Budget, new park concessions building on agenda
A new municipal budget and plans related to operation of a new park facility were on the agenda last week at an Anna City Council meeting.
The city council met in special session Thursday evening, March 22. The meeting was at Anna City Hall.
The meeting date was moved from Tuesday, March 20. On that date, the city hall meeting room was being used as a polling place in the 2018 Union County primary election.
During the meeting, an overview of the city’s new budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 was presented. The city’s new fiscal year begins on May 1.
It was noted at the council meeting that the city will have its 28th consecutive balanced budget.
Drafting of the new budget involved input from council members and city department heads.
City administrator Steve Guined presented the budget overview. Guined praised several department heads and long-time employees, including Billy Halter, Mike Stegle, Mike Roach and Carolyn Ury, for the valuable assistance they provided.
Guined explained that the city anticipates having a $6,831,067 budget for FY 2018-2019, which compares to $7,641,752 for the current fiscal year.
The city council will give final approval to the proposed budget in April.
The lower number for the new fiscal year reflects a lack of major projects which were in the budget for 2017-2018. Those projects have been completed.
Use of New Building at Park
The council and city officials discussed at length plans for the use of a new concessions and restrooms building which has been built at the Anna City Park.
Key concerns which were addressed included how concessions will be handled and security related to the use of restrooms in the new facility.
A city committee looked at possible options related to the operation of the new building.
One of the concerns that was taken into consideration in looking at the operation of the concessions/restroom building was ongoing incidents of vandalism at the city park.
Portable toilets which the city rents from vendors for use at the park have been the frequent targets of vandalism.
Options which were discussed for the operation of the new building included opening restroom facilities on a daily basis, opening the restrooms when a concessionaire is working at the new building or a hybrid of the two proposals.
The council also discussed several options related to concessions in the new facility. The options included having multiple concessionaires or having a single concessionaire.
In the end, the council decided to have a single concessionaire at the building.
The concessionaire will be asked to help to monitor the security of the building. Restrooms in the building will be open only when the concessionaire is present.
The council announced plans to seek proposals from those who may be interested in contracting as a concessionaire.
In other business, the city administrator and council also talked about or addressed a wide range of other issues at the March 22 meeting.
Police Officer Hired
The council approved the employment of Jeremiah Reagan as a full-time officer in the Anna Police Department.
The city administrator reported that progress continues related to the post-closure phase related to closing of the municipal landfill.
Anna operated a municipal landfill for many years at a site along Kaolin Road, north of the Union County city. The landfill, which encompasses about 50 acres, closed in 1995.
The post-closure phase began in 1998 and was slated to last for 20 years. The phase involves ongoing monitoring and testing at the site. It is hoped that the phase will be finalized by this December.
The city has been working with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency during the phase.
Future of Anna Pool
The future of the Anna City Pool again was discussed by the council. The status of the pool has been a topic of discussion for some time.
The city administrator explained that the pool itself dates to the 1970s and has reached the end of its useful life.
“The pool is something that the council is going to make a decision on,” the city administrator said.
Maintenance and repair work has been an ongoing issue at the pool in recent years.
A bathhouse located next to the pool is newer and is in better shape.
New Web Page
Guined reported that work is being done on the creation of a new internet web page for the city. As of last week, plans called for the new page to be launched in four to six weeks.
The city administrator is welcoming input related to the allocation of state motor fuel tax funds for street maintenance work during 2018. Approximately $150,000 in work is planned.
Mayor Steve Hartline noted that he would like the council to consider establishing a long-term plan related to street maintenance work.
The city is planning to consider a major inspection and painting of a water tower located along Florsheim Drive this year. The tower was last painted in 2003.