Cresco Council updated on FY2021 budget

CRESCO - City Council members met in special session on Jan. 15 to discuss the budget with department heads. It lasted for over four-and-a-half hours. At the end of the process, the tentative budget had a $583,000 loss. After the budget session, numbers were refigured and the loss was reduced to $46,000, according to City Clerk Michelle Girolamo.
That still left the entire budget $180,000 to the good for the general fund.
Girolamo said two items that need attention were not budgeted for — the scene shop and bike trail. “I would feel okay budgeting $100,000 for the bike trail’s $280,000 need.”
The city clerk also gave updates on housing benefits. The City had been setting aside $8,000 for rehabilitation but raised it to $10,000 for FY2021. The money is a one for four match. She noted in the past 10 years, Cresco and Howard County had benefited with $578,000 in housing.
For the budget, the City stayed with the donation of $1.00 per person for Northeast Iowa Community Action and raised the Helping Services budget, which hasn’t increased since 2014 to $1,500.
All-in-all, the levy will be about 16.20847, which is down 0.02619 from last year and the lowest it has been in the past 10 years.
• Girolamo plans to have a workshop to learn more about TIF for Cresco Fitness Center improvements in March. “It will probably be two-and-a-half hours.” Council agreed a time frame of 5:30-8 p.m. would work best. The date will be announced later.
• A beer and wine permit with Sunday sales was approved for Dollar General.
• The City approved a resolution to apply for a grant for signage.
• It was also approved to allow the City Clerk to access the network while offsite.
• Council member Amy Bouska added to the housing issue, explaining Cresco had received $5,000 for each of three demolition properties. The properties then have to have construction on them to qualify. “We learned Oelwein charges $500 per year for empty houses.” She thought it might be something to look into for the City.
In addition, she said Minnesota is hoping to bring their bike trails to the Iowa border by 2021. “That would let Cresco hook up with Harmony and Decorah hook up with Hesper.” 
The next Cresco City Council meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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