Special meeting Dec. 16

Council Chambers<BR><BR>Ely, Minnesota<BR><BR>Tuesday, December 16, 2008<BR><BR>6:05 P.M. Special Meeting<BR><BR>Special Meeting of the Ely City Council was called to order at 6:05 P.M. by Mayor Charles J. Novak.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak presented the following Special Meeting Notice:<BR><BR>Notice is hereby given that there will be a Special Meeting of the Ely City Council to take place on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at approximately 6:05 P.M. Council Chambers of the Ely City Hall, to discuss proposed 2009 City of Ely General Fund Budget.<BR><BR>By Order Of:<BR><BR>Gordon Sheddy<BR><BR>Charles J. Novak<BR><BR>Warren Nikkola<BR><BR>John Lindroos <BR><BR>PRESENT: Council members Lindroos, Nikkola, Omerza, Sheddy, Zupec, Mayor Novak (6)<BR><BR>ABSENT: Council member Debeltz (1)<BR><BR>Mayor Novak had requested prior that Council members come prepared to tonight's meeting in prioritizing current city essential services, as part of the budgetary process of making up LGA cuts in the 2008 and 2009 City General Fund Budgets.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola: recommended that the Council meet as a Committee of Whole when official notification is received from the State of Minnesota pertaining to LGA cuts for 2008. He feels it is very critical that the full Council be involved in the city budget process for 2008 and 2009.<BR><BR>Council member Zupec: recommends that the Council look at retaining a professional, i.e. Gary Cerkvenik who appeared before council representatives in prior years, as to options the City can put into place budget wise, in order to address such a deficit. The City needs a professional with strong accounting credability. He recommended once again requesting Gary Cerkvenik's services, if he is still serving as a consultant.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak: there is a potential that the City will need to cut $30,000 - $100,000 from current budget after December 26th; next year might be even more devastating.<BR><BR>It would be beneficial to have all Council members there are one time addressing budgetary issues.<BR><BR>Council member Zupec: questioned Clerk-Treasurer Boese as to what City's cash reserves are at this time. Clerk-Treasurer will research and report back on Council member Zupec's question.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak: city projects will have to slow down. In kind services are also a burden to the City; finances are going to be very tight.<BR><BR>Council member Nikkola: is hearing rumblings about township fire protection, from the township residents. Would like the City Council to consider offering a six month extension to Town of Morse and Fall Lake Township, as he feels they are not in a position with their current fire departments to protect their constituents. Extensions would be offered at the 2009 ( all in) rates.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy: feels that to have the City of Ely as a good neighbor, townships must be good neighbors also. He had spoken to State Farm Agent Don Sovil, as to the repercussions townspeople would face if there is no fire contract in place with the City of Ely. <BR><BR>Council member Omerza: does not feel the Council needs to require an "all in" price; what if offered 75% of the 2009 "all in" price.<BR><BR>Council member Debeltz: agrees to offering the Town of Morse and Fall Lake Township a six month extension for fire contract services.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak: If the City of Ely lowers the actual 2009 fire contract price, residents of the City of Ely will have to pick up the difference.<BR><BR>Council member Sheddy: feels the 2009 Fire Contract offered the townships is fair.<BR><BR>Council member Zupec: feels that it is imperative that the Council do the following:<BR><BR>Freezing all non City allocations in the budget at this time;<BR><BR>Health Insurance Co-pays with employees: City needs to open up contracts to negotiate this item;<BR><BR>Potential Wage Freezes - no new hirees<BR><BR>Mayor Novak: City representatives need to meet with various bargaining units to address items #2 and #3 as noted above.<BR><BR>Clerk-Treasurer Boese: two bargaining units ( AFSCME Basic and AFSCME Confidential) would not sign memorandum of understanding with the City of Ely in offering the VEBA Health Plan addition to 2009 contracts. <BR><BR>Mayor Novak: feels the City must maintain:<BR><BR>Police<BR><BR>Fire<BR><BR>Public Works<BR><BR>Enterprise funds - funded by users<BR><BR>Keeping library open<BR><BR>Public Works Department will not be replacing William Mayerle's position as Equipment Operator. He complimented City Operations Director Langowski and General Foreman Popesh for taking this pro-active step. He feels the library should be kept open, but providing only the basic hours of operation. The 2009 Budget is balanced to the levy, due to Clerk-Treasurer recommendations on budget.<BR><BR>Council member Zupec: The City needs to find new sources of revenue and feels it is vital to get Gary Cerkvenik back before the Council in assisting the City with creative financing ventures.<BR><BR>Mayor Novak: would like to see the revenue stabilized so cities can budget up to five years in advance.<BR><BR>Council member Lindroos: agrees with Mayor's five items list, but also feels that the Clerk-Treasurer's Office staff is very instrumental in keeping the City operations running smoothly.<BR><BR>City Operations Director Langowski: the electric fund is doing well; there are large improvement projects in the future; water/sewer continue to decline. Without depreciation, water, sewer, electric would be doing well. The EUC rates committee will be meeting on December 234d to review 2008 expenditures and forecast into 2009.<BR><BR>The EUC is taking a hard look at rates.<BR><BR>Central Avenue Project in 2010 will cost over one million dollars; total project is three million and the county will be covering over two million of these dollars.<BR><BR>The City will need to apply to rural development, PFA, MPCA for funding assistance.<BR><BR>Special Meeting closed at 6:30 P.M.<BR><BR>Patricia M. Wellvang<BR><BR>Deputy Clerk<BR><BR>City of Ely<BR><BR>Ely Echo 1/3/2009