EATON — The City of Eaton is monitoring the COVID-19 situation, but hopes to keep operations as “normal” as the situation will allow. This includes the potential opening of the Main Street Aquatic Center, which City Manager Brad Collins discussed during the City of Eaton council meeting on Monday, April 20.
During his report, Collins thanked staff for their work throughout the COVID-19 situation, talked about various events upcoming events, and even discussed development activity in the City of Eaton, despite the current crisis.
“We continue to monitor the impact of the coronavirus. I would like to thank city staff, they’ve done a great job working together, adjusting work to continue to provide essential services for the community. We continue to review information that comes out from the Governor’s Office, Health Department, Preble County Health Department, and others,” he said.
“Staff continues to use prevention measures for the work place, as well as for their homes. We disinfect all the high touch surface areas every day. We are in discussion with different organizations, DEI, YMCA, regarding future events and activities. As you know, some activities have been cancelled. The Egg Drop, the Impact Day, and it looks like the fireworks, Boom-N-Blast will also be canceled for this year.
“As far as our sports organizations, Downtown Eaton events, opening the pool, softball rec leagues — all those kinds of things, I assume we’re going to continue with those activities as planned, as long as we’re not in conflict with any of the Governor’s orders. We’ll try to keep operations as normal as things will allow.”
He added, given the current situation, the City of Eaton is lucky to have the development activity they currently have. He updated the council on Henny Penny, TimkenSteel, and Neaton’s expansion projects. There have also been three new home starts and 15 new homes in various stages of construction.
Council asked about the pool opening, which is scheduled for the end of May. Collins responded, the swim team is meeting soon to discuss their season and the YMCA wishes to remain on schedule as normal.
“We’re just going to move forward with things we have planned, unless we hear something different from the State. If that is okay with you guys. It is going to be a different year, it’s going to be a down year for swimming pools and things like that. You have to weigh, are we going to provide the amenity or not?” Collins questioned.
“We move forward. The pool is closed by those restrictions until the end of May and maybe it will be off by the middle of June, who knows,” Mayor Gary Wagner said. “You can’t open with restrictions right now, is my understanding.”
Collins responded, in the meantime the pool is being prepared for opening so it will be ready as soon as restrictions are lifted.
“Attendance will be down, revenues will be down, we anticipate,” he said.
Mayor Wagner asked Collins to update council on budget information and potential concerns.
“Just like all other jurisdictions, we’re expecting significant reduction in revenues for 2020. In March, we met with division heads, explained we need to be extra cautious with expenditures. We prioritized several projects and capital expenditures. For 2020, we had budgeted and planned for about four million dollars worth of projects and capital expenditures. We already have plans to reduce that amount by about a million dollars,” he said.
Mayor Wagner asked Finance Director Stephanie Hurd for a projection of revenue loss.
“We’re looking at probably about a million dollars that we might be down this year. We also have about another million dollars that will be a little late coming in, with the extension of the income tax and waiting for things to pick back up, things like that,” she said. “You might see a pretty slow second and third quarter.”
Collins added, they will have their “work cut out for them” this winter budgeting for 2021, but they are taking precautions for 2020 and he believes they will have a “safe” year.
In other business:
•Eaton City Council held a public hearing and first reading of an ordinance to accept the final plat of Meadowbrook Estates subdivision section six and accepting the dedication of public lands and improvements designated thereon. Doug Kramer with Kramer & Associations and the developer of the subdivision, Oyler Construction Company, Inc., spoke during the public hearing.
Bradley Oyler said, “We’re eager to start this project and we’re looking forward to helping to grow the city.”
He added, they’re hoping to start construction this spring.
•Council approved a resolution authorizing the transfer of certain general revenue funds to special revenue funds, including $225,000 Public Safety Fund, $16,250 Recreation Fund, $10,000 Swimming Pool Fund, and $20,000 Fort St. Clair Fund.
•Council approved a resolution awarding the bid and authorizing the city manager to execute the contract for the 2020 municipal paving project. The contract was awarded to Wagner Paving in the bid amount of $428,730.
•Council approved a resolution awarding the bid and authorizing the city manager to enter into a contract for the annual rock salt bid. The contract was awarded to Detroit Salt Company in the bid amount of $94.81 per ton.
•The Fire and EMS report for March 2020 shows a combined response of 172 calls; 132 EMS responses, including eight second Medic responses; and 40 fire/rescue responses, including eight general alarms. They received mutual aid eight times and provided mutual aid two times. This is an average of 5.5 calls per day for the month.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH