BY TIM MCNEIL
After the new council in Dayton was sworn in this January, I noticed a rise in the number of people attending council meetings. I am encouraged by that fact, and I hope that it is a sign of a renewed interest to be involved in the community. And while community involvement is a topic all its own (which I hope to write about soon), I want to give a preview of what is coming up in future council meetings, so that interested residents can get a preview of what will be going on at city hall. The schedule, subject to change, should look like this:
• March 9 – 12 I’ll be in DC with the National Conference of Mayors. My goal is to keep the Brockton Interchange on the federal radar. Dayton already received $800,000 in federal money to move the project along which resulted in the plans available at city hall. While I’m in DC, Deputy Mayor Eric Lucero will conduct the council meeting on March 12. Prior to that meeting we will have a work session (open to the public) on the Brockton Interchange. The goal of the work session is to bring the council and the community up to speed on where we are now and what the next steps are.
• On March 26 I am scheduling a work session on city finance/budget 101. Again, this is open to the public and my goal would be to level set what our financial options are as we look at beginning to budget process for 2014. I expect there will be several changes in our 2014 budget when compared to the 2013 budget. This will be an opportunity to make sure the community understands what is in our current budget, and why. Topics to discuss will include bonding, tax increment financing, tax abatement, franchise fees, surface water management utility, street light utility, and recycling fees.
• On April 2 I’m hoping to have a special work session on the topic of engineering and development, where we discuss the costs of developing, and how those costs are allocated. This will be of importance to everyone in the community, but especially for those that want to sell developable land.
• April 6 we have already dedicated to strategic planning/goal setting session. This is where we will start to formulate our goals for the rest of the year and for 2014.
• April 9 (after the goal setting session) is where we would act upon creating a finance committee, making changes to our EDA, discuss a new compensation study, and discuss any other items that came out of the April 6th goal setting meeting. Also, we would discuss the grant application (TED Grant) for the Brockton Interchange.
As you can see, the schedule for the council is quite full. If you have any questions about the items above, please reach out to me at Tmcneil@cityofdaytonmn.com and I will try to answer all your questions. The key to a vibrant community is community involvement.