Wakefield City Council approves 2021-2022 budget


The City of Wakefield held a public hearing for the 2021-2022 budget ahead of their regularly scheduled city council meeting on Sept. 8. Also discussed during the meeting was the CDBG Downtown Revitalization project, zoning and the approval of a new employee in the City Clerk/Treasurer position.

No one from the public spoke during the hearing for the new budget, but the council learned there will be a budget surplus of about $60,000 in the general fund. The 2022 tax request is lower than the previous year, coming in at $445,603. Council member Larry Soderberg moved to approve the budget and council member Scott Hansen seconded. The budget passed unanimously.

The council was informed that the community match requirement for the Community Development Block Grant project aimed at replacing streetlights downtown would actually be less than previously thought. Last month the council heard the community matching funds would be around $100,000, which the CRA would cover. After some recalculations, the CRA will only need to match $86,940.

Six wind-driven agitators that will float on the surface of the lagoon were authorized for purchase at the meeting. These should help alleviate a build up of sludge that could otherwise cause the lagoon to fail environmental inspection.

“That agitates the water enough, stirs it up enough that the chemicals in there will do their job and that sludge will break up,” Wakefield Mayor Paul Eaton said.

The total cost of the agitators will be $29,700. The purchase was approved unanimously.

Also approved during the meeting was a change in zoning to allow funeral chapels in C-3. Bressler-Munderloh-Smith is planning to construct a funeral chapel in C-3. No body preparation will be done on those premises and the facility will be used strictly as a meeting space according to attorney Theresa Miner.

The council passed resolution 12-2021, authorizing the mayor to sign an interlocal cooperation agreement in the Dakota County MFO. This is a group that provides funds to fire and rescue squads in northeast Nebraska.

A purchase agreement for a property in the city of Wakefield was extended until November. The council would like to purchase the property from its owner for $19,000.

City administrator Jim Litchfield told the council that he was working with insurance companies to get quotes to repair damage to the Gardner Public Library after it was hit by a vehicle. He said that he was still waiting for an official estimate, but told the council he expected repair costs to be around $50,000.

Pam Vander Veen was approved for the position of City Clerk/Treasurer and an application for membership to the Wakefield Fire & Rescue squad was approved for Andres Vazquez.

The next Wakefield City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wakefield Civic Center.