Sheldon, Iowa — If there are no major changes in the preliminary budget figures presented to the Sheldon City Council Wednesday, there will be a slight increase in the City’s tax levy for the coming fiscal year. City Manager Scott Wynja told the council that one of the contributing factors is a ruling that the money paid to volunteers for Sheldon’s emergency services must be treated as income. The result will be an increase in employee benefits.
The City of Sheldon also plans to pay off two loans during the coming fiscal year. In later discussions about the idea of an events center in the new park area, council member Ron Rensink noted that because these loans were being paid off, it could be possible to fund this project without an increase in taxes. This project along with other amenities in the new Community Park are in the very early stages of planning. The Community Park committee will hold a kickoff planning session with Mike Bell of RDG Planning and Design this Friday, January 30th. This meeting will begin at 7 am in the council chambers of the Sheldon Community Services Center.
The Council also discussed a proposal from The Sheldon Community Ambulance Team to hire a full time director or coordinator for the Ambulance Service . It was noted that they had answered 517 calls with 238 of them transfers. The new full time position would provide one person who is always available during the daytime. And this person could also handle administrative duties now performed by SCAT officers. The proposal estimated a salary of $35,000 per year for this position, but Ron Rensink pointed out that this would amount to about $60,000 when all the benefits were added. The council will discuss this further when more details are available.
The Council also added several items to the budget at the request of certain entities. The Sheldon golf course wanted a commitment of ten thousand dollars per year for five years to assist with debt reduction. However the council agreed to ten thousand dollars this year with the understanding that it would be reviewed next year. Mid Sioux Opportunity was awarded $250.00 and Upper Des Moines Opportunity will receive $3,300.00.
The budget discussion will continue at the next City Council meeting.