2-30 verona council, 3/20
By CHARLES BRADY
The Verona City Council was busy last Tuesday with a public hearing, a budget session and a special meeting.
The purpose of the public meeting was to get input on a top priority for a Community Development Block Grant. Twenty-two citizens listened as Dorothy Wittorff-Sandgren from the Missouri State University Southwest Council of Governments explained the process.
Wittorff-Sandgren said it was her goal to determine what the public believes is the critical needs of the city and if the public was behind the city council's decision to apply for a grant. She noted it was the council's opinion that the main need was for street and drainage improvements.
In the course of the hearing, it was determined that the feelings of those present indicated the top priority was indeed for street and drainage improvements. Other top needs, in order, were sidewalk improvements, community center targeting youth and the elderly, main sewer collecting line and downtown growth.
Following citizen input, Wittorff-Sandgren said the needs assessment document was complete and a consensus reached that street and drainage improvement was the main priority.
In the budget work session, City Clerk Julie Ruscha provided a list of all restricted and unrestricted fund balances, allowing the council to see exactly how much money the city hall.
In a review of a report comparing the 2008-09 actual expenses/income to the budget using the current chart of accounts, it was noted the city had a slight increase in revenues. There were considerable increases in expenses due to upgrading the police department and the wastewater treatment plant.
Ruscha presented the 2009-10 proposed budget within a new chart of accounts, which will put the city in compliance with government auditing standards by estimating revenues and expenditures by department.
In the 2009-10 budget proposal, revenues were projected at the same level received the previous year. However, the city clerk noted other cities in the area were taking a conservative stance and predicting a decline in revenues.
The council made some adjustments by approving wish list items to be placed in the budget. The budget with the council's adjustments will be presented for approval at the March 24 monthly meeting.
At the special meeting of the council, Bobby Smith was hired as a part-time police officer at $10 per hour with a cap of 30 hours per week.
Mayor Roy Snyder read a list of several engineering companies he had contacted to submit a proposal for engineering services. Only two responded, he said. One proposal was at a cost of $1,925 and the other at $1,800. The council voted to contract with Tri-State Engineering, Joplin, to complete the preliminary engineering report for the CDBG grant for street and drainage \improvements at a cost of $1,800.