Council approves advertising for full-time Community Development Coordinator

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

At the regular monthly meeting of the Montevideo City Council, the council reviewed a proposed job description and salary range for a full-time Community Development Director position. For the past two years, the City has contracted Community and Economic Development Services for the EDA through an organization called Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA). At the 2022 budget work session, the council discussed the possibility of ending the contract with CEDA and hiring a full-time position at length. City Staff has contacted CEDA to notify them that the City of Montevideo will end its contract at the end of 2021. The proposed job description and salary range includes a budgeted $110,500 for the full-time position including a $71,000 salary plus benefits. The EDA’s budget transfers funds to the General Fund to contribute funding for the program. “I think the hope is to create stability in the position, and having somebody in house gives us a little more control of that,” said City Manager Robert Wolfington. The council approved the job description and salary range as proposed and authorized City staff to advertise for the full-time Community Development Coordinator position. 

The council also heard a proposal to allow City Staff to seek an estimate on the establishment of a storm sewer utility. Wolfington reported that the City does not have a properly established revenue source currently to address the maintenance, repair, and creation of storm sewer projects. Wolfington also stated that most cities in Minnesota have established a storm sewer utility that funds projects, repairs to storm sewer lines, and installation of new sewer lines as well as the purchase of equipment used in the maintenance of storm sewers. Wolfington met with the City’s financial advisors, Ehlers and Associates to discuss what kind of cost estimates the City would be looking at for developing a storm sewer utility structure. Ehlers and Associates reported back to Wolfington that there are three options for rate structures, including a flat rate paid by all, rates based on categories and size of lots, and usage-based rates requiring significant calculation. Ehlers and Associates recommended that the City consider the second option of basing rates on property categories and sizes of lots. 

“There are a number of storm sewer projects in the City of Montevideo that requires our attention including a downtown storm sewer issue, maintenance on our storm sewer ponds, and more. By developing the storm sewer utility we would be able to develop these projects more efficiently and plan for more projects in the future,” Wolfington said. “To demonstrate the need of this, last week we had a rain event that created a flooding issue in the basement of one of our downtown businesses. We’ve been in contact with the property owner there and are working with our insurance provider to make some determinations. There’s a storm sewer that goes directly parallel to the property that is in need of repair and water started bubbling up in that area causing water to go into his basement. We currently have a rough estimate of $100,000 to repair that one issue.” Wolfington also noted that the fund would allow for the City to add some capacity to bonding for street projects, with the storm utility covering significant portions, if not all of the storm sewer element of street projects. “The intention would be to develop a capital improvement plan for our storm sewers in town so that there is a list of projects, and we’re not just coming up with random numbers trying to come up with what the rate should be,” Wolfington said. The council agreed to allow Wolfington to pursue cost estimates with Ehlers and Associates. 

The council also accepted gifts and grants, including a donation of $500 from the VFW Post #380 for Fire Prevention Activities, $7,500 from the Montevideo Noon Lions Club for Christmas Lights, $100 from Co-op Credit Union for Fire Prevention Week, and $173 from Wal-mart for supplies for the Police Department’s “Refuse to be a Victim” class. 

The council meets again on November 15th at 7 p.m.