City of New Richmond, Wis., the City Beautilful

New Richmond City Council members held a work session Wednesday night, June 2. 

Here is what you need to know:

 1. COVID restrictions eased

Based on the latest guidance from the CDC, the City Council approved updates to its COVID-19 Action Plan that will permit fully vaccinated employees to work without wearing a mask and without observing social distancing unless so requested by a visitor.

Employees who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to continue social distancing of six feet or more and to wear a mask when working around other employees or visitors. 

Visitors who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask and practice safe social distancing when doing business at the Civic Center. 

City boards and commissions will begin to meet again in-person while continuing to make a virtual option available. 

2. Joint financing OK’d for major projects

Assistant City Administrator and Finance Director Rae Ann Ailta presented several options to pay for two capital improvement projects and five utility projects totaling $5 million.

Favorable interest rates on general obligation loans and an injection of $985,349 over the next two years from the American Rescue Plan were key factors in the decision to combine the loan/debt for all seven projects instead of having the city and the utility issuing separate revenue bonds.

“Borrow as little money as possible and do it on a 15-year term,” Alderman Mike Montello said.

The motion authorizes the issuance of $2,328,138 in project costs plus $82,760 in underwriter’s fees to be amortized over a 15-year period. 

In addition to Impact Fees totaling $278,108, grants totaling $17,760, and cash from the sale of used city vehicles totaling $37,500, this options uses $183,454 of surplus funds accumulated through saving measures during the pandemic, $475,000 from the sales of property at 140th and GG, $334,808 in ARP funds and $206,108 in impact fees to reduce the total cost for the seven projects to $2,328,138.

3. Fun Fest confirmed

Fun Fest is on for July 8-11 including the carnival, car show, beer tent, food booths, and parade on Sunday. The layout is different this year with some events taking place at remote locations. Check with the Chamber of Commerce for details.

4. Quick hits

  • Council members approved seven bids from Bernie’s Equipment Co. totaling $150,796 for the purchase of evidence lockers and personnel duty lockers and, mobile storage for evidence room and storage for weapons/gear for the police department addition.

  • Council approved a Park Board recommendation to spend $7,000 from the Parkland Trust Fund toward a small restroom at the Sather Nature Center. An amendment to the grant to construct a trail connecting the Sather Nature Center to the Doar Prairie Restoration provided the initial $83,000 required to build the restroom, $7,000 shy of the total needed.

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