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W’bago’s financials improving

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Apr 18, 2021

The Winnebago City Council held their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 13 and learned the city had received a clean audit report.

Layne Kockelman of Abdo, Eick & Meyers was at the meeting and provided a condensed summary of the report.

“One of the things I will highlight is the city’s fund balance increased by $198,534 during the last year,” Kockelman noted. “The overall tax rate has remained relatively steady over the years and is comparable to cities which are similar in size to Winnebago.”

Matt Cole of Bolton and Menk was at the meeting to give an update on the Northwest Project.

“I will be doing a final walk through later this week,” he commented. “I will be checking the curbs and the turf seeding to see how things are progressing and make a punch list of items which need to be addressed.”

Cole also spoke on another ongoing project in the city.

“The work on the repair of the wastewater pipes around town has begun,” he mentioned. “The contractor has already been through town inspecting the sections of pipe in question. The work should be completed by the end of June.”

Discussion was also held on the replacement of the water filter at the water treatment facility.

“You are on year 18 of your current filter and their average life expectancy is 15 years,” Cole said.

City administrator Jacob Skluzacek picked up the discussion.

“We had specifically budgeted for this project,” Skluzacek said. “I recommend we accept the bid from Kurita America in the amount of $35,215.”

The council approved the bid.

The council had one other major expense item to handle at their meeting.

“We received two bids for work to be done at the swimming pool,” Skluzacek commented. “I recommend we go with the low bid of $59,800 from TMI Coatings Inc. The bid is to sandblast, epoxy, stripe and replace tile for the big pool and they can do the job this spring.”

The council voted to award the bid to TMI Coatings Inc.

Moving on to other business, a vote was taken and passed to grant a variance to Jesse and Megan Haugh to allow construction of an accessory building larger than 1,200 square feet.

The council also voted to accept donations to the city including: $12,503 to the Winnebago Ambulance from LeRoy Hahn, Charles Schaible, Everett Pettit, Larry Soma and the William Rennferd estate; $10,957 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Grant to the Winnebago Ambulance; $24,500 from the USDA Rural Development Grant to the Winnebago Fire Department for the purchase of a fire truck; $1,000 from the Compeer Grant to the Winnebago Economic Development Authority for funding the 2021 Farmer’s Market Power of Produce program and kids educational funding.

In other business:

• A motion passed allowing the Police Department to hire two part-time officers.

• Training requests by Ashley Bleess and Skluzacek were approved. Bleess will be attending the Minnesota Wastewater Operators Association conference in order to maintain his wastewater operator certification. Skluzacek will attend a virtual conference of the Minnesota Municipal Clerks Institute.

• Following an annual review, administrative assistant Judy Staloch was given a $2 per hour raise.