LB840 loan, Community Activity Center discussion highlight council agenda


An LB840 loan extension and how to move forward with the Community Activity Relocation project were topics taking up the majority of the Tuesday meeting of the Wayne City Council meeting.

A request from Rainbow World to extend their LB840 balloon payment in the amount of $38,500 was approved following a presentation from Liesel Powicki, Board President.

Powicki shared information on the financial status of Rainbow World, which is a non-profit organization.

Ten years ago, Rainbow World had received LB840 funds, with a zero percent interest rate,  for use at the facility. Since that time, monthly payments have been made toward paying off the loan.

She told the council that the facility had recently implemented a rate increase for those using the facility to make them comparable to other facilities.

She said the rates had not been raised for years. That, and the fact that wages for employees were raised as the minimum wage increased, had created a challenging financial situation.

Powicki said the board was requesting the council allow the facility to continue to make payments with the same terms, for an additional 10 years. At that time, the loan would be paid in full.

She noted that the board is continuing to look for grant funding for projects and has made a number of facility improvements.

Council members approved the request.

Council members discussion possible options moving forward with a Community Activity Center following the defeat of the city sales tax ballot issue in the May 14 election.

City Administrator Wes Blecke shared information on how much money a one-half cent sales tax would bring in each year and noted that raising the property tax levy would not generate the same amount of money.

He told the council that the city does have some money in reserves and would generate funds from the sale of the existing Activity Center. In addition, there could be grant opportunities available.

Council members expressed their opinions that the timing of putting the issue on the recent ballot was not good as "there are too many irons in the fire" and concerns with inflation.

Council member Matt Eischied said "we have to be pro-active and plan for the future. We have done nothing to address the changing needs of the community."

Council members all felt there was a need to do more to educate the public on the need for the facility and to work with the school to help address the needs of the increasing number of students at the schools.

Additional discussion on the topic will take place at future meetings.

A public hearing was held to consider the Planning Commission's recommendation in regard to amending the Future Land Use Map of the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Wayne.

Jason and Cristy Jorgensen would like to modify Lot 25 of the Benscoter Addition Planned Unit Development Replat 2 to the city of Wayne from commercial to multi-family to match the adjacent area. They wish to build a home with a large garage with living quarters.

City Planner Joel Hansen told the council that the area must be consistent with the future land use map to be re-zoned. He also said the Planning Commission had reviewed the planning and unanimously approved it.

Council members approved the ordinance amending the map and waived the three readings.

During the second public hearing of the evening, council members received information in regard to re-zoning the Jorgensen's property (916 Jaxon Street) from B-1 Highway Business to R-4 Residential.

City Planner Hansen explained the difference in uses allowed in the different zoned areas.

The ordinance dealing with this zoning change also received unanimous approval and the three readings waived.

In other action, the appointment of Phil Monahan as Wayne Fire Chief was approved. Monahan is beginning his 13th year in this position.

A payment to Penro Construction Co., Inc. in the amount of $40,539.11 for the Wayne Prairie Park Phase II Utilities Project was approved.

Matthew Smith with Olsson told the council that a portion of the project is complete with a final walk through taking place. He also discussed other work taking place on the project in coming weeks.

The Wayne City Council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.