Chat with the Mayor 7-30-09

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The Chat with the Mayor went better than I expected. The written question and answer format turned out to be an excellent idea. If yo don’t like this type of format and prefer the openness the other meetings provided, you can thank one person for the change. Again, last night, this very same citizen made a feeble attempt to disrupt the meeting. That being said, I would like to post the information gleaned from the Chat. Some may be redundant from previous posts. Bear with me, please.

  • The city has received an ADA violation and has 90 days to respond.  We are about 17 years behind in compliance.  Another problem the administration needs to deal with.
  • The city pays $1,000,000 into the 911 budget and has no say on how the money is spent.
  • Insurance for city workers hovers around 9 million dollars.  Changes have been made but we will not see the results of the savings until March 2010.
  • Public safety & administration cuts are done for now.  again, we will need to wait until next year for the savings.
  • Working on new funding for equipment for the MFD.  Being involved in a lawsuit, information was limited.
  • An energy grant will allow the city to retrofit traffic light into LED.  The saving on electric will be around 80%.  An example of savings was given.  The light at Willard and Walnut costs $76.00/month and will be reduced to $12.00/month.
  • Looking at placing film on City Hall windows which will cut down on energy consumption, saving money.
  • Paving is being done around town, the list was given verbally.
  • A retired city engineer has volunteered his time at the tune of about 35 hours per week for 5 weeks.  If you have skills needed, you are welcome to volunteer, too.
  • Prairie Creek Reservoir is at 130% of its anticipated revenue.  Money generated will be returned to PCR.
  • 7-8 years have passed with NO appropriations to the budget for capital improvements. 
  • City Hall has had no money budgeted for capital improvement.  The roof is leaking and the siding is fall off.  Carpeting is curling up.  The building is 17 years old, paid with tax dollars and it is going to pot.
  • When McShurley took office, there was no record of the properties owned by the city.  No record of its assets.  That list is now being compiled.
  • Shirey quote on the past budgets “fake it until you make it”.  66 open projects with INDOT for the county, of which 33 belong to the city.  Where are they and what are they?  Nobody knows.  (Scary, huh?)
  • Only take home vehicles:  Mayor, Police and Fire Chief.  Other department heads use their own vehicles.
  • Mayor pays for her own cell phone, and others have brought in their own cleaning supplies, etc.
  • SAFER Grant for fireman not available yet, unable to apply.  Mr. Burcham (Fire Chief) is working on grants and revenue.
  • Westminster Village donates $20,000.00 per year to the MFD, due to the recession, that could be reduced.
  • Unsure if Clarion Health will contribute to the MFD as Ball did.
  • The stimulus grants’ guidelines change daily.  City would be remiss if they did not at least apply.  Determination of what grants to accept will be based on the stipulations set forth by the Federal government.  (This is a mess.)
  • The mayor addressed the cleaning of Station #4.  No, her husband does not have a cleaning business, nor dos her brother, nor does she have any friends.  So, we can put yet another RUMOR to rest.

If you live in the city, or even if you don’t. I highly recommend attending these meetings.  It is a wonderful opportunity to learn about local government and meet the department heads.   As always, you will be able to view the meetings on-line at Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal.

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