Council members get look at 2008 budget

Norwalk City Council members were given a big job Tuesday night study the proposed 2008 budget and review the city's long-range plan for sewage. Next week's work session should be very busy.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

Norwalk City Council members were given a big job Tuesday night study the proposed 2008 budget and review the city's long-range plan for sewage.

Next week's work session should be very busy.

Finance Director Diane Eschen presented a budget of more than 100 pages to council members. In her cover letter, she informed council that state mandates will increase the city's contribution to the employee's retirement program by $8,500.

Council members will have to study the document to decide how that and other possible budget increases will be handled.

Mayor Sue Lesch also passed out charts and maps to council members to update them on long-range plans for the city's sewage system. The plan covers the next 20 years.

Lesch also told council that Main Street Norwalk will make a proposal for funding as a community reinvestment area.

Ben Kenny, WSOS development director, said that program offers real estate tax incentives for property owners who improve their property.

"This will make downtown more attractive to developers and investors," he said. "This also helps single family homeowners who are near downtown because they will be eligible also."

Kenny said the guidelines are still being determined, but the area immediately surrounding downtown will be included.

Law Director Stuart O'Hara told council a public hearing was scheduled for today by the planning and zoning commission to consider zoning changes regarding the use of gaming machines used in businesses such as Spin to Win.

"They can either vote to recommend adoption of the amendment or not adopt the amendment," O'Hara said after the meeting. "I don't think they'll make any decision."

O'Hara said council's decisions have nothing to do with court proceedings, which include multiple citations for Spin To Win.

"Our position is that currently the machines are not a permissible use in the city," O'Hara said. "We're clarifying where they can be allowed."

In other business, City Engineer Jim Sawyer reported that the Bank Street waterline project is complete, street resurfacing will be complete by the end of October and the Corwin Street project will be complete by Thanksgiving. He also said the Woodlawn Avenue project is complete.

Council also transferred funds to complete a paving project at Veterans Memorial Lake Park.