By: Jodelle Greiner, The Brookings Register
BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council approved the 2019 budget ordinance, the Capital Improvement Plan and Community Reinvestment Plan at Tuesday’s meeting and learned a little more about possible upcoming expenses.
The city budget is balanced as required by state law, City Manager Paul Briseno said. The general fund is balanced at $24,131,541 in revenue ($23,505,541 current revenue and $626,000 from general fund cash reserves) and $24,130,117 in expenditures.
Councilor Mary Kidwiler questioned a $1.5 million expense in the CIP for replacement of the ice refrigeration system at Larson Ice Center. She said that expense had not been on their radar and asked where the city was going to get the money.
Briseno said staff is studying the refrigeration system now to see what needs to be replaced and expects to have an answer in the next few weeks.
He will come back to the council with options, depending on what repairs need to be done and what they will cost. It could mean taking the money out of reserves all the way to potentially bonding for the money. He said they might be able to do the repairs as early as 2019.
The council also approved the 2018-2023 Strategic Plan.
Michele Schmidt asked if storm drainage was included in the plan. Her family was one of many who experienced flooding during a record rainfall July 18.
Briseno said the city is looking into an effective storm water system.
Maria Evans pointed out the water treatment plant is running at maximum capacity and Brookings keeps growing. She asked if there is a specific budget for expanding the water treatment plant. Not everyone in town was affected by flooding, but everyone uses water, she said.
Brookings Municipal Utilities is a separate budget, Mayor Keith Corbett said.
“BMU is in the same process we are,” Councilor Patty Bacon said, referring to budget talks.
The budgets of both entities are public information and should be on the websites, she added.
In other business, the council approved:
• A lease for space in the Research and Technology Center with Precision Health Technologies;
• A temporary liquor license with Aramark Educational Services for the Festival of Books Sept. 20;
• A wine-operating agreement renewal with Hy-Vee grocery store;
• A resolution revising certain fees of the city.