Public Input on Capital Improvements Plan (CIP) and Budget


The Ames City Council begins at 5:15 PM  Feb 10th.  The agenda includes:


Budget wrap-up

  • Item 1 -- Council Budget Presentations for Arts Funding (COTA), Human Services (ASSET), Public Art and Outside Funding Requests

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

    • Flood Mitigation-While I have been opposed to this project since council first included it in the CIP 2 years ago, staff added new information to the discussion in the last 2 weeks. It appears there may be a cost savings to the Grand Avenue Extension resulting from the flood mitigation work that could more than offset the local match. The council has the opportunity tonight to wait on the design of the mitigation project until the results of the Grand Avenue savings can be determined. This seems a reasonable course.

    • I love this graph. You can see exactly where your dollars go. If you have a $250,000 house take the numbers and multiply them by 2.5 and that is the city portion you pay for that service.


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


Human Services Funding and Tax Incentive Giveaways

This meeting the council reviews the budget guidelines for 2014-2015 (item 38).

Many years ago the voters of Ames approved 1% sales tax referendum (see the sales tax history) directing that 60% of the sales tax goes to reduce property taxes that pay for services like roads, police and fire protection and 40% be expended on "...human service agencies, the arts, and community betterment."

This Tuesday the council sets the 2015-2016 funding levels Human Services (ASSET) . It is often tempting for city councils to use the funds earmarked for "Human Services and the Arts" on items that are traditionally paid for out of the general fund (property tax). If the health of the fund is considered an issue in the discussion, it the discussion should also cover how some local option dollars go to support items that are very justified coming from property taxes.

The idea of "community betterment" is a vague one, and council might be wise to treat its meaning conservatively, and ensure its use is not for something traditionally purchased with property taxes dollars.

The Ames City Council begins at 7:00 PM  Dec 16th.  The agenda includes: