City audit examined at council meeting


The city's financial health was the topic of a presentation during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.

Marcy Luth of AMGL presented the city's fiscal year 2021-2022 audit.

Luth shared a benchmark spreadsheet with the council listing historical trends and comparisons with other cities in regard to city finances in several areas.

He said the city las a lower valuation than other cities of similar size and spending is very consistent. He praised the city for paying down debt and said the city is in the "excellent range for that aspect."

Luth did encourage the city to work on increasing cash reserves in the General Fund and build up the funds available in the unassigned funds category.

A request from Ed Brogie to reduce his sewer bill / usage as a result of a water line break at his property at 208 South Main Street was approved.

It was noted that the water did not go into the city's sewer system and he was still obligated to pay the water usage portion of the bill.

City Administrator Wes Blecke said the city has had a "handful of this type of requests in the past and Water/Wastewater Superintendent Casey Junck did verify that the water did not go into the city's sewer system."

Brogie will be required to pay the standard service fee and taxes associated with his bill.

Council unanimously approved the recommendation of the LB840 Revolving Loan Fund Committee for a loan to Katelyn Broders. Broders plans to open a business, I Wet My Plants, at 221 Main Street.

Luke Virgil, Executive Director of Wayne Area Economic Development, explained to the council the financing in place for Broders to purchase the building and business. It includes a loan at 7.5% from the primary lender, State Nebraska Bank, a loan from Northeast Nebraska Economic Development, a loan from Wayne Area Economic Development and personal equity.

The loan request of $40,000 from the LB840 Revolving Loan Fund was approved. It includes a 10 -year repayment period and an interest rate one-half of the primary lender (3.75%). 

A public hearing was held to consider the Planning Commission's recommendation for a final plat for Ace Subdivision.

This request was brought forth by Northeast Nebraska Investors, LLC to square up a parcel of land adjacent to the property already owned by the group.

Zoning Administrator Joel Hansen told the council that the Planning Commission had reviewed the request and unanimously approved the recommendation.

Following the public hearing, council members voted to approve  the resolution for the final plat.

Ordinance 2023-1 received second reading approval. It involves the collection of a one and one-half percent sales and use tax for the city. It was noted that several corrections were made to the ordinance following first reading at the last council meeting to accurately reflect the division of the tax money for specific uses.

Council members approved  a resolution in regard to construction services to be provided by Olsson for the Wayne Prairie Park Development Project. This adds services provided by the firm at a cost not to exceed $45,000.

A second resolution approving additional services to be provided by Olsson for design and bidding services on the Prairie Park Development Project was passed. The cost of the additional services is $64,450 for design work.

It was noted that bids came in "pretty good, but there are still some moving parts to be taken care of on the project."

A resolution was approved and bid awarded for the Prairie Park Project. The bid of $1,229,205.20 from Cooney Fertilizer of Walthill was under the engineer's estimate.

A bid was also accepted at Tuesday's meeting for the 2023 Wayne Sanitary Sewer Service Improvement Project. Vrba Construction, Inc. of Schuyler submitted a bid of $120,642.50 for work to be done in the West Third Street area.

Also approved at the meeting was a resolution that appoints Carlson West Povondra Architects as the special engineer to be used for the Police and Municipal Building Renovation Project.

Two proposals for the work were reviewed by a committee consisting of the city administrator, police chief, city clerk, council members and city finance director. 

City Administrator Blecke told the council that the firm has experience working with police and corrections facilities, which the committee felt was important for the project.

Council President Jill Brodersen, in the absence of Mayor Cale Giese, read a proclamation in regard to March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m


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