1) City Budget:
City Administrator John Butz reported a City of Rolla budget of $26.5 million. According to Butz, this number has been static through the past four years. After seeing a brief increase in the budget in the 2016/2017 fiscal year, the numbers fell again for the upcoming fiscal year. “It’s hard to really understand that in light of all the construction activity. . . and what seems like activity on campus, but for whatever reason we’re not seeing that kind of revenue growth,” said Butz.
He noted that despite 2016/2017 being a tight year, several positions were able to be added to the city that the budget doesn’t always easily allow. The Codes Inspector position, which was eliminated during the recession was brought back due to it being a “record-setting year” in terms of construction activities according to Butz.
“We will hit building permits in excess of $200,000 this year, probably hit $65 million of total private construction,” said Butz.
2) Dog Park
Kent Bagnell, of Kent Jewelry, gave the council and those who attended the meeting an update on the dog park to be located in Buehler Park, and gave a digital example of what residents can expect. The drawing shown was conceptual and not to scale, according to Bagnell, but was an accurate representation of the park. The new dog park with have a single foyer area leading residents and their dogs into three enclosed yards, two large and one small. All users will enter through the front area, walking past signs highlighting the guidelines for the park along with a waste bag dispenser to help keep it clean. A portion of the area outside the fence is owned by the nearby mental health clinic. Bagnell said they will not be leasing the land to the dog park, but are more than happy to allow them to place picnic tables for residents to enjoy. Bagnell said the dog park team has also assembled “an incredible group of young people from Royal Canin” who are ready to help fundraising for the park. He explained the conservative goal for the park is $30,000, which includes the fencing and other requisite materials. There will also be naming opportunities for residents who donate. Bagnell said they have established a relationship with a paver company in Hermann, MO who can add names and pet memorial bricks that will line the sidewalk.
3) Angled parking along Pine
John Butz laid to rest the discussion of creating angled parking along Pine Street. After gaining feedback from the community, he said there wasn’t enough consensus to justify making the change. Butz said he took the idea to the Rolla Downtown Business Association, whose members were “by and large supportive,” according to him. However it was hard to find much agreement when questioning further individuals about the potential change. A survey was also sent to property and business owners along Pine Street. Butz said 65-70 letters were sent out, and approximately 20 were sent back. “They either really liked the idea, or they really disliked the idea,” he said. “The problem with it is there’s just not a lot of road width, so if you look at the balance of what that single lane is left with, you’re having to be very cognizant of anybody backing out from one of those angled parking spots on either side of you.” Butz said it isn’t unusual to find angled parking along downtown business areas, but he hasn’t seen angled parking in single lane such as Pine Street. Delivery trucks a would also have been prohibited from parking along Pine Street, requiring them to move and unload elsewhere. “I think it was an interesting exercise, we heard a lot of suggestions,” Butz said. “I think the bottom line is we just did not find too much consensus on this.”
3 things to know from City Council 9/5
1) City Budget: