• Meeting this week starts with two-hour, 4 p.m. budget session
BROOKINGS – To say that the Brookings City Council has been taking it easy since the move to the Brookings City & County Government Center would be incorrect – the important work has continued, but council agendas have been light and the meetings unusually short.
That all ends this Tuesday, as the council begins wrapping up the city budget for 2013.
They’ll do it in the pre-meeting work session, and that will involve so much detailed information the councilors have scheduled a 4 p.m. start time.
There will be additional budget discussion at the Aug. 28 meeting, also scheduled for a 4 p.m. start, and the council also might have to schedule an “in between” session next week to carry on the financial discussion.
City Manager Jeff Weldon indicated that the council will review the budget in summary along with the proposed Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan, with an emphasis on next year’s projects.
The regular council session, which begins at 6 p.m., will involve a number of important decisions for the council, not the least of which is awarding the bid for the Dakota Nature Park Nature Center.
In a bid-letting July 17, Banner Associates determined that Clark Drew Construction of Brookings was the low bidder for the project. The Brookings contractor’s was the lowest base bid among seven bidders, at $1,229,500. When park planners eliminated three alternate bid items (for wall panels, shingles and a trellis), Drew’s net bid was still the lowest, at $1,163,000. The engineering estimate for the project was just under $1.03 million.
5,300 sq. ft. building
The new nature center building will be approximately 5,300 square feet and will include a large classroom, a large atrium (second classroom) with exhibits and reception desk, a four-season porch/meeting room, a storage room for outdoor gear, mechanical and custodial rooms, and three bathrooms. The building project also includes the landscaping in the immediate area around the building, geothermal heating and a city water line.
Other key items the council will consider Tuesday include:
• Rezoning most of a Hillcrest-area neighborhood from an R-2 district to an R-1C district. The change, if approved, would keep the neighborhood as a single-family residence area, prohibiting most conversions to multiple-family dwellings. The request by community residents is similar to one approved earlier by the council.
• Approval of a malt beverage license for The Blizzard, a new business at the Larson Ice Center, and malt beverage and wine licenses for Sake, Inc., a new business at Eastside Commons (formerly Brookings Mall). The council will also act on a wine operating agreement for The Pheasant Restaurant & Lounge.
• Approval of a memorandum of understanding between the City of Brookings and the Brookings Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). As part of the agreement, the city will dissolve its Visitor Promotion Committee, and that group’s duties – some of which already duplicated CVB responsibilities – will be assumed by a newly reorganized Convention and Visitors Bureau. The new agreement with the CVB spells out what services the city will receive for its annual funding of the organization.
• Approval of a new three-year contract for City Attorney Steve Britzman. The contract, which has an annual escalator provision, begins at $6,334 per month, or about $76,000 per year. Not included in the contract are additional fees that may result from litigation or substantial recodification of city ordinances.
Sessions 4, 6 p.m.
Both the 4 p.m. work session the and regular council meeting, which begins at 6 p.m., are open to the public. Meetings are held in Council Chambers, Room 310, in the Brookings City & County Government Center, 520 Third St.
Contact Ken Curley at firstname.lastname@example.org.