Money coming from contingency fund
By Bert Lehman
More street lights that came down several years ago are going back up in the city of Clintonville.
The Clintonville City Council voted 7-3 to reinstall street lights that were previously ranked priority 2 for reinstallation. Aldermen Brad Rokus and Darrell Teall, and Alderwoman Julie Stumbris voted no.
The council approved reinstalling the priority 1 street lights a year ago. Those were reinstalled over the past year.
Reinstalling the priority 2 street lights will cost the city $4,000 in operating costs for the year. The passed motion called for that money to come from the contingency fund.
Alderwoman Mary-Beth Kuester told the council it would cost the Clintonville Utility roughly $9,000 to reinstall the street lights.
There wasn’t much discussion at the council meeting regarding reinstalling the street lights, but that wasn’t the case at the Clintonville Finance Committee meeting the previous day, Nov. 9.
At the Finance Committee meeting, Clintonville Public Works Diretor Toby Kersten informed the committee that the 2016 budget did not include $4,000 to operate the street lights if they were reinstalled. He said he did request money in the budget for new street light poles to replace poles in poor condition.
“I have extra money in for our new street light poles. We can basically eliminate purchasing one pole and have the money to operate [the reinstalled street lights],” Kersten said. “The problem is we need to take care of what we have right now that’s ready to fall down due to rust.”
He added, “The money I put in there was not inflated at all. It’s the bare minimum for what I feel needs [to be] replaced.”
At the Finance Committee meeting, Kuester said the street committee recommended the money come from the city’s contingency fund.
“Since some of us promised the citizens that it would be something we could do for them, Chuck felt we could take it from contingency,” Kuester said.
City Administrator Chuck Kell said the 2016 contingency fund is budgeted to have $16,900 in it next year.
“We were so close to our expenditure restraint we really can’t have anymore expenses, so we either have to take it out of something we’ve already budgeted for or use the contingency for it,” Kell said.
Finance Committee member Lois Bressette asked if the $4,000 needed to operate the street lights would come from contingency each year.
“I don’t know where it will come from the next year,” said Jeannie Schley, chairperson for the Finance Committee.
“Clearly going forward this should be accommodated in the public works budget somewhere,” Kell said. “It’s probably going to hurt them sometime down the [road]. But at least we can get through the first year.”