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Emmetsburg City Council Proposes 2018-2019 Budget

By Staff | Feb 20, 2018

Editor’s Note: due to the length of this article and the City Council meeting held on Feb. 12, this article will run in two parts. Please read part 2 in Thursday’s The Democrat.

The Emmetsburg City Council met on Monday, Feb. 12 at noon for a regularly scheduled meeting.

The Public Safety committee met prior to Monday’s meeting to discuss recommendations made by Police Chief Ryan Veldboom. Chief Veldboom recommended Jodi Elbert for the position of full-time Police Secretary. The council voted to hire Elbert unanimously. Chief Veldboom also recommended the promotion of Aaron Steffan to Police Sergeant with a $2500 increase in base salary. The Council approved the promotion unanimously.

The City Council also voted to support the Highway 18 Super Two Coalition. Unanimous support was given.

The primary purpose of Monday’s meeting was to discuss the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-2019 budget. At this meeting, city departments come forward and present their budgets for approval stating why some costs have increased or decreased. The City Council then votes to approve or change aspects of the budget. The final budget vote will not take place until the March 12 meeting.

The Emmetsburg Police Department was the first city department to present their budget. Chief Veldboom asked that the uniform allowance for the department increase by $600 for the year. As Aaron Steffan is taking over as Sergeant, this requires a change in uniform, and Steffan will not in Veldboom’s previous uniform. The telecommunications budget will also increase from $255.79 to $375. The police department also requires some technological updates within the next year as well as some general office updating.

Nathan Clark attended the meeting as the Emmetsburg Library’s representative. The cost of the phone system in the library will increase this year, as they are no longer eligible for the discount they were previously receiving. Clark is also anticipating the need for a new multifunctional printer. The current printer was purchased in April of 2011 with grant funds. Clark thinks that the printer will need to be replaced in April of 2019.

One of the bright spots of this year’s budget meeting was Vicky VanOosbree’s update and budget for The Shores Community Center. On the expense side of things, VanOosbree asked to increase her seasonal employee budget to $6,000, building maintenance and repair up $4,000, and ground maintenance up $2,000 as the traffic at The Shores has increased greatly. There will be a decrease on electrical and solid waste as well as printing and publishing expenses.

On the revenue side, facility rental fees have increased causing an increase in revenue. The Shores has 39 weddings scheduled for this summer, which is what the revenue side of the budget is based on.

The food sales revenue budget increased by $12,000. “We’re seeing a huge amount during the summer months when the lounge is open of revenue coming from food,” VanOosbree explained. “Beverage sales increased substantially calculated based on where we stand now, how we’re doing, and the increase of events that we’re having for next year.”

The Shores has been open for three years and is already operating “in the black.” Meaning their revenue has exceeded their expenditures. This has far exceeded the expectations of when the building was first built. Members of the Council posited that it would take at least five years.