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W’bago street project update

By Staff | Jul 19, 2020

Progress on the Northwest Street Project continues and construction remains ahead of schedule, Bolten and Menk engineer Matt Cole told the Winnebago City Council at their meeting on July 14.

“The crews should be done with the underground work in early to mid August,” Cole said. “There will be more paving of streets next week and we are looking for completion of the project in September.”

Following the construction update, the council voted to authorize payment of pay estimate No. 14, in the amount of $744,848.16, to Holtmeier Construction for work done through June 26.

Jean McGann, representing the certified public accounting firm of Abdo, Eick and Meyers, was at the meeting to discuss the city’s financial situation.

“Our debt management analysis showed you have the opportunity to call and prepay two bonds,” McGann explained. “This would result in a savings of about $8,700 on interest in the next five years. It would also improve the city’s debt position earlier.”

McGann also discussed the utility funds.

“One of the goals we want to see in a utility rate analysis is to maintain a cash balance in each fund equal to 25 percent of next year’s expenditures,” she commented. “It appears increases will be needed in the rates of all three utility funds, the water, sewer, and storm water funds to accomplish this goal.”

No action was taken at the meeting.

“This report is for the council to study and absorb,” McGann said in closing.

The council moved on to discuss the performance review of city administrator Jacob Skluzacek.

“A year has gone by since Jacob was hired and he has experienced things a 50-year administrator may not have seen,” council member Jean Anderson stated. “Corn Plus closed, then the COVID pandemic came along and then he had to deal with selling the school. We gave him a very satisfactory review.”

Council member Rick Johnson added to Anderson’s thoughts.

“The comments we hear from the community are very positive,” Johnson remarked. “Jacob is seen as being available and approachable.”

Anderson also shared Skluzacek’s comments regarding his job.

“Jacob is very appreciative of the staff and the “team” attitude of the people he works with,” Anderson shared.

Anderson then made a motion to give Skluzacek a three percent pay raise. The motion passed unanimously.

Skluzacek informed the council the city is receiving $100,429 through the CARES Act and he and the city staff will be working to see how the funds can be spent.

“What we are unable to spend will have to be sent back in November,” Skluzacek informed the council.

Annie Leibel, the Economic Development Authority specialist for Winnebago updated the council on the progress in securing funds to purchase two new X Series, 12-lead EKG machines for the Winnebago Ambulance crew.

“The total cost of the two machines will be $81,789,” Leibel said. “So far we have secured close to $10,000 in grants and donations.”

Ambulance director Cari Jenkins was on hand to explain the need for the new units.

“Our old EKG machines are 15 years old and have surpassed their useful life,” Jenkins explained. “The equipment is now outdated, bulky and unreliable.”

Leibel informed the council work is ongoing to secure more funding through grants, loans and donations.

The council was reminded the August City Council meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 10, due to primary elections being held on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

The council also:

Approved the appointment of Grace Roiger as the head lifeguard at the city pool. The council also agreed to hire two more lifeguards, Bryce Wirth and Noah Johnson

Voted to accept a charitable donation of $75 to the Muir Library. The donation came from various Winnebago residents.

Had the second reading of an amendment to the city ordinance which will require in-ground swimming pools to be completely enclosed with a six foot high chain link or similar fence.