Auburn Council Hears Requests for Keno Funds
Auburn City Council met Jan. 23 and among matters which drew considerable discussion were requests by the Auburn Volunteer Fire Department for $5,000 in keno funds and by State Theater/Auburn Public Schools for up to $63,000 in keno funds for the purchase of a digital projector.
Jeff Jeanneret, representing the Fire Department trustees, said firemen were seeking $5,000 in keno funds to be added to $5,000 from the Department to complete a kitchen remodeling project at the fire hall. He said firemen were willing to volunteer their labor for the project to save on expenses. He added that a local contractor had estimated the project would cost $16,000 to complete if paying for labor.
Mayor Scott Kudrna and some members of the council questioned if keno funds were needed because the Fire Department’s budget approved earlier contained funding which could be accessed for such a building improvement project. Jeanneret said the Department was planning to use approximately $3,000 in the budget and $2,000 from a fund which holds proceeds from such Fire Department fund raisers as the soup supper and hamburger feeds. He said trustees wanted to leave some money in the account should equipment repairs be necessary.
The vote on using $5,000 in keno funds for the kitchen remodeling project was approved 4-2, with Council members Chris Erickson and Katy Billings dissenting.
Request for Keno Funds for a Digital Projector
Present regarding the request by the State Theater/Auburn Public Schools for up to $63,000 in keno funds were Kevin Reiman, District 29 Superintendent of Schools; Bob Hemmingsen and Barb Billesbach, Board of Education members; and Carla Mason with American Dream Real Estate and Property Management.
Reiman said the theater is currently using a 35 millimeter projector and film, but this type of technology is being quickly replaced by digital movies by the motion picture industry. It won’t be too long before Auburn’s State Theater won’t be able to get movies to show. There are already some instances when Auburn has to wait to be able to get a movie because of a limited number of film type movies still being produced.
He reported that a $63,000 bid had been received for a digital projector with a new screen. Reiman said the theater, two rental properties and two apartments in the same building near 13th and J Streets are being operated financially separate from the school, which pays taxes on the properties.
Reiman added, “We are not in a situation to fund this upgrade through the school budget but we want to do everything possible to keep the theater a vital part of the Auburn community,”
Acquiring a digital projector would allow for the showing of 3D movies and it would also make the theater building suitable for hosting other functions which are not possible now, according to Reiman.
It was stated that the school district didn’t need an immediate answer and hadn’t itself voted on the project as of yet. The council voted 3-3 last Monday to table approving a request for the keno funds until at least next month’s meeting. The mayor broke the tie and agreed to table a decision.
The benefits of having a digital projector and an effort currently being undertaken to obtain community support will be reported further in next week’s newspaper.
The Council approved Mayor Kudrna’s appointments/reappointments as proposed.
Part-time Police Officer: Chris Erickson.
Board of Public Works: Tom Gulizia. This position was open as the result of a four-year term that expired at the end of last year which had been held by Dan Snyder.
Library Board: Bob Hemmingsen.
Board of Adjustment (reappointments): Joe Moody and Fred Obermeyer with Ron Jones as alternate.
Other Council Business
Lee Conner submitted a request for the Auburn Eagles to present their annual Fourth of July fireworks display on both city and school property. Conner explained this year’s show would be run similarly to those in the past. The request was made at this early date to take advantage of a 10 percent discount on the cost of purchasing the fireworks from Premier Pyrotechnics.
Kudrna thanked Conner and the Eagles and Auxiliary members whom he represents for their fireworks presentation which is a very much appreciated by the community.
The council approved the request by the Auburn Eagles to conduct the July 4th public fireworks display on property located at Irvin Park and Auburn High School, contingent upon approval by the Auburn Public School’s Board of Education.
A public hearing was held for a Class I — Beer, Wine, Distilled Spirits, On Sale Only Liquor License for El Portal Auburn Inc. at 1905 J Street, the location of the former Wheeler Inn restaurant and Back Door Lounge. The liquor license request was approved.
Another public hearing was held on the One and Six Year Road and Street Plan for the City of Auburn. Evan Wickersham, Street Superintendent for the City of Auburn, explained that most of the work planned for this year involves asphalt overlay work on K Street and connecting streets between 13th and 19th Streets, plus some smaller alley projects downtown. The plan was approved by a 5-1 vote, which Shawn Clark dissenting.
The city was earlier officially notified by the Auburn Development Council that it [ADC] wanted to give back Lots 9, 10, 11, 12, in Block 29, Sheridan Addition to the City of Auburn and to request forgiveness of a loan held by ADC for any delinquency of funds after the sale of the land. The council passed a resolution authorizing the transfer of real estate to the city by Auburn Development Council, Inc. so that the real estate may be sold at auction by the city and any remaining deficiency on ADC’s loan with the city after receiving proceeds from the sale may be forgiven and released by the city. The current loan amount is $49,583.50.
The council approved a Saturday, April 7 auction with Dick Stich Auctioneering for sale of the above four mentioned lots plus Lots 106-107 in the Crestview Addition.
A resolution was also passed approving the sale of six city park metal picnic tables as recommended by the Parks & Pool Committee. These tables, which were purchased earlier by the city for $488 apiece unassembled, will be advertised for sale in the amount of $375 apiece or $2,000 for all six tables.
Mayor Kudrna suggested it may be a good time to review the fee schedule for City of Auburn ordinance violations. The waiver/fine schedule hasn’t been updated since 2001 and the Ordinance Committee was directed to study the document prior to the Feb. 27 regular Council meeting.
Park Security Camera
Police Chief Kris Baker reviewed the effectiveness/performance of the security camera located at Legion Memorial Park. Baker’s report showed that the city’s video camera and recording system there resulted in at least 19 citations being written and two arrests made during 2011.
Additionally, the video camera and recording system resulted in the Police Department’s ability to clear two cases as unfounded and another as a false report.