Audit, meals, streets on council agenda
The financial health of the city, the possibility of making meals at the Wayne Senior Center and the street improvements to be made in the community were all on the agenda for the Wayne City Council on Tuesday.
Terry Galloway with Almquist, Maltzahm, Galloway & Luth PC spoke to the council on the fiscal year 2015-2016 audit of the city's finances.
Galloway pointed out a number of highlights on the audit, both in the revenue brought into the city and the cost of operating the city.
He had high praise for the city's reporting procedures and noted the city has "good cash management. You budgeted $7.6 million in the General Fund and spent only $5.2 million."
Galloway spoke of several areas within the city's expenditures where the city does not spend much. He said that the fact that residents of Wayne pay $141 per capita in property taxes in comparison to the $210 paid by other cities this size was "great news to taxpayers."
Council members approved a proposal from the Wayne Senior Center staff to convert to in-house prepared meals beginning July 1, 2017.
Diane Bertrand, Senior Center Director, told the council that since last August she has been preparing one meal each week for those who eat at the Senior Center as well as those who receive Meals on Wheels. She noted that the cost to do this has ranged from $1.80 to $2.20 for the meals themselves.
She said that there are several changes that need to be made before it would be possible to prepare all the meals at the Senior Center. These include additional ovens, a commercial grade refrigerator and more storage. More counter space would also be required.
Someone would need to be hired to prepare the meals, although Bertrand is confident that the additional employee would be able to stay under 29 hours per week.
"I have spoken to the Area Agency on Aging and they are in favor of the plan. This change would bring down the cost of the meals and improve the quality."
The Senior Center's meals are currently provided by Chartwells at Wayne State College. Bertrand said the relationship with Chartwells has been good, but preparing the meals at the Senior Center would be a good thing.
Joel Hansen, City Planner, presented the projects listed on the city's one and six year street improvement program.
The list of projects is required by the state and Hansen noted that because a project is on the plan, does not automatically mean it will be completed, but if a project is not on the plan, it cannot be completed without coming to the council for special approval.
Among the projects on the one year program are a project on Tomar Drive, Rugby Road and East Fourth Street, installation of storm drainage and sidewalk on West Seventh Street from Haas Avenue to Pheasant Run, gravel paving and storm drainage on East Fourth Street from Thorman Street to Centennial Road and several small projects on East Fourth Street, East Second Street and East Fifth Street.
Wes Blecke, Director of the Wayne Area Economic Develpment, gave the council an update of LB840 activity in the past six months. He said that in that time, four projects were approved for funding and if all move forward, all of the LB840 money has been allocated. He noted that as the money from loans approved through this process are repaid, they become part of a revolving loan fund with different loan requirments.
Following a public hearing the council approved a resolution and took action for the purchase of the north-south alley and east-west alley from the city's Power Plant to Godfather's Pizza. Jason and Vickie Schulz will be paid $22,000 for the property.
The council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wayne Senior Center.