual. But, it was suggested that once things get back to normal she will be honored with a gathering to properly recognize her achievements and efforts for the city. Jon DeVries said, “It was a pleasure working with her over the last couple of years on a housing study.” Mayor Kurt Reicks added, “You will have a lasting impact on the city of Preston.” Another project that consumed much of her time was planning for the proposed veterans home.
Enerson said everyone has been pulling together and have supported the EDA. She added Gabby Kinneberg, new director of the EDA, will do a wonderful job.
Kinneberg took over, describing the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) local funds guidelines, as now being more comprehensive. In the past the funds have been directed more toward the rehabilitation of rental apartments. Now, it will be directed at both rental apartments and commercial rehabilitation. The city has received repayments from previous small city grant programs. Those repayment funds are now local funds and can be loaned out to future community projects.
The council approved the guidelines for the use of the approximate fund balance of $59,000 to be reused for loans to rehabilitate commercial and residential properties in the downtown area, as recommended by the EDA. The terms include 0% deferred over five years. Kinneberg added this is a way for the EDA to help property owners, especially during COVID.
Other business in brief
•Now that the city has taken over responsibility for the Crown Hill Cemetery, the council approved the advertisement for a part-time maintenance worker for the cemetery. The worker will likely work 20-25 hours per week during the summer (April through October) to mow and string trim the cemetery grounds.
Approval was given for City Administrator Joe Hoffman to serve as sexton and actuary for the cemetery. He will sign deeds and documents related to the cemetery. At the next council meeting the need for equipment to maintain the cemetery will be discussed.
•With the planned 2021 Street and Utility Project it has been proposed that a stormwater line be routed across three private properties between Brownsville St. and Spring St. Approval was given to authorize Hoffman to negotiate with the property owners to obtain the necessary easements.
•Fire Department treasurer Dustin Arndt presented two quotes for SCBA units (air packs and tanks). The old equipment is 17 years old and the new equipment’s life is expected to be about 15 years. It was requested that the higher of the two bids be accepted. The difference in the bids was approximately $4,000.
The current old equipment is 3M Scott system and this is the equipment the firemen have trained with. The purchase of this equipment from Clarey’s Safety Equipment, Inc. will cost $90,697. This equipment was preferable because it is what they are used to and it provides a better fit. Arndt added that the maintenance costs for the Drager System from Alex Air Apparatus would likely make it more costly over the 15 year period.
The purchase of the 3M Scott system from Clarey’s Safety Equipment, Inc. was approved as recommended by the Fire Department committee. The funds will come out of the Fire Equipment Fund, which is a mix of city-only contributions and charitable gambling donations. The fund is built up to purchase a new fire truck.
•Advertisement for a city summer helper was approved.
•The next city council meeting will be held on March 1.