The regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Monday, Oct. 16, got underway with Government Relations Contract Consultant Melissa Lewis updating the Council on what is currently taking place in Helena. Lewis spoke of a possible special session being held in regards to the State’s budget.
“It’s looking very bleak,” said Lewis. “There’s a $34 million shortfall this year, leading those in the House and Senate to consider 10 percent budget cuts across a majority of departments.”
Lewis shared that if a special session was called the Legislature could look into a couple of different alternatives for making up the shortfall, such as transferring funds and delaying some payments.
“But the Legislature isn’t wanting to do that right now,” she added. “They seem to want the budget cuts to be made first and then possibly visit the alternatives. One thing that is coming up is a $120,000 payment to schools. If a special session is called it would most likely be in November before this payment goes out.”
Lewis advised the Council that the Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Department of Education (DOE) would be taking the biggest hits. The DPHHS is looking at a $105 million cut, DOC $40 million and the DOE $43 million.
“These cuts would have a huge impact on many of the State’s most in-need individuals,” said Lewis. “And would definitely impact Shelby in all three departments.”
Lewis wrapped up her presentation after briefly touching upon a few other subjects and advising the Council she would keep them updated as things changed.
Mayor Bonderud then asked the Council to pass paying the claims that are due. Councilman Gary McDermott had a question on one claim listed to be paid to KLJ for the bidding on, construction, RTR and finishing the fourth cell.
“We are being billed for bidding on the fourth cell by KLJ, as well as the construction, RTR and finishing it,” pointed out McDermott. “Why? We aren’t to that phase yet.”
On May 1 the Council made a motion and approved the motion to take the fourth cell to bid in November or December of 2017. It was approved by a 6-0 vote.
“The engineers are flexing within the contract amount, but will not exceed what has been approved,” said Finance Officer Jade Goroski.
The Council voted unanimously to pay the claims.
Sheriff Donna Whitt was at the meeting to update the Council on what has been taking place in her department. Whitt shared that TCSO recently received $3,000 for having a four percent error reporting rate.
“We report monthly to the state and they report yearly to the feds,” explained Whitt. “We received this money last year as well. The reason why is due to our low percentage of errors and being on time with our reports.”
Whitt went on to share that with last year’s money the department purchased stop sticks and that the money received this year will go towards buying more.
The Council moved on to pass Resolution 1969 to Amending Resolution No. 1882, conveying closed street/alley to abutting landowners.
“The title company said 1882 is not clear enough in what it conveys,” explained Bonderud. “We need this to clear it up.”
When it came to passing to accept the monthly reports McDermott had a question in regards to the Cash Report.
“We have broken out reserve for debt service,” said McDermott. “Does that include all bond issues?”
Finance officer Goroski advised that it does. He also added the General Fund balance doesn’t include the enterprise funds.
“I would like it to show those so I can reconcile it to the total,” said McDermott.
Goroski stated he would do that in the future.
The Council then moved forward in the meeting to approve hiring new City Crew worker Thomas Faunce and selling Lot 19 behind Pizza Hut to the Carousel Rest Area of Shelby.
Bonderud then made mention of the fact that the City Planning Board is needing to fill a couple of spots and asked the Council to think about who they might know that would be interested.
Bonderud had just a few more things included in the packet to visit with the Council about, including the Marias Valley Golf Course lease with the City.
“The City leases the golf course to Marias Valley and in the past few years they have leased it to MSK, with the City’s approval,” said Bonderud. “Now they are terminating their contract with MSK and will go back to leasing it themselves. We will be updating the contract and it will be presented at the next meeting.”
Bonderud also mentioned a parking ordinance that would include not only a time requirement, but a distance requirement as well.
“It was brought to my attention by a resident that in a few other towns they have added a distance requirement to their parking ordinances so folks can’t just move it two feet and be back in compliance,” said Bonderud. “This is just a thought, it might be something we want to do, just something for you to think about.”
After re-appointing Goroski to the Heritage Condo Board the Council then heard a little bit about the North Shelby waterline before adjourning.
“The City limits to airport water line has broke seven times in the past year,” Bonderud said. “It’s old AC line on a hard shale floor, six inch cheap pipe. When it breaks we end up replacing approximately 20 feet at a time. When this line breaks it quickly drains the Homeland Security water tank down to nothing. There’s about 2,100 feet of it needing to be replaced.”
Bonderud went on to explain that DEQ approval would be needed in order to move forward with replacing the line so plans and specs would be needed.
“We will work on a proposal and bring it back to the Council in two weeks at the next meeting,” said Bonderud.
Before adjourning McDermott quickly asked about the audit. Goroski advised he has received the draft financials, notes and adjusting entries, but not the draft audit.
“The auditors have sent the draft financials that have footnotes, but no comments and no draft audit as of yet,” said Goroski. “It’s not yet known when they will be done and there isn’t a timeline for completion.”
With the agenda covered and nothing more to be discussed the Council voted to adjourn. The next regularly scheduled Council meeting will take place Monday, Nov. 6, starting at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall. The public is always welcome to attend.