The Dell Rapids City Council approved the first reading of the 2018 City of Dell Rapids Budget (Ordinance 845 – 2018 Appropriations) at their regular meeting on Tuesday, September 5th. The approval, however, was not without some hesitations and push back.
“Personally when I have a big project coming up in a year or two, I cut my spending. I get prepared for that. I don’t want to have to borrow the whole thing,” Councilman Mark Crisp said during the meeting referring to the city’s plans to replace infrastructure (sewer and water lines) in Dell Rapids starting in 2019. Crisp mentioned issues with the sewer and water rates having to continue to rise to fund projects along with spending money to replace equipment he didn’t feel was needing to be replaced.
“We’re going to do the bath house, or whatever we’re calling that thing down there. That’s probably going to happen next year now at this point. People are going to see that. That’s a quality of life project. We’re going to be extending the trail. I understand that. That’s a quality of life,” Crisp said.
Councilman Barry Berg said, “I was going to say one of my downfalls on the budget is the (pool) slide. Frankly the pool is not supportive of a slide the way the pool is shaped.” Berg mentioned that he would rather see that money put towards something else right now and wait to do something more substantial at the pool to make it more worthwhile.
All the council members agreed that the dollars budgeted for a new slide and new office equipment could be removed from the budget.
The biggest contention was with the potential purchase of a new loader/grader for the city’s works department in 2018 even though the Equipment Replacement fund currently has money that can be used for the purchase. The discussions focused on whether or not the equipment really need to be replaced right now with larger projects coming in the near future. The city work’s department asked that the purchase of the new equipment be in the 2018 budget.
“I’d rather see that grader replaced and move the snow when we need it. We’re doing more streets,” said councilman Gary Haak.
The council needed two motions to pass the first reading of the budget. The original motion failed even though five of the seven council members voted in favor. The ordinance needed a 75% approval to pass. The second motion that passed by a 6-1 vote was to remove dollars in the budget to place a slide at the pool, remove the purchase of new office equipment at City Hall, and to remove taking money from the General Fund to place into the Equipment Replacement Fund. Crisp was the lone nay vote.
The new equipment purchase remained in the budget, however, the council would still need to have the actual purchase of the new equipment brought to the council. Then the council would still have to vote on actually spending those budgeted dollars on the new equipment.