The Council has only one worksession and one meeting left in 2009, but there are still a couple of important issues.
The worksession agenda tomorrow has 2 updates – both transportation related. The final report on the Highway 3/Highway 19 multimodal integration study – used to apply for the TIGER grant earlier in the year is one; the other is a report funded by the Safe Routes to School grant the city received (with the school district and other partners) evaluating pedestrian and bicycle routes to our 3 elementary schools and the Middle School with recommendations for future improvements.
We’ll also have a presentation on board and commission structure prepared by Councilperson Erica Zweifel – an on-going theme of the Council this year.
There will also be the final discussion of the 2010 tax levies including some proposals for reducing the preliminary levies adopted in November. A few bits of good news have helped fuel these proposals. The governor has decided not to unallot additional local government aid in 2009 so we dodged that bullet (I admit to cynical pessimism here – by not cutting LGA at the 11th hour for 2009, the Governor will think he has enough good will -hah! – to unallot larger amounts in 2010). Plus, the bond sale for the 1st Street Reconstruction was very successful with a lower than anticipated interest rate.
At the meeting on December 21, the Council will act on the 2010 tax levy and budget. This action is the final step, but it’s rather an anticlimax – the discussion is over and the Council just needs to sign off on the numbers.
One more thing I’ve learned: we should start talking about the 2011 budget at the first meeting in January 2010. Fall may be budget season, but the issues are on-going and if we’re to be responsible and responsive, we need to make the budget, city operations and how we pay for them part of our conversation year round.