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Belle Plaine City Council sets hearing on new budget


The hearing for the 2010-2011 Belle Plaine city budget has been set for March 1 at 6 p.m.

A full presentation was given at the prior council meeting.

City Administrator Bill Daily said there is no pay increase allocated within this budget for full-time employees, but the city and employees have adjusted for a projected 27-percent increase in health insurance, with the employees beginning to share in the cost in budget year 2011. He said this is a big step for the City of Belle Plaine, and hopefully it will serve the employees as well.

The agreements with the local Teamster’s Union was approved for the next three years. This covers public works and the police department. Daily pointed out it will help having employees contribute through cost-sharing on health insurance, in light of a projected 27 percent increase in health insurance premiums.

Daily also gave his administrator’s report.

The grain bin mural was damaged from a high south wind. Work is underway to get the panels repaired. He hopes it will be back up shortly if the weather cooperates. He added that all the murals are insured.

Daily said the mural project is being submitted to Main Street Iowa for consideration of an annual Design Committee award.

An offer has been made to a new director for Belle Plaine Development Corporation.

Daily also commended Bob Storm and Nadine Thomasson for many years of service to the Parks department. An open house in their honor was held Sunday.

Belle Plaine’s CAT grant presentation is Feb. 10 for the downtown revitalization project. This is the second step in the process towards getting a grant, and he urged people to attend in support of the project.

Garbage and sewer rates

Sewer and garbage rates for July 1, 2010 were approved, resulting in a 5-percent increase in water and sewer, and 3 percent for garbage.

Water for residents: $4.27 to $4.49 per 1,000 gallons

Water for residents outside of city limits: $5.70 to $5.99 per 1,000 gallons

Sewer for residents: $4.27 to $4.49 per 1,000 gallons

Garbage: $18.48 to $19.04 per household with a landfill charge of $5.50 per business per month and $22 per apartment. Daily pointed out the landfill fee did not go up.

The resolution notes the city has had a substantial drop in revenues in both water and sewer due to declining sales, as a result of fewer households.

Sanitary/storm sewer project

There were no objectors at the public hearing to approve the plans and the bid for the sanitary/storm sewer improvement project. The estimated cost is $295,648.90. The low bid was $262,921.06, which is 11 percent below the opinion of probable costs. The council awarded the bid to Denver Underground & Grading, based on the recommendation of the city engineer. There were nine other bidders for the project.

Other business

After its third and final reading, the council approved an amended ordinance on the curfew for minors, changing the fine to $85, making it a misdemeanor. The police chief and assistant city attorney will visit with the local magistrate on the new ordinance, and transporting of juveniles to court.

The council approved the renewal of the Class C beer permit, carryout wine and Sunday Sales permit for Country Foods.

A service agreement was approved with Akay Consulting to submit and nominate the downtown area to the National Register of Historic Places, for a fee of $6,394. This recommendation came through the Belle Plaine Main Street Design Committee. While there are no individual buildings that qualify, Daily felt that Main Street could qualify as a whole, with its tie in with the Lincoln Highway. He said this opens up the city to funding and other possibilities, if approved as a Downtown Historic District.

Daily stressed this covers the two-block area on Main Street, and not the old train depot.

The next council meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 16.

The meeting was conducted by Harold Ealy, in the absence of Mayor James Daily.

UPDATED February 3, 2010 11:03 AM

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