At the first Emmetsburg City Council meeting of the new year Monday, council representatives heard requests and approved appointments made by the Mayor.
Julie Schulenberg, executive director for Center Against Abuse and Sexual Assault (CAASA), came before the council to request funding. She pointed out that services have been reorganized and funding will be cut by 30-percent. Region 1, which includes Emmetsburg and Palo Alto County, involves 19 counties. The 24 victim shelters will be decreased to eight.
"We will continue to serve victims in Emmetsburg and Palo Alto County," she said. "All of our services will be offered, with a difference in emergency housing. We will do whatever we can to help our victims."
The director requested whatever funding the City of Emmetsburg could provide for CAASA.
Councilman Brian Campbell, chair of the council's Finance, Ordinance and Personnel Committee, reported to the council from their meeting earlier that night. He presented three items for council consideration.
The council adopted a resolution approving the investment policy for the City of Emmetsburg. Campbell noted that the city's investment policy must be renewed every two years to meet State Code.
Council representatives ratified the Labor Contract for fiscal year 2013-2014. After meeting with the negotiations committee, the bargaining unit and union representatives agreed to a flat 45-cent per hour wage increase for all employee classes. The contract also calls for a work day of 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. All other parts of the contract remain the same.
The council adopted the recommendation of a 3-percent cost-of-living wage increase for fiscal year 2014 for non-union employees.
Official City Depositories were named: Iowa Trust & Savings Bank, Laurens State Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. The Reporter & The Democrat were named official newspapers for 2013.
The council approved Mayor Myrna Heddinger's appointments:
Nick Steinkamp was re-appointed to serve on the Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities Board of Trustees.
Steve Finer and Jane Whitmore were re-appointed to serve on the Golf Board.
John Davis was re-appointed and Amy VerMulm is newly appointed to serve on the Lake Board. VerMulm fill the position previously held by Rita Beiter.
Two public hearings were set for Monday, Jan. 28. The first is to consider entering a loan agreement to borrow money. The city has General Obligation notes that are collectable and the city could see savings if the existing General Obligation debt is refinanced. The second is a public hearing on the Housing Rehabilitation Program.
Council representatives discussed grant applications to be funded by Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation. The City will receive a sum of money and must review their own grant applications. The approved applications must also be submitted to PACGDC before awards night.
Emmetsburg anticipates seven grant applications from city departments and committees. The council's grant review committee will review each application before the city's February budget meeting. Matching funds for each application will come from the department's general budget.
Discussion was held on how the applications will be ranked, noting that the impact on citizens should be weighted heavily - where the citizens will receive the most bank for their buck.
Members of the review committee will review the applications, score them, and meet Tuesday, Jan. 29, to review their findings. Approved applications will be submitted to PACGDC.