The Storm Lake City Council approved a 2009-2010 budget Monday evening with expenditures projected at nearly $21.3 million, up from less than $19.7 million estimated for fiscal 2008-09. Property tax revenue is estmated at $2.97 million for the coming year, up from $2.48 million for '09.
The budget projects spending of nearly $2.3 million for public safety; $1.6 million for culture and recreation; $1.4 million for debt service; and $1.9 million in capital projects.
Highlights include an average wage increase of 3 percent for City employees, funding for the completion of the Sunrise Pointe Campground renovation and tourist cottages development plan, and a reduction in funding to community agencies including the Witter Gallery, historical society and RIDES. A parks position is slated to go from full-time to part-time.
The council also approved its 5-Year Capital Improvement Plan Monday. Currently the 5-Year plan includes a Vestal Street construction project which is expected to begin in 2010, major improvements to the SL Wastewater Treatment Plant, equipment for the Police and Fire Departments, planning funds for a business district as well as planning funds for a skate park.
City Clerk Justin Yarosevich says the purpose of the plan is to give the City and Council a "planning tool," and help them plan out further into the future. Mayor Jon Kruse applauded City employees for their hard work and long hours put into the plan and said he felt plans like this one are good business practices and a good way for the City to "plan for tomorrow," "It's not a document to be shelved, it's a working document," he says, emphasizing that the City will want to revise the plan annually.
*The City also authorized the submittal of two grant applications for the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users Enhancement (SAFTEA-LU). The grant applications are made to Northwest Iowa Planning and Development for phase two of the North Lake Avenue Trail Project which would complete the trail from the Plaza Mexico Restaurant area south to Tenth St. A grant was received for phase one running the trail from C49 to North Lake Avenue to the Plaza Mexico region, with construction expected in FY 2012. Yarosevich says the grant application for phase two is requesting 60 percent of the funding with total estimated costs of this phase two at $172,500.
* The City also approved the submittal of an SAFTEA-LU grant application for a resurfacing project on Lake Avenue which would run from Lakeshore Drive to Railroad Street (2010)and is expected to cost an estimated $343,791 and the City is planning to request 60 percent grant funding. Asphault overlay on Vestal Street from Milwaukee Ave. to Tenth St is estimated to cost approximately $196,663 with a request for 60 percent grant funding..
*The City approved the plans for a reconstruction project for Expansion Blvd to include no less than 506 feet but possibly up to 600 feet of reconstruction work. Infrastructure Superintendent Pat Kelly says they expect completion will be done wihin 45 days and be complete be no later than Aug. 28.