A motion that was admittedly made as a “protest motion” almost put the previously approved expansion of Sandquist Park in jeopardy of not being completed as intended. At issue was a consent agenda item to approve an inter-fund transfer of monies from the general fund to pay for the higher-than-expected costs to expand the park, which although is city-owned, is technically in Cambridge Township. At their previous meeting, the council approved on a 3-2 vote to fund the expansion despite the fact it would cost approximately $250,000 more than what was allotted through the local option sales tax revenue.
Council Member Bob Shogren, after having the item pulled from the consent agenda, made a motion to not approve the transfer, which was seconded by Council Member Lisa Iverson.
“I don’t want to spend any city general fund money on a park that is not within the city limits,” Shogren said.
During discussion, City Administrator Evan Vogel and Finance Director Caroline Moe reminded the council that the council had already approved entering into a contract with several businesses for the expansion project, and this agenda item was just to approve how the city would pay for the extra $250,000.
“If we don’t follow through with the financing plan, we will have issues when it comes to audit because we will have expenditures without revenue sources,” Moe told the council.
“Removing that funding could put us in breach of contract,” added Vogel.
When it came to voting, Council Member Kersten Barfknecht-Conley mistakenly voted in favor of the motion, and thus against the inter-fund transfer, which with Shogren’s and Iverson’s vote, meant the motion passed.
Upon learning about her error, Barfknecht-Conley was advised that she could then make a motion to reconsider the vote. A motion to reconsider can only be made by someone on the prevailing side of a vote that took place at that meeting. However, the seconder of the motion to reconsider can be any member of the council.
The motion to reconsider passed 3-2, with Iverson and Shogren voting nay. Barfknecht-Conley then made a motion to approve the inter-fund transfer, which again passed on the same 3-2 vote.
“We’ve never had a saucier consent agenda,” joked Mayor Jim Godfrey. “We’ve given you something to put in the paper, that’s for sure.”
Odds and ends
In other action, the council:
•After nobody spoke at a public hearing on the annexation of the Heyda Property into city limits, the request by the landowner was approved unanimously.
•Approved a preliminary plat for Woodhaven Acres 4th Addition.
•Approved a stormwater maintenance agreement with Unique Opportunities Cambridge, LLC.
•Praised city staff and all the volunteers for another successful Cambridge Customer Appreciation event.