News Column

City gets first look at 2015 budget

August 5, 2014

By Elisa Sand, American News, Aberdeen, S.D.

Aug. 05--The 2015 capital improvement budget included several one-time expenses that provided an extra challenge.

City Manager Lynn Lander said the 2015 capital outlay budget includes more than $500,000 in matching funds for projects at Aberdeen Regional Airport, funding set aside for architectural fees for the public library project, bond payments for the federal building and matching funds for two recreation trail projects.

Lander said the matching funds for projects at the airport will be combined with $9.2 million in federal and state aid, which will be used for the wetland mitigation project and related activity taking place at the airport.

The architectural fees for the library project in the 2015 budget will be added to the $175,000 included in the 2014 budget.

The federal building bond payment is estimated at $210,000 per year. Lander said a potential lease agreement with the General Services Administration that is under consideration would cover the city's costs on that bond payment, but the lease agreement hasn't been approved yet.

As for the recreation trail projects, Lander said it's unique for the city to have two projects in one year, but one scheduled to take place this year has been delayed because approval of the project is needed from Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and that agreement has not been approved.

The 2015 capital improvement project also includes a continuation of the storm sewer improvement project on Kline Street. This phase of the project is anticipated to go from 12th Avenue and continue through part of the Northern State University campus, Lander said. The project would end at the Johnson Fine Arts Center, which is set to be under construction.

"In 2016, I would like not to do an extension of Kline Street for one year," Lander said, explaining that the one-year reprieve of the Kline project would provide flexibility in the budget that wasn't possible in the 2015 budget.

"I wasn't able, for 2015, to do advanced reserves for upcoming projects in 2016," Lander said.

In all, Lander said, $20 million in infrastructure improvements are planned in 2015. Of those project costs, about $10.8 million is funded with federal or state money.

The capital improvements budget is about one third of the overall city budget. The city's overall budget is $61 million.

In other news

-- Council members officially accepted City Attorney Adam Altman's letter of resignation. Last week, Altman announced his resignation effective Aug. 29. Later in the meeting, Lander said the position is now open and applications will be accepted until Sept. 12. His office has also solicited proposals from local firms for temporary legal services.

According to the home rule charter, Lander said, appointment of legal counsel is a decision the council is required to make.

-- Council members also approved a notice listing the conditions of sale for the city-owned convention center, which is attached to the Best Western Ramkota, a hotel that has had a long-standing lease agreement with the city. According to the lease, the hotel agrees to maintain the space as a convention center, but pays no monthly rent.

The city has already declared the property surplus. The property is being offered for sale with the stipulation that the remainder of the lease with the hotel be honored by the successful bidder and that the property is operated as a public convention center for a minimum of 20 years. According to the proposed conditions, if the property does not continue as a convention center for the full 20 years, the property reverts back to the city.

Altman said furniture, fixtures and equipment within the convention center is not included in the sale. Those items belong to the hotel. In all, there are 15 conditions listed on the notice. The sale by live auction is set to take place at the convention center Aug. 13 at 2 p.m.

Three appraisers were also named.

-- Lander also reported that three proposals for architecture services have been submitted for the new public library. Proposals were submitted by Co-op Architecture and MRS; HKG and Architecture Inc. Cost of the proposals ranged from $389,984 to $620,255. The proposal with the lowest cost was submitted by Co-op and MRS, the team that completed the most recent architectural study on the library project.

Because the proposals are for professional services, the proposal with the least cost isn't guaranteed the bid.

-- A $222,000 bid from Industrial Technologies for the wastewater treatment facility biofilter project was approved. Wastewater Superintendent Peggi Badten said the bid came in considerably lower than the engineer's estimate and was one of three submitted bids.

"We originally thought it would be about a quarter million," Badten said.

-- A $355,536 payment to Dahme Construction was also approved for the storm sewer improvement work on Kline Street. Public Works Director Robin Bobzien said he expects concrete work to take place soon.

"We hope to be done by the time school starts," he said.

Follow @ElisaSand_aan on Twitter.


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Source: Aberdeen American News (SD)

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