By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
During the first Monticello City Council meeting of the New Year on Jan. 7, the Council reviewed proposed Fiscal Year 2013 budget amendments.
City Administrator Doug Herman noted that these amendments do not mean the Council is spending additional money, but merely making the paperwork match what was already spent or received.
Amendments take place for a variety of reasons: unexpected grants, additional employees, expenditures of funds in a fiscal year that were originally planned prior to.
Budgeted city revenues increased by $1,836,360. Reasons for the increase include intergovernmental ($1,244,060), miscellaneous ($134,951) and other financing sources ($450,014).
Budgeted expenses increased by $2,465,626. Reasons for the increase include debt service ($140,418), capital projects ($1,723,146) and transfers out ($449,013). Herman noted that 83 percent of the total revenue amendments and 62 percent of the total expense amendments are all tied to the flood buy-out projects.
A public hearing regarding the proposed amendments was also held, with no comments received.
The Council approved the FY ’13 budget amendments.
In other city business:
• the Council approved an investment of $500 towards the Jones County Extension Summer Discovery Camp in Monticello.
Jacki Luckatead was present at the meeting, thanking the City Council for their contribution again this year. The camp program is open to kids in grades kindergarten through fifth. It is a one-week program.
This year’s theme is science, and Luckstead they will have the kids explore “why things happen.”
A total of 178 youth from the county attended the camp last summer; 41 of those kids were from Monticello.
• the Council approved the five-year CIP (Capital Improvement Program) for the Monticello Regional Airport. The approval came through by a vote of 4-1, with Council members Bill Meyer and Dave Goedken opposed.
Herman said the program, which does not tie the city to any financial obligations, is needed for approval in order to allow for federal funding for airport projects. This five-year plan covers FY 2014 through FY 2018.
Last year’s five-year plan included the purchase of new snow removal equipment for the airport, acquisition of grounds and working to extend the runway. This new five-year plan includes a new hangar, land acquisition and extending the runway.
Goedken said he would like to see usage data of the airport before extending the runway. He also noted that if the airport purchases additional land to extend the runway, that land would be taken out of production.
Paul Elmegreen, airport manager, was present to answer any questions. He said as of now, all of the hangars are full, showing the need for additional hangar space.
• the Council approved an investment of $1,500 towards the JETS transportation program, which serves many Monticello residents. This amount is consistent with the city’s share over the past three years.
Mayor Dena Himes inquired as to whether all of the communities within Jones County contribute financially towards the JETS program.
• the Council approved a city Sewer Usage Credit Policy by a vote of 5-1, with Meyer opposed. This outlines various circumstances towards which the Council would approve or deny a sewer bill credit.
Those of note include: the credit must be greater than $100, the credit cannot exceed $500, only one credit against the bill and, in the end, the Council has the ultimate authority to grant/deny the credit request.