MASON CITY | City council members approved a resolution adopting the budget for the upcoming fiscal year and Corridor Revitalization Loans for proposed projects north and south of downtown, among with other actions at its meeting Tuesday night.
Interim City Administrator and Finance Director Kevin Jacobson detailed the budget proposal to the city council. The proposal increases the city's total budget from roughly $70.997 million to $98.696 million from FY18 to FY19.
Jacobson noted the large increase was because of numerous capital projects, including the River City Renaissance Project and road improvements.
"It may look really skewed, but that is the reason. We have that large and project and again, we have the two street projects, the (Highway) 122 reconstruction and the 27th Street (paving)."
The budget includes a tax levy increase from roughly $13.70 to $13.82, but Jacobson said a decrease in state rollback and other factors should lead to the average homeowner saving about 6 cents per week in the upcoming fiscal year.
Toward the beginning of the meeting, City Engineer Mark Rahm detailed the current state of the Quiet Zone projects around town. The intersections around town that are affected are 15th St. SW, 4th St. SW, 1st St. NE, 9th St. NW and 6th St. SW.
Quiet Zones would require trains passing through those intersections to not blare their horns while approaching the intersection.
Rahm detailed when each intersection would either be closed temporarily or permanently, which is scheduled for the end of April. After they are all closed, the city will file an official notice to Union Pacific, asking for the quiet zones to be enforced.
He also showed council members the supplemental safety measures at crosswalks that would still be opened, which would contain Qwick Kurb dividers between road lanes.
"They're the only approved vendor by the Federal Railroad Administration for their product to be used within a quiet zone," Rahm told the council.
In other business, council members approved Corridor Revitalization Loans for projects on the north and south ends of town. In one proposal, property owner Russ Hardy asked for $30,000 to whitebox two retail spaces in a building just south of Little Chicago, along with creating four two-bedroom apartments on the second floor.
According to his application, the total cost of that project would be $339,648.
In the other loan application, Allen and Lois Awe received just over $24,000 for exterior work and to improve their parking lots at Pro's Sandwich Shop, 629 S. Federal Ave. Per their application, the total cost of the work would be $48,109.54.
Second Ward Councilman Will Symonds was also appointed to the city's Housing Rehabilitation Committee. That committee assists the public with utilizing the city's "grant-funded housing rehabilitation programs," according to the city website.