1. Hosted a budget work session

The commission took a look and bond and interest funds, and how they may affect the 2018 budget. No decisions were made.

The commission took a list of several projects that may be bonded this year including street work, sewer projects, and a stormwater retention project at the airport. The 11 project list is estimated to cost $3.5 million.

City staff presented a summary of budget issues that included “enhancement requests,” external agency requests (like Health Ministries and Grand Central) along with the bond and interest fund. That sheet showed those items leading to an increase of 6.305 mills.

“We need to have at least one option of that (without a mill levy increase),” said Leroy Koehn, commissioner.

No decisions were made about the budget. The commission will host a budget work session June 26, and another July 10. The calendar calls for publication of the budget in July.

2. Welcomed a new member

Rod Kreie was sworn in as a commissioner, appointed to fill a position on the commission that opened when former mayor David Nygaard passed away earlier this year.

Kreie is an accountant who served on the Ulysses city council before moving to Newton. The term he was appointed to ends in January of 2020.

3. Awarded bids for drainage projects

The commission approved bids for some drainage projects.

The commission awarded a bid for a drainage project along Slate Creek that will restore the banks of the creek and improve drainage. The low bidder  was Vogts-Parga Construction 145,246.00. The commission also reviewed a bid for drainage improvements in Centennial Park, creating a drainage area from north to south. The bids came in a higher than budget, however the city chose to approve a bid and allow city staff to negotiate with Voghts-Parga on the project, which was the low bidder at more than $45,000.