12/12/2013 1:42:00 PM Shafer passes levy, adjusts the budget, health care reimbursement changing
by MATT SILVER
The Shafer City Council met December 3 at the Shafer Fire Department for a regular meeting. The meeting followed a Truth in Taxation hearing held by the council. Suprisingly, no residents attended the taxation meeting. With no public hearings scheduled, the council quickly moved to consent agenda. The council approved the motion by Jesse Keeney unanimously. In new business, the council once again unanimously agreed to pay the bills in the amount of $35,864. The council then approved the acceptance of donations to the city from Mr. Raschke in the amount of $40. The council also accepted a donation from Shafer/Franconia Fire Department in the amount of $240. Both donations will be used for future Shafer events. Next the council unanimously approved the adoption of the 2014 Budget and Levy.
The final budget numbers are $442,866 with a total (all funds) of $858,083. The Levy for the year 2014 will be $314,700. The motion was made by Mayor Kyle Johnson and seconded by Dan Vogel. The council then passed a resolution adopting assessment of unpaid charges for eight properties in Shafer. All unpaid charges are on foreclosed homes in Shafer. The council then passed a resolution budget ammendment on a transfer authorization. This would allow the city to transfer $40,000 from the General Fund to the Road Improvement Fund. City Financial Advisor Richard Hill told the council the funds would be coming from LGA money the city had not planned on receiving this year but did. The motion made by Johnson pased 5-0 in favor. The council then discussed employee healthcare. The city has had in place a $575 per employee reimbursement for all full time employees. Any excess could be rolled into a HSA account. Hill said with the ever changing nationwide healthcare issues, the city could no longer issue a reimbursement due to new government rules. Hill suggested the city eliminate the word reimbursement and make it a straight pay out.
Hill said when the dust settles after healthcare is finally figured out, the city could re-visit the issue. Johnson made a motion to change terminology to pay out instead of reimbursement. The motion passed 5-0. The council then discussed a request from Maintenance Supervisor Alan Anderson to prolong maintenance worker William Neska’s probation until he felt comfortable with his plowing skills. Council member Koree Denmark told the council she did not agree with the probation change, council member Jesse Keeney agreed. Anderson would like Neska to achieve a class CDL license prior to his probation ending. Keeney told the council, “We already have set probation terms and we should stick with those terms”. The council agreed to look for an outside company to expedite the training of Neska. The council passed a motion to pay for Neska’s CDL training unanimously. In the engineer’s report, Brian Miller, filling in for Jon Herdegen, told the council city hall was being sprayed down.
Miller said the building’s water problems are most likely due to water wicking through the floors. Miller thought there “probably wasn’t” a moisture barrier put down before the floor was poured, thus causing water and mold issues. Miller said they ran the ventilation over the weekend and the musty smell vanished, but as soon as it was turned off the smell reappeared. Miller told the council his suggestion moving forward was to use a solid flooring material such as tile to avoid mold build up. Miller told the council he hopes to have a couple of options to present to the council at the next meeting.