Budget discussions were once again the main topic of discussion for the Toledo City Council before and after its meeting last week.
Among those discussions were the Toledo Library, mowing contracts and the Reinig Center. During the main meeting, the city council also talked about a new copier/printer for the police department and an update on the Tama-Toledo Aquatic Center.
Before the regular meeting, the city council met for almost an hour to discuss the 2013-2014 budget. The three city council members (Brian Sokol, Terry Goodhart and "Elmer" Skip Wilson) that attended the meeting, further discussed ways to cut expenditures in next year's budget.
The budget meeting was adjourned at 7 p.m. and opened again at 7:55 p.m. after the regular meeting. During the next 1 hour, 25 minutes, several recommendations were made by the council members, but no official action was taken.
One of the recommendations came regarding the Toledo Library. The council recommended a 2 percent increase for the library's budget instead of the 3 percent that was requested at the Jan. 7 meeting. Jenny Bledsoe, Toledo Library director, and Kathy Holtz, president of the library trustees requested the 3 percent increase to raise wages.
Another city council recommendation was to decrease mowing contracts by having the city employees mow more lots in the spring and summer. The final budget recommendation was to make changes at the Reinig Center with the Tama County Economic Development agreement. No official changes were made to the Reinig Center, but they will be further discussed at the next meeting on Jan. 28.
During the main meeting, Toledo Police Chief Bob Kendall further discussed his need for a new copier/printer that he explained at the January budget request meeting. Kendall upgraded his computer to run on Windows 7 operating system, but the current copier/printer isn't compatible for Windows 7. However, Kendall said he wants to upgrade the other office computer to Windows 7, because it currently runs on Windows XP, an older system, and he'd like to buy a copier/printer that will work with Windows 7 and both computers.
Kendall said he can either purchase one for $3,350 or lease one for $99.66 per month. The lease agreement would be packaged with parts, labor, service, toner, upgrade guarantees and other benefits, according to Kendall.
"Basically, what I'm looking for is a copier that can essentially do the same things I can do now," Kendall said. "I'm also looking for one that can print color photos in pretty good detail. We can right now, but the only problem is what we have now is one of those that costs $50. The ink costs about $30 and it seems like one page will drain half it."
City Attorney Nancy Burk gave Kendall some advice when looking for a copier/printer. Burk told him that he should find one that includes a scanner, because the court systems will be requiring all documents be sent electronically in the near future.
In other city council news, the council unanimously approved the West Ross Street Speed Limit Ordinance after no comments were made at the public hearing. The speed limit has decreased from 25 to 15 mph.
The city council also discussed refinancing the Aquatic Center Bond. Other neighboring cities have refinanced their bonds to save money. However, Sokol said he believes the City of Toledo can save more money by waiting another year. Since only three members were present, the council tabled the topic until the next meeting.
The city council will next meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 28. The council will meet at 6 p.m. that night for continued budget talks.