Five-year plan approved
Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson told the city council Wednesday that funding the city’s industrial park in the coming years is paramount to the city’s continued growth.
During discussion of the city’s five-year capital improvement plan, Hinson said that there had been businesses that have expressed interest in locating in Washington. He said the problem was that there were no industrial lots to offer them. Hinson said these businesses wanted shovel-ready lots with infrastructure in place ready to build on.
“If we abandon the concept of the industrial park, I believe we will be selling this community short,” Hinson told the council.
The plan was approved by a 4-2 vote. Council member Bob Shellmyer voted against the plan, citing a project to resurface South Iowa Avenue that he feels is premature. Council member Russ Zieglowsky was not present and absent votes go to the negative.
Mayor Sandra Johnson said she liked the plan, as opposed to previous plans, because Hinson had specified where the money for each project would come from. Hinson said there had been projects in previous capital improvement plans that still need to be done.
Hinson explained that the capital improvement plan was an ongoing plan. The plan for next year includes all items that have been budgeted for. Each year, he said, another year will be added to the end of the plan, making it a “work in progress.” He also said that just because something appears on the plan, does not mean the project will automatically be done.
No comments were made during a public hearing on the plan.
Earlier in the meeting Shellmyer asked that additional money be put into repairs for the sewers. Hinson said that $450,000 had been allocated for sewer repair next year and it would be a “challenge” to use it all during the next year.
The council also discussed the street projects and water system improvements that were listed in the plan. The fiscal year begins July 1.
In other business, the council:
• discussed a report from the city attorney transition task force. During discussion council member Bob Shepherd said that the task force was exploring options for the city attorney’s position because research had not been done in years. Shellmyer asked when such a study would be done on the city clerk and city administrator’s positions;
• agreed to discuss the city’s purchasing policy during the June 26 workshop. Shellmyer had requested the policy be examined to see if there were areas for improvement. The council had most recently reaffirmed the policy in November 2011;
• approved a request to close the alley behind the Washington Public Library from 9:30 to 11 a.m. June 13;
• held a public hearing on the downtown urban renewal plan. Upon receiving no comments, adopted an amendment to the plan and a Tax Increment Finance ordinance. Hinson said the overall goal of the plan is to make five urban renewal areas into two;
• held a public hearing on the South Avenue B water main project and accepted a bid from DeLong Construction for $105,000 for the project;
• approved a loan agreement for $250,000 in general obligation bonds to be used for the street program and the Washington Municipal Airport runway and awarded the loan to Washington State Bank at a rate of .75 percent interest;
• considered three bids for solid waste collection and recycling and approved Luke’s Sanitation, the city’s current provider, for the three-year contract;
• approved establishing a Medicare Reimbursement Policy for eligible employees;
• approved a resolution authorizing levy, assessment and collection to the city treasurer;
• approved the third reading of an ordinance adding mobile home park sewer charges;
• approved the third reading of an ordinance changing the zoning districts in Washington;
• approved amending the ordinances to allow a stop sign at Campbell Drive and Country Club Road.