The Fairmont City Council on Monday took a big step toward committing to the proposed community center. The approval of $14 million from the city did contain a couple of conditions. Before any taxpayer money can be used to build the facility, the Community Center Committee first must raise an additional $6 million in pledges for the project, and the YMCA must enter into a lease agreement with the city to operate the center.

Councilman Randy Lubenow made a motion to approve the $14 million commitment from the city, including the two contingencies, and Ruth Cyphers seconded the motion. Tom Hawkins, Lubenow and Cyphers all voted to support the $14 million commitment from the city, with Bruce Peters and Wayne Hasek voting no.

Peters then offered a motion to authorize $50,000 from the sales tax funds to pay for the 2020 budget expenses of having the YMCA set up initial programming in Fairmont, and Cyphers seconded the motion. It passed 4-1, with Hasek dissenting.

The Fairmont City Council also approved an employment agreement with Mark Sievert as the city’s interim City Administrator effective immediately. The city will pay Sievert a gross annualized salary of $87,360 with the salary being prorated weekly. In addition the city will pay $70 per hour for each hour he works at city offices in excess of 3 calendar days within a designated work week if expressly requested by the mayor or council.

Councilors also gave approval to the proposed 2020 Budget and 12.6 per cent tax levy increase with Councilor Wayne Hasek the lone dissenting vote.. Finance Director Paul Hoye said the actual property tax impact would be up 9.9 per cent for next year.

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