Finances fall short
By Clay Schuldt
Special to the Caledonia Argus
Caledonia Zoning Director Mike Gerardy informed the city council July 9 that a project to construct a pedestrian crosswalk across Hwy. 44 will have a higher cost than originally bid.
“The gentleman I’ve been dealing with at Brown Traffic, for some reason, forgot to put the mast arm part that hangs over the highway on the estimate,” Gerardy said.
This oversight will raise the cost of the project an additional $5,253.
This increase represents almost a third of the original cost of the project.
Due to the error, many of the material prices have been cut down, such as mast arm, which the city will receive at cost. The council will still need to transfer budgeted funds to finance the additional costs.
Loans and bond agreements
For the last few months the City of Caledonia has been seeking a low interest loan for financing the sewer rehab project. A portion of the cost for this project could be paid for through Public Facilities Authorities (PFA) loan. For the rest, the city will need to go through the MIDI loan program. Preferring to go through a local bank for the MIDI loan, the council sent a request to several local banks and was recently approved by Merchants Bank.
The council passed two motions to accept the PFA loan at a principal amount of $1,905,770 and the MIDI loan at $170,000 to fund the city’s sewer rehab project.
A recommendation came from Ambulance Director Mike Tornstrom to hire Ryan Skillings as a first responder. Skillings is a licensed first responder and is currently working as a water department employee for Caledonia and would be available to respond during the day.
Council members said they were concerned that this could conflict with Skillings’ current duties and chose to forward the issue to the personnel committee before approving the hire.
The council approved the purchase of 24 new water meters at a cost of $156 each from Dakota Supply Group for a total of $3,773.80.
Caledonia intends to update all city water meters in the fall, but several meters are in need of immediate replacement. Water/Wastewater Operator Ryan Skillings felt these extra meters would come in handy for the change-outs that occur before the water meter project commences.
It was announced at the Caledonia Auction the city made a profit of $4,766.85 from the sale of four vehicles and several bicycles.
The next Caledonia City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 30 at 6 p.m.