Committee approves revised JSDC budgetThe City Council’s Finance and Legal Committee voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve the Jamestown/ Stutsman Development Corp.’s revised 2010 budget. The budget, which in last month’s Finance and Legal Committee meeting was cut by $15,000, was tabled for further study at the August City Council meeting.
By: Toni Pirkl, The Jamestown Sun
The City Council’s Finance and Legal Committee voted 4-1 Tuesday to approve the Jamestown/ Stutsman Development Corp.’s revised 2010 budget.
The budget, which in last month’s Finance and Legal Committee meeting was cut by $15,000, was tabled for further study at the August City Council meeting. City Councilwoman Kelani Parisien had suggested she work with JSDC staff to see what, if any, cuts could be made without hurting the JSDC budget. She and the JSDC staff with a couple of board members found $7,000 worth of cuts. The revised budget reflects the cuts.
“It was a great meeting,” Parisien said. “We managed to take $7,000 out without touching marketing and recruiting.”
In fact, there were no negative impacts to the cuts, she said, and some creative ideas came out of it. One change will bring a software program trainer to Jamestown and inviting people from around the state to participate in the class. That will save the travel expense and spread the cost, she said.
Parisien added the JSDC is looking to take advantage of the opportunities regionally and nationally with “a great marketing plan.” She said the City Council can also play a role in partnering with the JSDC to grow the community.
“It’s important to focus on the big picture,” she said. “With long-range planning and working together, we can do some really great things. I look forward to having opportunities to work together.”
Mayor Clarice Liechty said it should be noted that Parisien wasn’t assigned by the council to do this.
“She did it on her own,” Liechty said.
Liechty was the lone vote against the revised budget. She said before the vote was taken that she had been considering comments made by Councilman Ken Schulz on the importance of getting the message out and promoting Jamestown.
“Maybe we should be approving their original budget,” Liechty said.
Schulz, who was involved in looking for cuts, said the revised 2010 budget will work out well.
“The changes made were positive,” he said. “It was a budget we could live with.”
Councilman Pat Nygaard, who is also Finance and Legal Committee chairman, had proposed a $15,000 cut in the JSDC original budget request last month, which was supported in a 3-2 vote. He said then a 15 percent overall budget increase was too much. The increase reflected a $50,000 increase in marketing and an increase in recruiting, JSDC CEO Connie Ova said, two areas that were under budgeted for several years.
With a 4-1 vote for the revised 2010 budget Tuesday, the issue now goes on the City Council’s consent agenda.
The committee unanimously approved a request for a tax exemption by Marvin Brown, owner and developer of a proposed senior living complex including assisted living apartments. Brown said of the 35 units planned in the facility, 20 will be assisted living units, based on an updated study of need in the community.
“No more than 20 units will be needed in the next 24 months,” he said.
The study showed the age 55-75 population is growing, while the younger age groups in the area are declining he said.
Brown’s tax exemption is only on the assisted living apartments, which is 60 percent of the property. So rather than a 100 percent exemption for five years, it will be 60 percent. Following that five-year exemption, the first year of the next five years, Brown will pay $12,000 as a payment in lieu of taxes. Each year thereafter, the payment will increase by 5 percent. After 10 years, the property will pay its full share of taxes.
In other business, the Finance and Legal Committee:
* approved a Flex PACE interest buy down for Allen Enterprises, contributing $75,000 in participation with a local bank and the Bank of North Dakota. Liechty was the lone vote against.
* unanimously approved the city’s share of $20,000 for North Dakota Trade Office dues. Liechty complained the county’s share of $5,000 should be higher as some of the member businesses were outside the city. Schulz and Parisien said everyone pays the 1 percent sales tax not, just city residents.
Sun reporter Toni Pirkl can be reached at (701) 952-8453 or by e-mail at email@example.com