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Charles City Council begins next stage of budget process

Charles City Council begins next stage of budget process
Proposed Summit Carbon Solutions carbon dioxide pipeline through south Charles City.
By Travis Fischer, [email protected]

The Charles City Council talked about the city budget and carbon pipelines during its regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

The council has been meeting frequently since the start of the year in workshop sessions, hearing budget reports and proposals from the city’s various departments. Having taken in information about each department’s needs and proposals, the council is now starting the process of hashing out what proposals the city can or cannot afford.

“Those discussions will start tomorrow [Thursday, Jan. 19] night, but they will also continue on our meetings on Jan. 25, Jan. 26, and Jan. 30,” said Mayor Dean Andrews. “If anybody is interested in hearing what’s going on budget wise … if you come to those meetings you can hear discussion and you’re certainly welcome to visit with council members and give your opinion on where the budget should be headed.”

Unlike regular meetings, budget workshops are not telecast over Zoom because, city officials said, the logistics of online conferencing do not mix well with the roundtable approach the council takes when sharing papers and looking over proposals. As a result, visitors to these workshops have to attend in person.

In other business, the council lightly discussed the city’s role in the ongoing debate over carbon pipelines. Council member Patrick Lumley asked about the proposed route of the Summit Carbon Solutions pipeline, which is proposed to pass near the Southwest Bypass TIF District and through the Avenue of the Saints Development Park.

The Avenue of the Saints Development Park is owned by the Charles City Area Development Corp., which has a development agreement with the city.

“From a city perspective, a legality perspective, where do we fit into that?” asked Lumley.

“I don’t believe the city would have much say in whether ADC decided to enter into an agreement,” said city attorney Brad Sloter, regarding a proposed easement being sought by the pipeline.

The city could involve itself in the issue through adjustments to the city’s zoning ordinance, but that will be a discussion for another time, after the council hears more from an upcoming informational meeting.

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