City Council approves naming, donation policies for library capital campaign

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By Caitlin Bittner

The Prairie du Chien Common Council met on Tuesday, July 7, at 7 p.m.

A large portion of the evening was devoted to sorting out finances. The Prairie du Chien Memorial Library Capital Campaign gift solicitation, donation and recognition policies were discussed. The library staff recommended the council adopt the policies, which will be applied to the Capital Campaign for the proposed expansion and upgrade of the library.

Alderman Ron Leys noted that the library should not be renamed just because someone donated a large sum of money to help fund the renovation.

City Attorney Tom Peterson responded that the library name could not be changing as it was stipulated to remain the same as a condition of the money it received from the Wacouta will.

City Administrator Aaron Kramer added that the naming rights only applied to the addition. A motion was made by Alderwoman Jean Titlbach to approve the rules of the library’s gift solicitation, donation and recognition policies and seconded by Alderman Kyle Kozelka.

Other business
The council also:

∙approved Resolution 2015-24. According to Brian Della, a senior managing consultant with Public Financial Management (PFM), presented the results of the bond sale with UMB Bank of Kansas City, Mo., and Peoples State Bank of Prairie du Chien, offering the lowest bid of 2.655 percent, which allowed the issue to be reduced to $1,340,000 and resulted in a savings of $86,376 in interest in the initial interest rate projections in June. The Capital Campaign will make the payments on the bond (interest-only) through 2020, and then the city’s general fund will begin to pick up the payment schedule. The principal will be paid from 2025-2030.

∙heard the annual tourism council report. According to Tourism Director Patti Wacker, Prairie du Chien’s tourism has been doing well. “When lodging does well, so do the other industries,” said Wacker.

Wacker also noted that the tourism council has expanded its TV advertisements to include more channels, as well as radio broadcasts on both Packers and Brewers radio. Because of its success, the advertisements on Packer radio are going to be renewed. “We’ve seen an increased number of requests for information on Prairie du Chien,” noted Wacker, reaffirming the decision to keep advertising on Packer radio.

∙approved Resolution 2015-26. This resolution calls attention to the need for properly funded transportation.

Mayor Dave Hemmer said that it was important to get this approved because of the poor quality of roads in the state. “Knock down the door if you have to to fund our roads. They’re getting pretty bad.”

∙approved the city administrator’s report about the 2014 audit of the city’s finances.

City Administrator Kramer said the city’s undesignated reserve account had an excess of $7,601, which he recommended be placed the Compensated Absences Reserve Account, putting the new balance at $84,661. The city’s 2014 budget had $171,685 in additional general fund revenue from what was anticipated in the 2014 amended budget, and $154,659 in higher-than-expected general fund expenses. The net surplus for the year was $5,708. The city’s debt limit as of Dec. 31, 2014, was $17,196,730, an increase of $822,395 over the 2013 limit. Total general obligation debt outstanding at year-end was $13,030,000, an increase of $142,250 over the 2013 total indebtedness. The city is currently at 75.8 percent of its debt limit, a decrease from the 2013 limit of 78.7 percent.

∙approved moving the Mass Transit and Room Tax portions of the general fund into their own, segregated funds.

∙approved the minimum acceptable payment for the acquisition of property for the next phase of the Marquette Road project. City Planner Garth Frable recommended the minimum price for property acquisition should be set at $400.

∙approved the proposed sale of city properties in the southwestern quadrant of the city. It was recommended the public hearing be held on July 21, for the properties.

∙amended the 2014-2016 Capital Projects Fund to make improvements to the Campbell Creek Bridge.

∙approved the amended Developer’s Agreement and Offer to Purchase with Bridger Acquisitions in closed session.

∙rejected the claim of Katherine Novey, Joan Novey and Lawrence Novey versus city of Prairie du Chien in closed session.

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