Public intake sessions concerning the FY21 budget for the City of Riverdale wrapped up Monday evening (December 2nd). Consultant Lisa Kotter, former City Administrator for Moline, IL and Geneseo, IL, took notes and provided perspective to questions and suggestions made by citizens and Council Members present.

A variety of ideas were offered up for consideration by the City Council and the Budget Planning Committee who will now work on a draft of the FY21 budget which will be presented to the public in a budget hearing sometime in February of 2020. The budget needs to be finalized and certified by Scott County (prior to submission to the State of Iowa’s Department of Management) by March 31, 2020.

Lots of ideas offered – now the hard work begins

Citizens offered a variety of ideas focusing on the city amenities and issues that concerned them the most. And while some of the items discussed were already in work, Council Members and the Mayor took note of the topics and proposed solutions in an attempt to craft an operational budget that would be more responsive to residents’ concerns than those from past years.

Ideas offered for consideration included the following:

•  Upgrading the playground equipment in Bicentennial Park (and removing old equipment)
•  More extensive parks planning and development of an integrated landscape plan for the City
•  Removing/replacing the wooden fence at the Havens Acres playground
•  General improvements of the parking area on Bellingham Road to turn it into a “destination” for bike riders (away from Havens Acres)  •  Expand the number of events in the community
•   Remove dead trees that pose a risk of falling into roadways and parks
•  Address storm water runnoff concerns coming out of the pipe at the end of Fieldcrest Road
•  Solve the drainage issues behind the homes on Manor/Circle Drives
•  Install cameras at city parks
•  Install security cameras on either end of Kensington to address bikers and runners not yielding to neighborhood traffic
•  Community entrance signage on State Street, Valley Drive and by PVHS
•  Install solar panels with the new roof on City Hall
•  IT upgrades at City Hall and in the fire station
•  Public Wi-Fi at Volunteer Park
•  Barrier fence between the MRT and Havens Acres homes
•  Investigate using shrubbery or other plants to establish a barrier between MRT and Havens Acres homes
•  Smoke test the rest of the sanitary sewer lines in Riverdale
•  Address long-term equipment needs for the fire department
•  Periodic audits of the City’s finances by an independent, third-party (not the State of Iowa)
•  Develop a policy for handling budget surpluses when they occur
•  Review City staffing alignment and whether or not City Hall should be open 5 days a week vs the current, part-time arrangement

The mayor will be reviewing the complete list of projects and other budget-related notes with each member of the City Council as part of the annual goal-setting/planning process. A work session for members of Council will be held in January to discuss projects and the budget issues identified by the Planning Committee working on the FY21 budget. The time and date of that meeting will be posted to the City’s website and social media. The public is welcome to attend and observe, but there will not be any public input or participation in the meeting.

The public will be able to provide additional input on the FY21 budget as part of the mayor’s Town Hall meeting scheduled for Sunday, January 26th at 2pm.

Residents are also invited to leave comments on this post as part of the on-going dialog with the City concerning next year’s operating budget.

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