City Council wraps up budget hearings

Ward+Two+Representative+Tim+Gartin+speaks+to+representatives+from+the+Ames+Airport+after+John+Joiner+Spoke+about+lengthening+the+runway+which+would+allow+larger+jets+to+land.+This+proposed+improvement+follows+a+request+from+several+Big+12+teams+which+operate+their+own+jets%2C+but+must+currently+land+in+Des+Moines+and+drive+to+Ames+due+to+runway+length+requirements.

Ward Two Representative Tim Gartin speaks to representatives from the Ames Airport after John Joiner Spoke about lengthening the runway which would allow larger jets to land. This proposed improvement follows a request from several Big 12 teams which operate their own jets, but must currently land in Des Moines and drive to Ames due to runway length requirements.

Chris Anderson

Ames City Council held a budget wrap up session Tuesday night to finish budget hearings and handle amendments related to outside funding requests.

The council approved adding $40,000 to the FY17/18 budget to go towards the Campustown Action Association “Make Campustown Shine” initiative. A representative from this association shared that these increased funds are, in her opinion, necessary to pursue a cleaner more welcoming Campustown that will reflect well on the entire community.

In addition, the council approved $44,300 be added to the FY18/19 budget to go towards the Main Street Cultural District (MSCD). This will be used as partial funding for a variety of programs the MSCD puts on.

The council also approved $15,000 to go towards the Ames Economic Development Commission’s workforce development initiative. The workforce development initiative is a program aimed at ensuring buisnesses in Ames have an effective workforce to draw from.

In October, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Ames had the lowest unemployment in the country at just 1.4 percent. Council member Tim Gartin called this a blessing but also acknowledged the challenges it creates for businesses in need of employees, speaking in support of this initiative.

Council set March 6 as the date of the final public hearing on both the 17/18 and 18/19 proposed budgets.

In the regular meeting of City Council, the council approved the execution of a proposed memorandum of agreement with Story County, Iowa State University, and the Story County 911 board to fund consultants on the purchasing of new radio equipment across the county.

The city, county, Iowa State University, and the Story County 911 board are looking to replace radios that have been in use by public safety and service personnel since the early 1990s.

In September 2017, the Story County 911 board entered into a contract with the consulting firm Mission Critical Partners (MCP) for a radio system needs analysis study. A proposal put forth by MCP outlined a plan where they would analyze the radio needs of the county, submit FCC documentation to acquire radio frequencies, make recommendations, and assist in the negotiation process with vendors.

MCP’s fee for these services is $134,924. The city, county, ISU, and Story County 911 board entered into a memorandum of agreement to fund these services. Each of the four groups will pay $33,731 towards these services.