Gabby Kinneberg, current Tourism/Chamber/EDA director, has submitted her resignation, effective May 22. At the May 1 Preston City Council meeting City Administrator Ryan Throckmorton provided four options for her replacement.
The options included advertising for the position as it now, to include all three areas. Other options included contracting out EDA services or hiring two employees. Throckmorton noted a new employee could cost the city an additional $20,000 to cover insurance costs, as Kinneberg is not on the city’s plan.
Throckmorton said the Chamber is in favor of continuing the combined position. Mayor Kurt Reicks said Kinneberg has done a great job. He prefers keeping the 40-hour full-time position as it has been recently, if a candidate for the combined position can be found. If not, the city may need to move to the second option which will include contracting with CEDA for the EDA portion.
Throckmorton agreed Kinneberg did an amazing job covering all three areas. He said it is a lot for one person to sit on three boards with three separate budgets. She also dedicated a few hours per week to the Utility.
Kinneberg suggested her skill set may differ from the next person’s. She said there needs to be expectations, as to what the EDA board should be working on. She acknowledged she may have taken on extra things because she loves Preston. She added she also had an advantage as she already knew everybody going in.
Councilman Steve Hall said it is a lot for one employee to wear three hats; I have no problem with option one, but we should plan for option two.
A motion to advertise for option one for a couple of weeks was approved. The motion included planning for option two if necessary.
Gabby Kinneberg will continue to work with the city in her new role serving as the Public Relations and Volunteer Coordinator at the State Veterans Home in Preston.
Other business in brief
• Kinneberg stated Arndt Properties, LLC (121 & 137 Fillmore St.) has requested a Local Small Cities Development Program forgivable loan in the amount of $10,000 to repair a leaking roof. The total project cost is estimated at $45,490.31. Private funds (F & M Bank loan) will provide the rest of the estimated cost in the amount of $35,490.31. The roof to be repaired is on a 132-year-old historical building. The loan was approved as recommended by the EDA.
• Deb Ristau, ambulance director, explained that there have been issues with the company currently providing billing services for EMS. The contract with Expert T Billing requires 60-day notice for termination. The council approved the termination of the contract. Throckmorton has met with two other billing companies in search of a different billing company.
• The Community Message Channel (4) displayed on MediaCom has been non-functional for months. It is shut down now. It was unanimously decided to terminate the message channel. The city provides information to its citizens in utility bills and through social media.
• The city council will meet next on May 15.