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January 5, 2004

City to help Motel 6 with interest payments

Monday, January 5, 2004 Posted 10:00 p.m.
The Minonk City Council voted to pay Motel 6 $10,000 a year to help the owners make interest payments on their loans. City Administrator Trent Smith said that the owners of Motel 6 located at the Caroline Development have been asking for financial help for their fledging business for some time. The motel currently pays $24,000 a year in property taxes into the TIF district. Since the property is located within a TIF district, the motel is eligible to be reimbursed for up to 1/3 of its annual interest payments of $75,000. Smith said that the City currently reimburses another property within that TIF district 1/2 of its total tax payments. Therefore, this action is deemed fair.

The motel opened up 3 years ago. Four of the seven employees live in Minonk including the hired management. The average occupancy is improving but is still at 17-18 rooms per night out of a maximum possible of 43 rooms. An average of 24 rooms is needed to break even according to Porous Dadaboy, one of the motel owners. Co-owner Thakore Patel noted that the Motel 6 company inspectors have given them a 98% grade on the operation and quality of the motel.

Smith said that the TIF fund for the Caroline Development has $22,710.29 in surplus after a $50,000 transfer to the community develoment fund to make a payment to that fund debt.

The council approval stipulated a maximum of $30,000 to be paid out of the TIF I fund to Motel 6. In addition, the applicant must submit a request each year for the payment. The payment in any given year shall be subject to the availability of sufficient TIF funds.

Ambulance options discussed

City Administrator Trent Smith presented to the council four more options for funding the ambulance squad. The previous options mentioned were not legal or realistic according to Smith. Option A would have paid volunteers $4.00 per hour but is below the minimum wage level of $6.50 per hour. Option B would have paid $2.00 an hour plus the run fee but is not a realistic pay amount.

Smith presented 4 other options with the associated costs. Smith noted that these new options would not be affordable were it not for the substantial increase in revenue from the service fee income. He estimates that service revenue for next year will be near $87,000, an increase of $47,000 in the last two years.

Option 3 would have a full time daytime weekday Intermediate EMT with a volunteer Basic EMT during those hours. An additional 10 volunteer EMT B's would be required. This option would cost $33,700 per year.

Option 4 would pay a full time EMT I and EMT B during the daytime weekday hours at a cost of $41,500.

Option 5 would include three full time EMT I's and one full time EMT B at a cost of $75,800. This would require an additional six volunteer EMT B's. Smith said this option is probably the best since it will ensure that an EMT I was on call at all times. He felt that because of the increased service fee revenue, the city could afford this option.

The sixth option would include three full time EMT I's and three EMT B's at a cost of $107,500. Smith said this option is too expensive unless the ambulance squad can be taken over and funded through the fire department.

Smith said that all of these options require additional volunteers. Action on the proposals will be taken by the council at a later date.

Well #1 down

City Administrator Trent Smith said that Well # 1 has quit working and is in need of repair. Smith that this is not an immediate concern because the other three wells can easily maintain the water supply for the city. Smith has asked Albrecht Well Drilling, Layne-Western and Meadow Equipment Sales and Service to provide estimates for repairing the well. He estimates that the final price will be in the range of $8,000 to $11,000.