RIVERSIDE—The city council meeting lasted a little over an hour on Monday, June 17.
The amount of $65,282 was up for approval of residential home improvement grants at the meeting.
Councilor Bob Schneider Jr. asked city administrator Rusty Rogerson how the funding for these grants would be addressed in the city budget.
“The majority of them would not be reimbursed until next year [fiscal year 2013-14, which begins July 1],” Rogerson said.
A certificate of deposit of $98,000 is at the local bank, and expires at the end of the month, Rogerson said. He recommended to the council to move that over to next year to help cover some of the residential grants.
Councilor Ralph Schnoebelen asked if all the applicants fit the requested criteria of beautification and proposed tax base listed in the grant application.
Rogerson said the grant application was very generic. He reminded Schnoebelen that the council had asked the city attorney to look through the grant application, and no one had heard from him yet.
“Do these grant requests here fall in line with the previous grant requests we’ve had?” asked Riverside mayor Bill Poch.
“Yes,” Rogerson said.
Schnoebelen asked if the city was overextending the budget. Rogerson said a budget amendment would need to be done to address the majority of the grants.
Councilor Chris Kirkwood said the city council was overspending their previous amounts that were set for the residential grants. She said the council had set the amount for the residential grants for $40,000 and commercial grants for $25,000.
Also brought up during the residential grants discussion was that Bruce Duling, who owns the property at 40 West Fourth Street, had put in his second application.
“There’s nothing in the guidelines that prevents anyone for applying for more than one,” Rogerson said.
Schneider said the topic of loopholes in the grant, which included double applications, had come up before. He said the city had asked the city attorney to look over the application but nothing has been brought to the city yet.
Duling spoke to the council about his grant request. He said he has been working on his roof for almost a year now.
“I just want to get it done,” he said, “and I want to get it done now.”
He said he had money saved up previously for his roof, but the city attorney had told him his shipping container on the property had to be moved. Each time the shipping container was moved it cost him $1,000 for a crane to come in to move.
Poch asked for a vote. The motion passed 4 to 1 with Kirkwood as the dissenting vote.
Another topic of discussion was Lory Young’s evaluation.
Rogerson asked the city council to consider his requests for a raise for Young to $28.08 an hour and asked for her title to be changed to city clerk. He said he would like the raises for city staff members to be based on budget rather than population.
Schneider motioned for Young’s raise to be $24.07 an hour and for her to receive the title of city clerk. Kirkwood said it would need to be done as a resolution. The motion was abridged pending research on whether or not it needed to be done as a motion or as a resolution by Schneider.
Kirkwood disagreed with this item. She said someone working for the city a little over a year shouldn’t expect a wage increase like this. She also said this was another example of irresponsible spending and the council needed to wait until after the city’s budget had been worked out.
Rogerson said Yong’s performance had nothing to do with previous events at city hall and said he was only making a recommendation to the council.
Schneider agreed with Rogerson about the recommendations.
“I think it’s unfair for us to sit here and penalize Lory,” Schneider said. “She has been here for almost a year and we had talked about raising her wages in six months if I remember correctly during our discussion when we hired her.”
Schneider also said Young has gone above and beyond her duties for the city. He said the city’s budget could take another year to be straightened out.
Poch called for a voted pending the research and it wasn’t approved. Kirkwood, Kiene, and Kasdorf all voted no.
Other items covered at the city council meeting were:
approving $3,436 for funding for senior dining meals with the City of Lone Tree. The company that was doing senior dining in Riverside has discontinued its program there, and Lone Tree asked Riverside to work with them;
approving commercial grants for Hoard Bakery for $10,000 for building acquisition and façade repair on the outside of the building,
approving another commercial grant for Greg Sojka’s building at 40 East Third for roof repair for the amount of $1,998;
and approved a hotel/motel tax grant to the VFW for $10,000 for kitchen equipment replacement, which was lost in the last flood.
The next meeting is scheduled for June 24 as a work session for the city council at 7 p.m.