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The City Council learned Monday evening, May 20th that the city’s debt is very low. This information came from Joseph Rohrman, CPA of Clifton Larson Allen, the firm that does the auditing for the City.
Rohrman informed the Council that the City had only $139,215 in Total General Obligation Notes as of the end of 2018. He further noted that the final payment of a $130,000 street construction loan from 2014 was paid off in January and a loan for street equipment will be paid off next year and a loan for the purchase of a new ambulance will be paid off in 2021.
However, the City’s Water Utility has issued Mortgage Revenue Bonds in the amount of $469,203 to finance the construction of a new municipal well. That loan is a 20-year obligation on the water utility and carries an interest rate of 1.122 percent according to the report.
The city’s debt at the end of last year was only 4.4 percent of what the city could borrow legally. According to the report the city has an equalized valuation of $63,901.100 and by state law can borrow up to $3,195,055, which is five percent of the value.
The City has almost $300,000 in special revenue funds including some $144,080 in the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund. The balance in that fund is up about $85,000 from four years ago and Rohrman noted that some housing loans have been paid off and no new ones have been issued. Also in those funds is money for the Library, Fire and Ambulance Departments.
Rohrman also addressed the finances of the City’s water and sewer utilities. His report noted that the water utility had a net income of $262,082 last year while the sewer utility had a $35,430 loss. The last time the city had an increase in the sewer utility rates was in July of 2014.
In other Council action Public Works Director Dave Caress reported that work at the wastewater treatment facility is on schedule despite the rain that has made it troublesome for the contractor to move earth in building the new dikes. He also reported that work at well number three at Hinman Park is completed with the contractor being able to bale out sand to within eight feet of the bottom of the well.
Caress also noted, “winter was tough on our streets.” He said about 160 feet of Tiffany Street is in need of repairs because the frost broke up the surface. He informed the Council that a price estimate is $13,000. There were also a couple of other spots in the streets that needed attention and that a storm sewer line that was not installed properly leaked and wasted out part of a parking lot at the car wash.
During his report, Police Chief Robert Darwin informed the Council that officer Vincent Rudesill has resigned and that his last day with Glenwood City will be May 31st.
In his resignation letter, Rudesill, said, “Glenwood City is a great place to work, there is no denying that. I do, however, think a few improvements would increase the City’s chances of keeping good officers for long periods of time. I think the easiest way to attract officers would be to offer a higher pay scale with scheduled raises. When experienced officers are searching for jobs, the jobs that pay at or below $20.00 per hour for full time are immediately ignored.”
The Council reviewed a comparison of pay schedules of nine area communities with starting officers pay ranging from $19.00 an hour at Colfax to $27.82 an hour at Baldwin. Glenwood City’s current officer pay is $22.90. The council took no action but did go into closed session to discuss the Police Chief’s wages.
Chief Darwin informed the Council about the upcoming Bike Safety program to be held at the school on May 29. It indicated that they had four bikes to give away along with bike helmets for the young kids. They are also planning a National Night Out in connection with the Ambulance and Fire Departments. This will be held in August.
In other action the Council accepted the Mayor’s appointment of Bruce Drinkman and Amy Groves to the Library Board, approved Weber Inspections as Zoning administrator and granted the County Fair temporary class B picnic for the St. Croix Valley Rodeo and the County Fair.