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John Schaefer works Sept. 20 on an addition to the Kandiyohi County Historical Society's Museum in Willmar. Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending that a funding request from the Historical Society be paid in 2012 rather than 2013. Tribune file photo by Gary Miller
John Schaefer works Sept. 20 on an addition to the Kandiyohi County Historical Society's Museum in Willmar. Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending that a funding request from the Historical Society be paid in 2012 rather than 2013. Tribune file photo by Gary Miller

Finance panel OKs funding Baseball Boosters, Historical Society in 2012

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending that funding requests from the Willmar Baseball Boosters Association and Kandiyohi County Historical Society be paid in 2012 rather than 2013.

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Both groups had asked to be among nine organizations to receive city funding assistance in the mayor's 2013 proposed budget.

Initially, the boosters requested $14,000 to make final payment on a loan that financed construction of Bill Taunton Stadium at Baker Field, but the council reduced the amount to $13,000.

The historical society requested $1,000 a year for five years, beginning in 2013, for the museum expansion project.

But during recent budget discussions, council members have proposed funding all or part of either request or both requests from the 2012 budget, thereby reducing costs in 2013 and eliminating continuous payments and tracking of payment obligations.

City Administrator Charlene Stevens said the 2012 budget has sufficient funds due to unspent funds -- in the areas of salary or professional services -- that could be used to pay the requests should the Finance Committee and council wish to make that recommendation.

Stevens said if both obligations were paid in full in 2012, the total cost would be $18,000: $13,000 to the boosters and $5,000 to the historical society.

Stevens said staff was looking for direction from the Finance Committee before the committee and other council members meet Nov. 26 to finalize discussion of the 2013 budget prior to adoption by the council on Dec. 3.

Committee Chairman Denis Anderson said the city has the money available in 2012 and he said paying both requests now makes sense.

The council will consider the recommendation at the Nov. 19 meeting.

In other business Wednesday afternoon, the committee:

n Approved the $30,243.99 final payment to Ellingson Drainage Inc. of West Concord on a $125,429 project to relocate the water main for a construction project at the Minnesota Department of Transportation district headquarters in Willmar.

n Approved back pay and overtime adjustments of $22,583 to police officers and sergeants who are members of Law Enforcement Labor Services. The adjustments cover 2011 under a two-year arbitration award approved by the council Nov. 5 in which patrol officers receive a 1 percent increase and sergeants receive a 2 percent increase in each of 2011 and 2012. Stevens said failure to implement the award is grounds for an unfair labor practice. Back pay and overtime adjustments for 2012 have yet to be determined.

n Approved a two-year intergovernmental transfer agreement between the city and Willmar Municipal Utilities for 2013 and 2014. The current agreement expires at the end of 2012. Anderson, Stevens and Finance Director Steve Okins negotiated the new agreement with utility staff. The city annually receives between $1.8 million and $1.9 million from the utility as payment in lieu of property taxes. The payment is based on a percentage of the utility's audited net assets. Under the new agreement, the percentage will increase from 4.8 percent in 2012 to 4.9 percent in 2013 and 2014.

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending that funding requests from the Willmar Baseball Boosters Association and Kandiyohi County Historical Society be paid in 2012 rather than 2013.

Both groups had asked to be among nine organizations to receive city funding assistance in the mayor's 2013 proposed budget.

Initially, the boosters requested $14,000 to make final payment on a loan that financed construction of Bill Taunton Stadium at Baker Field, but the council reduced the amount to $13,000.

The historical society requested $1,000 a year for five years, beginning in 2013, for the museum expansion project.

But during recent budget discussions, council members have proposed funding all or part of either request or both requests from the 2012 budget, thereby reducing costs in 2013 and eliminating continuous payments and tracking of payment obligations.

City Administrator Charlene Stevens said the 2012 budget has sufficient funds due to unspent funds -- in the areas of salary or professional services -- that could be used to pay the requests should the Finance Committee and council wish to make that recommendation.

Stevens said if both obligations were paid in full in 2012, the total cost would be $18,000: $13,000 to the boosters and $5,000 to the historical society.

Stevens said staff was looking for direction from the Finance Committee before the committee and other council members meet Nov. 26 to finalize discussion of the 2013 budget prior to adoption by the council on Dec. 3.

Committee Chairman Denis Anderson said the city has the money available in 2012 and he said paying both requests now makes sense.

The council will consider the recommendation at the Nov. 19 meeting.

In other business Wednesday afternoon, the committee:

- Approved the $30,243.99 final payment to Ellingson Drainage Inc. of West Concord on a $125,429 project to relocate the water main for a construction project at the Minnesota Department of Transportation district headquarters in Willmar.

- Approved back pay and overtime adjustments of $22,583 to police officers and sergeants who are members of Law Enforcement Labor Services. The adjustments cover 2011 under a two-year arbitration award approved by the council Nov. 5 in which patrol officers receive a 1 percent increase and sergeants receive a 2 percent increase in each of 2011 and 2012. Stevens said failure to implement the award is grounds for an unfair labor practice. Back pay and overtime adjustments for 2012 have yet to be determined.

- Approved a two-year intergovernmental transfer agreement between the city and Willmar Municipal Utilities for 2013 and 2014. The current agreement expires at the end of 2012. Anderson, Stevens and Finance Director Steve Okins negotiated the new agreement with utility staff. The city annually receives between $1.8 million and $1.9 million from the utility as payment in lieu of property taxes. The payment is based on a percentage of the utility's audited net assets. Under the new agreement, the percentage will increase from 4.8 percent in 2012 to 4.9 percent in 2013 and 2014.

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