The Devils Lake Water Improvement District Budget meeting was on Friday May 10th at 10:00am and was held in the City Hall Council Chambers located on the third floor of City Hall.
Budget Presentation: The Lake Manager started the meeting presenting the budget to the budget committee. It described the five priorities that have been set by the DLWID Board in previous meetings. These priorities include:
- Improve and maintain the water quality in Devils Lake.
- Improve the environment for fish, wildlife, and humans in Devils Lake and its watershed.
- Improve recreational opportunities in and on Devils Lake.
- Improve and maintain safe and efficient navigation through Devils Lake.
- Increase public access to Devils Lake.
- Improve the economy of north Lincoln County through the restoration and maintenanceof Devils Lake.
- Increase public awareness and public education of Devils Lake.
He then continued on to describe a list of other additional programs and activities the District maintains are presented. There is more detail on each area at http://www.dlwid.org/Projects.html. The categories include
- Sewer Engineering Design
- East Devils Lake Road
- Internship Program
- Save our Shoreline
- Educational Video and DVD
- Salmon Rescue
- Water Trail
A description of the funds that are available each year from the tax base. These general resources include $168,531 existing resources in various accounts received from taxes levied in 2013. The Districts forecasts tax receipts of $199,448 during the coming fiscal year. The total resources available to the District equal $367,978 in the coming year.
The District also maintains a reserve fund with considerable resources that are to be directed the purposes of the fund are for vegetation management, watershed protection, capital improvement, water quality improvements, cyanobacteria (aka, blue-green algae) control, and other improvements seen necessary by the Devils Lake Water Improvement District. This fund include an existing account balance of $288,267 with $58,334 to be transferred from the general fund, $1,280 from interest and grants are also included. The final element of the reserve fund is a $575,000 loan to be used for acquisition of the Union 50 Club bringing the total reserve fund balance to $900,048.
The Lake Manager then presented the expenditures of the District at a high level. This year’s budget includes the following expenditures.
Material & Supplies:
Bank Fees $125
Watershed Protection $10,088
Vegetation Management & Control $24,931
Fish & Wildlife $10,000
Salary, Payroll Taxes & Benefits $51,546
Scientific Equipment $7,200
Grass Carp $100,000
Property Acquisition $400,000
Boat & Motor $7,500
TOTAL REQUIREMENTS $881,390
RESERVED FOR FUTURE EXPENDITURE $18,658
TOTAL REQUIREMENTS $900,048
Discussion by Budget Committee: Members of the budget committee discussed the terms used to describe the impoundment structure wanting to know why it is not longer referred to a fish control structure instead now referred to as a dam. It was explained that we now simply operate it as a dam. It was then stated that the purpose of the budget process was not to set policy but instead to set funding levels for the District, it’s about keeping options open.
There was a pointed out that the district had placed dredging of the D-River last years budget which is not in this years budget. Reasons were given why that was not the case.
Public Comment: There was 2 interested party in attendance. It was a request that the board review the budget process to develop budgets and the use of the reserve fund. The water trail was used as an example of a project that should have been vetted by the board. Another party suggested that the funds associated with the water trail be generalized for promotion of recreation.
Budget Committee Actions: There were several resolutions presented to modify the budget in the meeting.
Water Trail Motion
A motion was made that the reference to the water trail be generalized to be $35,000 for promotion of recreation projects. Motion passed.
Salmon Rescue Motion
A motion was made to remove the $10,000 line item for salmon rescue from the budget. The basis of the motion was made because the county should be the funding party. The motioned failed.
A motion was made to delete the $400,000 for the CAFÉ proposal from the budget. The rational was that operational costs are not being considered in the decision. The motioned failed.
Budget Committee Recommendation: The budget committee recommended by motion that the budget officer version of the DLWID 2013-2014 budget as ammended to the board for their consideration.
The meeting adorned at 12:40pm/