City Council holds public hearing on upcoming budget

Riah Dean with the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District, explained to the City Council the city's responsibility in applying for a Community Development Block Grant to rehab homes in the city.

Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council began with a public hearing in regard to the city's tax asking and property tax levy.

City Finance Director Beth Porter told the council that the city's tax asking is the same as last year and she is required to submit the information to the state auditor by Sept. 20.

Resolutions were approved setting the tax request, approving the allowable one percent increase in base limitation of restricted funds budget and adopting the 2021-2022 budget.

The final item on the agenda dealing with the upcoming budget was an ordinance approving the annual appropriation bill, which allows the city to spend the money that has been budgeted. The three readings on the ordinance were waived, as the budget goes into effect on Oct. 1.

A public hearing was also held on an application for a Community Development Block Grant for owner-occupied rehab funds.

The Wayne Community Housing Development Corporation (WCHDC) had made the application but it was determined that the WCHDC was not eligible to submit this type of application.

The city is required to submit the information for a $315,000 grant for owner-occupied rehab funds that would allow for 10 units to receive assistance. The WCHDC will still be involved in working with those receiving funds.

A resolution was approved  for the scope of services and task order for the Aquarius Tank Maintenance Project. JEO Consulting Group, Inc. will prepare information on what is needed to replace the diffusers in the Aquarius tank at the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Roger Protzman with JEO and Casey Junck, Wastewater Superintendent, spoke to the council on what the project will entail.

Junck said he would like to see the project, which involves the replacement of the diffusers in the 24 tanks that make up the plant, take place when college is not in session to lessen the load on the plant.

Funding for the project would come from money received by the city through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

An update was given on the 2020 Census and housing study.

The city of Wayne gained 313 residents, from 5,660 in 2010 to 5,973 in 2020. This is a 5.5 percent increase and more than took place between 2000 and 2010.

A housing study is currently underway. Hanna:Keelan has been hired to create the surveys — one for general housing, one for workforce housing and one for student housing.

The surveys can be found on the city's website and hard copies are available at City Hall, the Community Activity Center, Wayne Public Library and Wayne Area Economic Development Office. They need to be completed by Sept. 24 and will provide information that can be used to assist developers build additional housing unit.

City staff was directed to solicit "Requests for Proposals" for the development of the Fourth Street property.

Considerable discussion was held on possible uses for the eight acre parcel, located near the Rugby Field and how a plan for use of the lagoon area might change the use of this property.

The rugby fields are scheduled to be used for a national high school rugby tournament in May of 2022 and nothing could be done with the area until after that.

In other action, the council approved a resolution that accepts the bid and awards a contract for the purchase of a 2022  Chevrolet Silverado work truck. The vehicle will be purchased from Arnie's Ford, Inc. through the state bid system for $32,261.

A resolution was also approved for the temporary use of the state highway system (Highway 15) for the Wayne State College Homecoming Parade and Band Day on Saturday, Oct. 2.

During Tuesday's meeting Wayne Mayor Cale Giese read a proclamation noting the week of Sept. 12-18 as National Assisted Living Week and noted the benefits of these facilities in a community.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

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