Preston’s search for a city administrator began after the resignation of Joe Hoffman, effective February 25, after over 17 years with the city. At the June 7 meeting of the city council the hire of Ryan Throckmorton as the city’s new city administrator, effective June 13, was approved. An employment agreement has been drawn up and is being reviewed by city attorney Dwight Luhmann.
Interim administrator Sheila Marzolf noted four applicants had been interviewed for the position. Throckmorton has been working with the city for 12 years, serving as the city’s ambulance director. He will continue work in that position until a replacement is hired.
Councilman Steve Hall asked what separated Throckmorton from the other applicants? Mayor Kurt Reicks highlighted his supervisory skills as ambulance director; he steps forward when needed and follows through. Marzolf concurred, noting Throckmorton maintained a good ambulance crew; he is determined, will see and work through a problem until the end, and has a good work ethic. Gabby Kinneberg, EDA and Tourism, believes it is good to hire internally; Throckmorton is invested in Preston, as he lives and spends money in the city.
Other Business in Brief
• Police Chief Blaise Sass requested and received approval to purchase three Tasers from Axon Enterprise, Inc. at a total cost of $4,822.77 for the city’s three full-time officers. A grant from the Preston Community Foundation in the amount of $2,500 was accepted and will offset a portion of the total cost. The balance of $2,322.77 will come out of the equipment budget. Blaise said they were grateful for the grant. Current Tasers are getting outdated but will still be used by part-time officers.
Sass added the new 2022 Dodge Charger, fully equipped, is now in service. The 2014 Impala it is replacing will be taken to auction.
• Two Housing Incentives were approved as recommended by the EDA. An incentive for new construction was for Kerry Soiney who is building a new home on Overlook Dr. Kinneberg said this is the first incentive approved for new construction this year.
An incentive for rehabilitation of existing housing was approved for Joel and Amanda Thomas at 112 Fillmore St. E. The historic brick building was built in 1880. The intention is to use the property as a rental or as a vacation rental. The estimated rehabilitation cost is $150,000. There needs to be a minimum increase of $25,000 in market value at the completion of the project to qualify for the incentive. This project will likely result in a significant increase in the tax base for this property.
• Approval was given to maintain the interest rate for the Preston EDA Revolving Loan program for 2022 at 2.5%. All other guidelines and terms will remain the same as they were in 2021.
• The next city council meeting will be held on June 20.