Council gets ‘wish list’ |

Council gets ‘wish list’

— City Manager Paul Hughes will make a wish tonight — make that seven of them.

Hughes is scheduled to present City Council with a list of priority projects that either weren’t funded or weren’t anticipated in the 2000 budget. The items on the wish list would cost more than $300,000. And City Council could still modify the list.

City Council has some financial leeway because 1999 sales tax collections exceeded the budgeted amount by approximately $556,000. Building use taxes produced another increment over budget of more than $380,000. Collections for 2000, year-to-date, are also ahead of budgeted levels.

Among the items on Hughes’ list is $153,000 match to a federal grant for a bus and five vans. Hughes said City Council had already budgeted to purchase a new bus. The original intent was to use that purchase as a match for the grant. However, the city learned that purchases for which the city intends to borrow money are not eligible for grant matches. Therefore, Hughes is now proposing to purchase a second bus, utilizing the grant.

“This will give our bus system a much needed boost and it’s long overdue,” Hughes said.

Hughes is also seeking an additional $35,000 for a portion of the furnishings for Centennial Hall. He said the city will put money in its 2001 budget to furnish the new city building. However, he’d like to make certain there is some money available for limited furnishings, in case the city is able to occupy a portion of the building ahead of schedule this year.

The city budgeted to pave the Howelsen Ice Arena parking lot this summer and Hughes would like City Council to approve an additional $10,000. The money would help ensure the lot has the needed flexibility to allow for a future building expansion, as well as ample medians and landscaping.

Following its budget retreat in October, City Council compiled a list of nine unfunded budget requests it might reconsider if additional funds became available. None of the nine made the city manager’s wish list, but Hughes said he would welcome nominations from council.

“Enclosed is the ‘additional funding wish list’ that was prepared shortly after the budget retreat. Frankly, I would not include any of those items on my mid-year list,” Hughes wrote in a memo to council. “A couple have already been funded in the existing 2000 budget, and others have taken a back seat to newer, more pressing needs. The new list reflects recent discussion about city needs, as well as a few unexpected bills. I’ll ask for your direction as to what should be on the final list that I prepare for a July mid-year budget review and resulting omnibus (funding) ordinance.”

Among the projects on City Council’s waiting list for funding last October were: the community-use bicycle program, (since funded) $1,500; pedestrian lighting, $50,000; Whistler Street lighting, $150,000; Ice Rink Advisory Committee, $100,000 (deferred until 2001); tennis center hard courts, $50,000; Nordic council, $7,000; budget in brief booklet, $8,000. Two additional items, the town meeting, and training travel and meetings, could be reviewed at a later date.

In other business tonight, City Council will hear an appeal from Federal Express over a recommendation of denial by Planning Commission for its new building on County Road 129. The vote to deny passed 7-2 on March 23.

Also, City Council will review development permit applications from Windemere Landscaping and Healing Hands Chiropractic.

— To reach Tom Ross call 871-4210 or e-mail

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