Hartman reports on city grant program

The Beloit City Council conducted their business meeting Tuesday evening, August 7. All councilors were present as was the mayor, the city manager, the city attorney and the city clerk.

Heather Hartman, Solomon Valley Economic Director, reported on the Community Development Block Grant Rehabilitation and Demo program. In the past the area of focus for the work has been pretty much the entire city of Beloit. Grant qualifications require them to narrow the area down to a smaller specific geographic area of the town. This year the area of focus will be from Third Street to Eighth Street and from Lincoln to Central Streets. There are a little over 200 houses in the area. They have a total of $300,000 to spend on projects.

Hartman told the council that the Solomon Valley Foundation received 21 applications for grant funds. The board will meet on August 30 to make decisions on the applications.

Andrew Grabon took time to remind folks that school will be starting soon and there will be lots of kids going to and from school and not always paying attention like they should. Motorists should pay special attention to the little people.

City Manager Rabe reported the four quarter water testing average stands at 75.75 with the score needing to be under 80.

Rabe said that Stewart Porter is working hard on completing the numbers for the water treatment overhaul. Porter will have hard numbers for the Council to consider at their next meeting.

Sales tax receipts are running just a little over last year’s totals at this point

The Safe Routes to School sidewalk program is progressing as expected. Rabe said the contractors believe they will be finished with the work in two and a half weeks.

Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Julia Rabe, gave the council an update on the Millapalooza event coming up on September 8. Many activities are planned to create a festival day having something for everyone. A car show is planned as well as a variety of activities along Mill Street downtown.  An Art and Wine Walk is planned which will highlight wine tasting and displays of art. A beer garden will be available in front of Kettle on Mill Street. A dance will take place later in the evening.

The Council gave their approval for the festival to take place.

The Council announced a public hearing for the 2019 Budget on August 21 at 7 p.m.

A bid was approved from Murphey Tractor for a hydraulic Breaker Hammer in the amount of $12,955.

The council scheduled a special time for a hearing for the Community Development Block Grant program. This will be held on August 14 at 5:15 p.m. in the council meeting chamber.

The business meeting was adjourned and the work session was called to order.

The councilors and the mayor reviewed the North Campus Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning report submitted by the Orazem and Scholora Engineering firm of Manhattan. This firm had been asked by the City to review the current equipment at the North Campus that provides heating and cooling for the buildings there and to suggest updates. 

Orazem and Scholora provided a very detailed report about removing the old equipment and replacing it with modern equipment. The council did experience sticker shock at the price tag for this work. Two options were offered. Option one had a cost estimate of $951,700. Option two came in at $1,057,000. This project will take much deliberation before a clear path to proceed will be evident.

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