Council sends funding decision to a vote
Signaling that residents should have the say in whether an opt out should pay for a new aquatics center, the Mobridge City Council, on Monday, Feb. 4, referred a vote on the funding option to the people.
After hearing the pool committee recommend the opt out as the funding source for the new center, the council voted unanimously to put the issue on the ballot.
The maximum amount the city could ask for would be the $200,000 amount of the opt out over the next the 20 years.
The council had the choice to refer the issue to a vote or to approve the opt out and let it go to a petition to force a vote.
Mobridge City Attorney Rick Cain explained that state requires that the city adopt a resolution for the amount and length of the opt out and then decide whether they want to refer to a vote of the people or wait until a petition forces the vote.
“On a project of this scale, I would like the community’s input as a yea or nay on the project,” said Ward II Councilwoman Amy Cerney.
Mayor Jamie Dietterle told those attending the meeting that the city is continuing to work towards an annual designation of $100,000 in funds to the new project.
“I encourage people to make pledges and to donate for this project,” he said. “The committee is working hard seeking donations and pledges and with fundraising events. I am amazed at the community’s support on this project.”
Cerney requested the council review the suggestions for funding priorities of the library addition project. The spending priorities need to be set for auditing reasons. The suggestions will need to be approved at the next meeting.
Those priorities are as follow: $256,000 from a Community Development Block Grant, $613,000 from the Library Foundation Fund, $33,160 from the library savings account, the library’s checking account and finally the city’s general fund.
Beck said on Tuesday the recommendation for the priorities came from the Office of Legislative Audit and are necessary because the Library Foundation has requested that any leftover funding be returned to the foundation when the project is complete.
“Unless something really serious crops up, nothing will be taken from the general fund,” she said.
The council will vote on the suggested priorities at the Tuesday, Feb. 19 meeting.
Ward II Councilman Gene Cox told the group the Walworth County Commission would be discussing tax deed properties in Mobridge at the Tuesday, Feb. 9, meeting. He voiced his concern that these properties, if put up for sale again, would be purchased by someone who had little intention of restoring the homes for personal use.
“Do we as a council want to stop these tax deeds from floating around out there?” he asked. “I don’t want us to loose control of these types of properties again.”
He said the city would likely get “stuck” with more nuisance properties in the future if this occurred.
Cain asked if the council would like to approach the commission and ask if they would consider holding the properties until such a time that the city decided the best action for those properties.
Cox said he would approach the commission and ask that they work together to find the best solution for the problem.