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September 24, 2017

It’s Your Town


Tuesday’s Town Board Meeting in Luther resulted in a number of decisions, and brought up a lot of questions.

Here’s a brief rundown on some decisions:

Hired Office Coordinator and Court Clerk

Tabled – the Bank and Town Hall Swap offer. When the issue was first brought up back in January, the trustees agreed “to move forward in good faith” seeking appraisals, inspections, survey work and other necessary items for a transparent and positive transaction if it were to move forward.

Health insurance. At each meeting the board votes on whether to pay the “claims” – the bills that come in each month ranging from office supplies to health insurance. This month there was a $10,000 claim to pay for the 2016 Town Audit that has not been shared publicly, and a $14,772 bill to pay the health insurance. Since there has been turnover again in the Town office, there was a clerical error that led everyone to believe that Town employee health benefits were at risk of being cancelled. But that was NOT the case. Paperwork from claims reports from the last three months shows the premiums were paid. It’s all good with the health insurance.

Subtracting the incorrect $14-thousand for health insurance, the Town still has about $30,000 in bills for the month.

The public does not see, nor does it appear the board receives a revenue source sheet or budget analysis each moth. However, we do see the “Treasurer’s Report “(below) that gives account balances.

Mayor Taft calls it a terrible smell in the bathrooms at Town Hall, Pending the bank deal, the board voted to spend up to $1,500 on tile for the floor. Incidentally, the condition of Town Hall started a long thread on the Luther Register’s Facebook page, complete with pics.

There was some arguing among trustees about what to do with about $28,000 in money due the Town from the County if ever the Town complies with the law and gets Treasurer Kim Bourn bonded. Here’s the background on that. No progress has been made on the lingering issue, except for plans to spend the money. Mayor Taft along with Trustee Henry want a short section of SW Seventh Street repaved or graveled to give one more access point to their neighborhood in addition to the thoroughfares at 5th and 6th streets.  But other members wanted the money to pay off new generators that are now installed. In the end, Taft, Henry and McDaniels voted to spend some

 

The meeting was at times tense and contentious between members. Many of the candidates for Trustee addressed the board, asking them mostly to pause on big decisions until after the election.

Incidentally, the new board will not be sworn in until April 17, 2017, and newly elected members will have their first meeting May 9. 

This week’s meeting, broadcast on FB Live in Two Parts, garnered hundreds of views and is available for replay listed here in this story or on the Luther Register’s Facebook page. To get the full effect of the nuances involved, better than any Luther Register story can convey, spend some time watching the meeting (and many other meeting videos that are posted)

 

The following are the account balances for the town, as of 3/13/2017 9:40 am:
LPWA FUND available $67,736
**General Fund available $228,927.51
Cemetery Care Fund available $1,695.05
LPW Rainy Day Fund available $12,707.26
Town of Luther Rainy Day Fund available $3,792.74
Luther Police Department available $280.13
Luther Fire Department available $3,174.58

** The General Fund’s current balance reportedly includes a grant payment for new generators for the town to use in case of emergency (power outage) at about $79,000.

Special thanks to photography student Betty White for taking pictures at the meeting. Enjoy the images that capture some of the moments Tuesday night, and some campaign pictures as well.

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