City Seeks 6-month Contract With Interim Financial Manaqer

It appears the Glenwood City Council is content on putting off the hiring of a new city administrator for at least six months while the services of an interim financial manager are utilized.

Avoca city manager Clint Fichter, who owns a financial consulting service, was hired earlier this month to serve as Glenwood’s interim financial manager following the termination of former city administrator / financial director Brian Kissel. Fichter was initially brought on board to put together the city’s 2016-2017 budget, which must be certified with the state by April 15.

During a March 22 budget and finance committee meeting, council members voiced their desire to sign a contract with Fichter for six additional months of financial management service at a cost of $15,000. The contract would likely stipulate that Fichter or a member of his firm devote a specific number of hours each week to Glenwood finances.

In addition to having Fichter serve as an interim financial manager, the council is also contemplating the hiring of a deputy city clerk, who would work 20-25 hours a week and assist city clerk Angie Winquist, who has taken on the brunt of City Hall administrative duties since Kissel’s departure.

The city is also in the process of getting updates and improvements to its DataTek financial software system.

“Once the software is up and running, we won’t require the oversight that’s been needed previously,” council member Jeremy Rodman said.

Council member Craig Florian says he would like to include involvement and input from a five-member citizens committee in the selection process for a new administrator.

In other Glenwood City Council news:

* The council gave its blessing to a matching-funds grant application to the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs to assist with a $126,000 improvement and renovation project on the “armory portion” of the city-owned Mills County YMCA building.

Mills County YMCA Executive Director Diana Burchett said the improvements will include the installment of two roof-top air conditioning / climate control units and renovations to space in the former national guard armory utilized for daycare, early childhood activities and youth enrichment programs. Currently, the majority of the space in the armory, including the main gymnasium area, is not air conditioned.

Burchett said by adding functional air conditioners and improving the heating system, the YMCA will be able to serve more children at the facility and make better use of the space that’s available for programming.
If approved, the city would receive a $63,000 Rural YMCA Facility Improvements Grant from the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. The YMCA would invest $13,000 in the project with the additional $50,000 coming from Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) set aside by the city and designated for recreational purposes.

Burchett said the application deadline is April 1, with award announcements made around May 1.

* At the recommendation of police chief Eric Johansen, the council passed the second reading of an ordinance that would take away three parking stalls on the north end of Glenbrook Drive. Johansen and other supporters of the proposed change believe the move will reduce the chance of a head-on collision at a blind spot on the crest of a hill on Glenbrook Drive.

Glenbrook neighborhood resident Marla Hansen expressed her objection to the ordinance prior to the council’s vote. A third and final reading of the ordinance will likely take place at the council’s next meeting on April 12.

*A public hearing on the city’s proposed budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year will take place Tuesday, April 12, during the council’s regular meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The Opinion-Tribune

116 S Walnut St Glenwood, IA 51534-1665
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