With a vote of 4-0, the Ottawa City Commission cut $3,154 from Ottawa Main Street and $6,835 from the Franklin County Development Commission at their regular meeting Wednesday morning.
The commission had been considering a $5,000 cut based on a reported $24,000 shortfall in the community services budget line item by City Manager Richard Nienstedt.
The issue between the city and Main Street has been ongoing for most of this year. In February, city commissioners questioned the Main Street organization about a lack of a review or audit. The city contributes funds for community service organizations like Prairie Paws Animal Shelter, Franklin County Development Council, Willow Domestic Violence Center and Elizabeth Layton Center. Those organization were fully funded for the year during a meeting in January.
The commission budgeted $30,000 for Main Street for the year but decided to fund only the first half of the year pending a financial review.
Main Street commissioned the review at a cost of $2,000, but the half-year agreement ends at the end of June.
Commissioner Mike Skidmore made a motion to reduce the Main Street funding and that motion was seconded by Eric Crowley.
Commissioner Tom Weigand spoke before the vote against cutting funding for this year.
“I don’t believe in death by a thousand cuts,” he said. “I think our fundamental concern with the Main Street program is the productivity, the success, whether it’s a viable program. Whether we could use the money alternatively and accomplish the same goals. But to cut them incrementally just reduces the opportunity for that response. My proposal would be to fund them for the rest of this year at their $15,000 level, continuing to pursue their improvement.”
After the making the comments, Weigand casted a yes vote to reduce the funding.
In other news the commission:
— Approved a new bid of $2,147,087.50 from Site Rite for the Proximity Park Sanitary Sewer improvements. The commission has previous awarded the bid but that bidder withdrew the bid and gave notice they would not be able to complete the project. Site Rite had the second-lowest bid for the project.
— Established a public hearing for Aug. 7 for the condemnation of three structures, 703 S. Cherry, 830 S. Elm and 1007 S. Locust.