Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mantorville plans to lower preliminary budget

At a special budget workshop Monday evening, Mantorville city council members combed through the proposed 2017 general fund budget and, with the recommendations of City Clerk/Treasurer Cami Reber, whittled the preliminary budget increase in half.

Instead of a seven percent increase over last year’s levy, they’re now looking at a three percent increase.

The group looked at a few necessary upgrades. 

For example, currently, members of city staff use time cards and separate spreadsheets to keep track of their work hours. Reber or Assistant City Clerk Patti Chilson then must add up the hours on the time cards and input them into the payroll system. With a new payroll software package in place, staff members will instead be able to use their computers as their time clocks, explained Reber. 

Public Works Supervisor Scott Larsen explained that he and Public Works employee Joe Adams keep track of their time so Reber knows where it should be charged—for example, to the streets budget, the parks budget, the wastewater treatment plant or other infrastructure budgets of the city.

Theoretically, the new software would allow all that to be more easily recorded and tracked.

The group also discussed the need for new transponders, which are used to measure town water consumption by residents and businesses. The old transponders will soon no longer be available, so the city needs to start converting to a new system. City staff also researched possibly installing a transponder system that can be read from city hall. For example, now, Adams or Larsen must drive around town once a month and approach close enough to homes or businesses for vehicle equipment to receive the signal from the water transponders. If the read doesn’t appear to be correct, reads must be rechecked. This process can require about four hours per

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