City council amends budget, purchases phone system

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By Shelia Tomkins

The Guttenberg city council, meeting in special session on May 23, amended the budget for the current fiscal year that ends June 30 and purchased a new phone system for city offices.

Mayor Russ Loven led council members Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, Virginia Saeugling, and Jane Parker through the agenda. City Manager Mary Willett was also at the council table. 

The budget is routinely amended as the end of the fiscal year draws near when revenue and expenditures figures take final shape. 

Assistant City Manager Jamie Blume spoke to the council about the amendment process, explaining that individual budget categories are called "functions." Functions can contain more than one city department. Any time the budget varies from the estimate in a specific function, an amendment is needed.  If one department is over budget, but others in that function are not, then there is no requirement to amend.

"This year we are amending the other city taxes (revenue $46,000) and the public works (expense $85,000) sections due to carry over from the Kosciusko Street culvert project," Blume told The Press. "This was budgeted for last fiscal year but was not completed/paid for before the end of the year.  We are also amending intergovernmental (revenue $125,000) and health/social services (expense $135,075) to accommodate  expenses for the housing rehab project that have been or will be reimbursed through CDBG funds. The final budget amendment is in culture/recreation (expense $14,567.21).  This function includes our public library and the request for a budget amendment came from the library board of trustees.  They are adjusting the Other Capital Equipment line of their budget."

Other business

Jamie Blume presented bids for an updated phone system, an item tabled from the May 2 meeting. The council awarded the contract to the low bidder, BTS of Dubuque, at $5593. 

Discussion continued on a request made at the April 4 meeting by Tim Schmitt, who asked that the council open each meeting with a prayer given by a rotating schedule of local clergy. After discussion, the matter was tabled in order to give some thought to opening each meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.

The council voted to have the city attorney draw up an agreement for blacktopping an alley in block 3. Property owners in that block have agreed to pay the costs.

The council approved a liquor license for Saralynn Smith-Collingwood and Sara Pattison, doing business as Kaffee 1858. The former spoke to the council about plans to open the business in June, and she also received council approval to install a bike rack on the east side of the building.

City Manager Mary Willett updated the council with information about the Clayton County Brownfield Redevelopment program that the council acted on earlier in May, noting that the agreement will not require the city to commit funds.

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