December 2, 2019 Work Session Minutes

DECEMBER 2, 2019 – 6:00 PM

CALL TO ORDER - The work session was called to order by Mayor Rockvam at 6:00 p.m.

Council Members Present: Jerome P. Rockvam, Mayor; Mark Chase; Pamela Horton; and Gary Hughes

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator; Mary Tietjen, City Attorney; and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk


City Administrator Tolsma presented options for the 2020 levy and budget. He discussed the preliminary levy that was set in September at 5.4%. He added another option of a 3.9% levy due to updated numbers for projected revenue and paring things down a bit.

Council Member Hughes asked about the City’s spring and fall clean-up events.

City Administrator Tolsma discussed the program benefits and problem areas.

City Clerk Schyma stated that a proposal with options for the City’s clean-up events will be presented at an upcoming work session so that Council can see a cost breakdown and comparison to other cities in the area.

Mayor Rockvam asked if there was any other way to bring the final levy number down any further.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that the main budget items that are changing are police and fire. He added that public safety makes up approximately half of the general fund budget so any changes to the police and fire budgets makes a significant impact on the levy.

City Administrator Tolsma added that the other significant change from 2019 is the increasing snow removal budget based on the recent weather pattern. He stated the snow removal budget has almost doubled this year; currently in 2019 the City has already spent approximately $35,000.

Mayor Rockvam said the current snow removal contractor has done a really good job especially where the sidewalks are concerned.

Mayor Rockvam and Council Member Hughes asked about what City Hall improvement projects have been budgeted for the upcoming year.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that there was a professional inspection done on the building recently and the general result was that there are no major mechanical issues that need to be addressed right now. There were a few “wear” items that have already been taken care of. The only other item that is currently on the upcoming projects list is for the floors at City Hall to be redone in 2020.

Council Member Horton discussed where additional cuts could come from since police and fire are the biggest factors impacting the budget and levy.

City Administrator Tolsma stated one area to consider looking at in 2020 is the City’s spring and fall clean-up events.

The Council consensus was to have City Administrator Tolsma present additional numbers at the regular meeting so the Council could see options for a 3.5% and 3.7% final levy.


City Administrator Tolsma presented recent numbers for visitors and phone calls to City Hall on Fridays. While noticing a significant drop-off in service requests on Fridays staff began looking at options for shifting, not reducing, the hours of City Hall to help serve the residents during later hours from Monday through Thursday. He presented several options to the Council to consider on a trial or permanent basis.

Mayor Rockvam stated he is not in favor of making a change to the hours.

Council Member Hughes does not like the idea of having City Hall vacant for three days in a row.

Council Member Chase added that sometimes it is convenient to come to City Hall on Fridays.

The Council consensus was to keep the hours of City Hall the same in 2020.


4. ADJOURN – The work session was adjourned by unanimous consent at 7:07 p.m.

Date Approved: January 6, 2020

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk