Budget Wrap-up plus Regular Meeting

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen Photo

Bronwyn's Council Preview

First, I'd like to welcome a number of new subscribers. This newsletter is typically published prior to each Council meeting (and workshop), and summarizes a number of interesting topics on the agenda. I'm passionate about transparency and communication in government, I hope you find this newsletter a vehicle for both.


Council starts at 5:15 with our Budget Wrap-up, followed by our regular meeting. 


  • Over the past several weeks, Council has heard presentations on the City's Capital Improvements Plan  (CIP) and Program Budget. The city managers letter to council gives a good overview of the Program Budget and the same can be said for the city managers letter to council on the CIP.  Those interested might read those documents and also the Special Reports document prepared by city staff. Some examples of highlights from last week's budget hearings include:
    • The Library – Highlights from the presentation include the development of a new strategic plan, the search for a new director, and an increase in the base wage for part-time library aides.
    • Water Utilities – A 7% increase in the water rate is scheduled for this year.
    • Public Works – Council heard many updates from this department, a few examples follow. The Downtown parking study RFP (request for proposals) has been released. Tipping fees at the Resource Recovery Plant are increasing to $58.75/ton. There is a planned update of the Airport Master Plan.
    • Fleet & Facilities – Hybrid police vehicles could decrease carbon emissions by 44,000 lbs annually.
    • Parks & Rec – The Parks and Rec department gave updates on improvements at Homewood, Brookside, Ada Hayden, and several other Ames parks. In addition, this department is responsible for the maintenance of the 11,000 trees in the public right-of-way around Ames.
    • Planning and Housing – As always, the Planning Department has a lot going on. Planning is heavily involved in the process of developing our new Comprehensive Plan, “Ames Plan 2040”. Council should also be getting an update on the next steps for affordable housing at 321 State Ave in the next month or so.
    • Fire & Inspections – This department, funded 25% by ISU, is requesting a new full-time firefighter position in the upcoming year.
    • Law Enforcement and Animal Control – Regarding animal control, a consultant has been tasked with evaluating their facility, and determining if it can be renovated or should be relocated. Law enforcement spoke of recruitment challenges, trends such as regional crime and online fraud, and their new full-time School Resource Officer.
    • Transit – Cyride is considering route modifications, potentially purchasing electric buses, and working to reinvigorate their dial-a-ride services.
    • (There were more, this is just a sampling of the departments Council heard from.)
    • At this week's meeting, Council will hear budget recommendations for ASSET (human service) funding, COTA (commission on the arts), outside organizations such as the Ames Historical Society, the Community Academy, Downtown and Campustown, and other related funding requests. This will also be the meeting during which we can modify the proposed 2019-2024 CIP and 2019/2020 Budget.




The City Council meeting starts at 5:15 p.m. this Tuesday at city hall. The agenda includes (but is not limited to):

  • 1. Council Budget Presentations -

    • Several committees are tasked with recommending funding levels to Council, and we will hear their recommendations for the following groups:

      a. Public Art
      b. Arts Funding (COTA)
      c. Human Services (ASSET)
      d. Outside Funding Requests
      e. Other Requests

  • 2. Public Input on Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) and Budget

    • At prior meetings, Council heard presentations on the CIP and departmental budgets, though public input on both is reserved for this point in the process.

  • 3. Final Council Decisions 

    • These are some of the other items for Council to discuss as we wrap up our budget process.

      a. Set salaries for Council appointees
      b. Amendments to 2019-2024 CIP, if desired
      c. Vote on motion to approve 2019-2024 CIP, as amended
      d. Amendments to FY 2018/19 Adjusted Budget, if desired
      e. Vote on motion to approve Adjusted Budget for FY 2018/19, as amended
      f. Motion to set March 5, 2019, as date of final public hearing on Adjusted Budget for FY 2018/19
      g. Amendments to proposed FY 2019/20 Budget
      h. Vote on motion to approve proposed budget for FY 2019/20, as amended
      i. Motion to set March 5, 2019, as date of final public hearing on proposed budget for FY 2019/20

The Regular City Council meeting will immediately follow Budget Wrap-Up.


Non-Agenda Packet: The following items are requests and communications to the council that are not on the agenda.  This includes staff reports and communications/request from constituents/developers. By tradition the council can ask city staff for more information (a report), put the item on a future agenda for discussion or just accept the communication (taking no further action). This usually takes place at the end of the meeting during council comments.

  • Winkleblack Billboards Request
    • This request involves the potential redevelopment project along Lincoln Way between Kellogg and Clark. There are currently two billboards along that stretch of Lincoln Way, and the developer's agent is asking Council to refer the issue of these two billboards to staff for a memo.

Thanks for reading,

Bronwyn Beatty-Hansen

At-Large Council Member