City Budget allows for new fire truck, raises, new positions
Project AWAYSIS Manager Mike Wilson told the Storm Lake City Council that the outdoor waterpark at King's Pointe is on pace for a June 1 opening date.
According to Wilson, the blizzard that ushered in March has not caused much of slow down. "Now when all that snow melts it will create more of a mud hole," Wilson said.
Most of the work is being done inside of the lodge this month, but there were some slide installers who worked over the weekend to get their tasks completed .
"We had a few people that came in Thursday and left early and then virtually everyone was gone Friday," Wilson said.
The council approved a new agreement with Leisure Hotels and Resorts for Management of the outdoor aquatic facilities. The agreement will be for five years with automatic one year renewals similar to the contract the city has with Leisure Hotels and Resorts to operate the city-owned lodge hotel.
Personnel, staffing, training and supervision responsibilities will be Leisure's. With the indoor and outdoor parks being jointly managed, resources can be maximized, city officials feel. Hotel marketing efforts will also include waterparks, and a consistent approach to customer service for lodge and waterpark guests is planned.
As a public purpose facility, the park will offer Red Cross certified swim lessons, swim team practices and meetings.
Leisure hotels will promote marketing and conduct public relations.
Leisure Hotels also will maintain and operate the lighthouse, concession stand and restrooms on the beach nearby.
A management fee will be paid, and no portion of the fee will be based upon net income or net profit.
Council member Denny Vaudt added that he felt more comfortable with this agreement than what was done with the former city pool.
"It a solid agreement and I'm happy with it and I believe (City Administrator) Patti (Moore) is as well," Wilson said.
The City Council also approved the the final acceptance of the Sunrise Road Relocation. Godberson Smith has completed all required work under the contract as specified. Final acceptance of the project allows the city to request the release of the RISE Grant funds that were used to partial pay for the project. Grant proceeds total $100,000. The final contract amount was $552,323.
Two change orders were approved for King's Pointe, adding about $12,000 for minor changes to rooms and landscaping around the Lazy River tube ride in the outdoor waterpark.
Also Monday, the council voted to accept the proposed fiscal year city budget as presented earlier.
Council member Denny Vaudt said that he believed that City Administrator Patti Moore and her team put together a solid budget.
"I'm pleased with the confidence the council has shown in me and my staff," Moore said after the budget review. "It is one of the most exciting budgets we've done."
There is a 22 cent increase to the tax levy, which would increase taxes on an $82,000 residential property or a $100,000 commercial property by about $3 a year.
Among projected expenditures is the purchase of a new fire truck. Non-union employees are slated for a 3.9 percent wage increase for the fiscal year.
The budget plan also includes the addition of a Parks and Grounds director, Code Enforcement Officer, Communications Assistant and two seasonal park employees as new city positions.
Finance Director Paul Hoye presented to board resolutions that will allow for a new fire truck for the Storm Lake Fire Department to replace a 1969 pumper truck, Engine 74. The The council approved the authorization and Issuance of $325,000 GO Capital Loan Notes for the new engine.
According to Hoye the notes will have a minimal impact on the debt levy service. The funds will be set aside for December of 2007.