City hires Crescendo Consulting for pool project capital fundraiser

By Charlie Warner
Argus News Editor

The Caledonia City Council approved a motion to enter into contract with Crescendo Consulting, L.L.P. to conduct a capital fundraiser to pay for needed improvements to the city’s outdoor swimming pool.

Thirteen members of the Community Pool Steering Committee attended the Feb. 13 meeting and recommended that Crescendo Consulting be hired to conduct the fundraiser.

This past fall, the city hired Crescendo Consulting to conduct a Community Assessment Study. The study was conducted to assess how much money could be raised to support the improvement project, outline the most effective fundraising strategy, measure the readiness and the awareness level of the community and organizations, identify potential conflicts with other issues or fundraising drives currently taking place in the community, evaluate the current and short-term economic climate in the area, recommend a campaign goal and a preliminary campaign timetable, cultivate prospective contributors and cultivate campaign leaders.

Ellen Hongerholt and Laura Eddy of Crescendo Consulting said they were very pleased with the results of the assessment study. They emphasized that Caledonia residents were quite aware of the need for the project and have already shown much support by embracing a number of fundraising events held last year to get the pool project ball rolling.

They also noted that an unidentified supporter of the pool project has expressed the desire to make a six-figure pledge to the project.

The city has a pool improvement project design in place. The estimated cost of that project is approximately $1.5 million.

The city council has discussed infusing between $400,000 and $600,000 into the pool project without raising property taxes. The city currently has two general obligation (GO) bonds that are scheduled to be paid off in the next year. Once those GO bonds are paid off, the annual payments for those bonds could go to cover the bonding for the pool project.

A motion by Mayor Bob Burns and seconded by Councilman Paul Fisch to enter into the contract with Crescendo Consulting was unanimously approved.

In other council action:

Special assessment matter

City Clerk/Administrator Jennifer Feely informed the council it was recently discovered that there was a $1,560 unpaid special assessment charge that was deferred in 1984 until 1995. According to the Houston County Auditor’s Office the city allegedly failed to notify the county that the special assessment was to be collected with property taxes beginning in 1995.

Therefore, there has been a reoccurring unpaid special assessment in the amount of $1,560 which has been reflected on the city’s annual special assessment list.

After checking with the county, Feely said the council needed to pass a resolution authorizing the removal of the special assessment from the city’s list of special assessments to be collected in order to resolve the matter.

Burns asked why this glitch in bookkeeping hadn’t shown up earlier. He opined that it should have showed up when the property was sold.

Councilman Tom Murphy said he felt the company that conducted the abstract search should be liable for this. “That is why they have insurance,” Murphy said.

The council decided to table action on this issue until Feely has a chance to check into the matter more thoroughly.

Fire truck driver’s training

Fire Chief Chuck Gavin requested that one of his firemen be allowed to use one of the city’s fire trucks to obtain his Class B commercial driver’s license.

According to Gavin all firemen operating fire trucks weighing 26,000 pounds or more, are required to have a Class B license.

A motion by Murphy and seconded by Fisch to approve the request was unanimously approved.

You can contact Charlie Warner at charlie.warner@ecm-inc.com

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