Three public hearings kicked off the July 20 meeting of the Gothenburg City Council, all of them regarding development within the city. The first hearing was in regards to a plan for the Pony Express Car Wash project, while the second hearing was to consider a resolution to accept the redevelopment plan for Good Life Gothenburg. Neither plan received any public objection during the hearing, and both were approved by the council.
The third public hearing was in regards to the Community Development Block Grant funds the city received in 2016. The hearing was for the purpose of closing out the program, which benefitted 13 homeowners in Gothenburg.
During the business portion of the meeting City Administrator Gary Greer discussed the Clean City program which was instituted a few years ago. The program makes a large container available at the City Maintenance Facility to allow city residents to dispose of excess solid waste. Greer said at the time the city forecasted the cost of the program and instituted a $1.30 fee for residential and .40 fee for commercial customers to pay for the program. In the beginning, it was estimated there would be a demand for one container per week. However, the demand for the program has far exceeded the expectations of the city. The community now fills more than three containers per week, which has exceeded the supporting revenue. Solid waste haulers charge a $200 plus disposal fee to the city to haul the containers to the Lexington Area Solid Waste Agency landfill.
As of June 30th, the city has spent $36,289.71 on the Clean City program and has collected $15,352.5. It is projected that the fees collected for the entire year will bring in $20,470 and expenses will total $46,400. Greer said the success of the program is causing a deficit in funding for the program. He offered a series of alternatives to the current program, including discontinuing it or making fewer containers available to cut back costs.
Council President Jeff Kennedy voiced his opinion on the matter, saying he would support eliminating the containers all together. Keeping the program will likely result in an increased trash fee for residents. No decision was made and the council is open to receiving input from the public.
Finally, Mayor Joyce Hudson presented her selections for appointment to the newly established Park & Recreation Board. The Board will consist of five members, who serve a three-year term of office unless reappointed. The Board serves without compensation and is advisory to the Mayor and City Council. The Mayor noted that several applications were received and interest was great for the positions. The following citizens were appointed by the Mayor and Council for the board: Will Rahjes, Marc Mroczek, Alicia Knust, Kayla Paul and Ellen Mortensen.