Updates at the top:
Ardis: Says that city is going to be transparent as possible Entire budget is online. Asked anyone willing to address council to do so. None do.
Motion to receive and file. Executive session planned. Meeting is over. Damn that was quick.
Jacob questions Scroggins: Gambling revenues down significantly. Any reason why? Scroggins: He guesses it’s the impact on the smoking ban. Jacob: Wants city to secure additional information.It has a significant impact on our revenue.
Nichting says staff needs direction on funds. Staff says no.
Jacob: Debt service fairly significant. Can we look at other opportunies to take advantage of lower rates. We’ve already refunded many of our bonds. Short terms rates have not gone down low enough in short term. Savings is not there. Cash has dried out. No one is buying municipal bonds.
Jacob: $4 million increase in property taxes. Scroggins say much is due to debt for library.
Council member Bob Manning still wants to amortize pension benefits. State legislators give out generous firefighter pensions, but don’t have to pay. Manning wants to amortize over longer periods. Says legislators refuse to listen to pleas to help. Manning says State Sen. Dave should be able to help because he’s tight with current governor.
Jacob: This budget is the state in the right direction toward five years budgeting. Scroggins will bring back five year projection, he says.
Spears wonder how utility revenue can be flat. He doubts that electricity use should be flat, considering new construction.
Councilman Ryan Spain: Mentions downward trend toward HRA tax. Maybe people aren’t eating out as much, or eating at restaurant outside city, he says. Scroggins says he doesn’t have access to taxes in other communities at this time.
Jacob AGAIN. I missed it because I had to deal with a chat invitation.