Odds and ends from Tuesday night's Personnel and Finance Committee, which included the return of Alderman Tom Friedel to the committee he once chaired:
As mayor, Friedel asked the city to track attendance at the Belle City Senior Center, which is located at the former Lakeview Community Center. From January to March attendance was split 50-50 between Racine residents and people from outside of the city, according to Finance Director Dave Brown.
The numbers roughly broke down as 50 percent from Racine, 20 percent from Caledonia, 20 percent from Mount Pleasant and 10 percent from other communities.
The city received $2,298 from the State Department of Health to give out vouchers to low-income residents so they can shop at local farmer's markets. The city also received an additional $25,581 for the city's Women, Infants and Children program.
The city is hoping a sale will jump start the sale of crypts in Mound Cemetery later this year. Parks and Recreation Director Donnie Snow sought permission from the committee to waive fees for people buying new crypts in the cemetery. The final resting places are now under construction. The committee agreed to waive fees on the crypts, which include $760 for residents and $990 for nonresidents, until the end of the year. Snow said the crypts will go on sale later this summer.
The city is likely to pull $365,214 out of its savings account to pay for a surprise fee increase from the state Public Service Commission on March 25. The 30 percent increase will help pay to maintain water pressure to fire hydrants throughout the city.
"It's non-negotiable and we have to pay it," Brown said.
Friedel, who sits on the board that manages the water utility, called the increase "unprecedented."
The city has plenty of money to cover the budget hit. Brown said the city's reserve balance is around $22 million, which is roughly 29 percent of the city's budget. The city must keep at least a reserve fund equal to 20 percent of the budget, Brown said.
"This is why we have that fund," he said.
The budget amendment passed the committee unanimously.
You can read the JT's story on this here.