WAYNE – A handful of agenda items saw quick action on Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting until an executive session halted a near 30-minute meeting pertaining to a $300,000 loan being forgiven.
From the council chambers inside City Hall, councilmembers and city staff were in executive session for nearly 30 minutes talking about specific property and amounts pertaining to the Community Redevelopment Authority.
After lengthy discussion, the 300,000 loan that was issued from the electric fund in 2012 was not forgiven and remains as is through April of 2024 when it’s due or can be renegotiated but council did approve the addition of a $200,000 line of credit with a 0.5% interest with no end date. Interest will not start until the CRA uses the funds. All $500,000 will be paid back with the $200,000 earning interest.
A funding source given to the CRA is from the City Proper using a certain percentage of property taxes similar to the airport, but the group hasn’t used these funds. The Western Ridge Subdivision lots were owned by the CRA as the money can be used for operations.
Greg Ptacek spoke on behalf of the CRA and presented current projects with a handful being purchased or a verbal agreement accepted along with backburner projects.
City Administrator, Wes Blecke said that Ptacek did a great job in explaining that this CRA group is more aggressive in redevelopment.
“When the markets fail, that’s when government has to step in,” said Blecke. “That’s what the CRA, an arm of the government of the City is trying to do with some of these properties that have been sitting for a while or need to be back on the tax roll in a different form.”
Yasuko Taoka was elected last fall on council but has had a job change and will be working for the University of Temple in their Japanese office. Councilmembers accepted the resignation and then declared a “Notice of Vacancy” in Ward 2.
“The mayor has I believe it’s four weeks to present the names to the council to appoint in that position,” Blecke added. “If you have any interest in Ward 2 (northeast ward), contact Mayor Giese or you can let myself or Betty McGuire know as well and we can get that information to Cale and he’ll have a conversation with you.”
Once fall softball season is complete, the “Old City of Wayne Lagoon Berm Dirt Work” project will begin. The north berm will next be removed, and the dirt will be rolled back onto the existing roadway to improve the road temporarily. The contractor will stay in touch with the City of Wayne when the entrance will be closed for a couple of days as the only way to access the dog park would be on the trail.
A second tool cat Bobcat was purchased for the Parks Department to help clean off the trail which has now doubled with the most recent phase added. The Street Department will also be replacing their 2012 Skid Steer Loader with a bigger unit along with some new attachments.
Councilmembers also approved bids for a new firetruck as Fire Chief Phil Monahan attended the meeting. So far, $450,000 has been budgeted for the over half a million-dollar fire truck. Monahan stated if bids were accepted prior to December, it would take between 18 – 24 months for the build and prices are supposed to continue to increase.
Blecke viewed Tuesday’s City Council meeting online as he was making his way back from Portland, Oregon where he was at the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) conference and was attending Nebraska functions
“Lots of sessions from budgeting to human resources, to recycling,” Blecke mentioned. “I mean there’s just been a lot of different things (being) a great conference to learn from others in the business.”
The next regularly scheduled Wayne City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, October 19.