Helping others was foremost on the minds of City Council, as they convened on Monday night for the first meeting of 2018.

Things got started with Mayor Roy Ludwig giving his annual address, highlighting the many events that went on in the Energy City throughout 2017, with the standout theme being volunteerism and generousity.

Then came a petition from Envision Counselling, requesting sponsorship from the City and a waiver for the rental fees required for the Savor The Southeast in Affinity Place, as Envision will be this year's beneficiary. They said that the tax increases in 2017 resulted in an additional $7,000 on their plate to pay.

"Envision does a great job in our community, and we're very happy to help them out where we can," expressed Mayor Ludwig.

It turned out that there isn't any Affinity rental fees currently for Savor, and thus that waiver was quickly passed. However, a decision of whether to sponsor remains to be seen. Envision must submit reports on where and how much support is received from other directions, especially governmental. Then the discussion will go by the budget department before any more steps are taken.

Ludwig noted that the money set aside for donations from the City usually amounts to $5,000 per year.

"Then, the sponsorships get a little bit gray, depending what they're for. If it's going to help out the community in a large way, then we would help out accordingly."

Another major topic was the latest regarding the fate of the Civic Auditorium. While it was decided weeks before that the doors would reopen pending insurance approval, such a nod has yet to be received.

"This evening we made the motion to move ahead with the structural engineer and start getting the building fixed up. We're still optimistic that we will get the insurance," the Mayor said, adding that holidays in various offices have slowed the process down. Parks Manager Rod March had recommended continuing with C.A Reed, to which Council agreed.

That said, the repairs will be made so the Civic can be opened with restrictions until the end of the season. For further than that, it will be decided on a year by year basis whether to keep operating or be torn down.

The recent cold snap played no favorites either, as the -50 C windchills burst some brine pipes in the building. However, those have already been repaired and are back up and running, not delaying what's already on the agenda to be fixed.

"I believe they have broke before. In the 60 years (of the Civic), I'm sure they have, because when we took a look at it and did a walk through, you could tell where the pipes were repaired before," Ludwig stated.

The evening included some appointments and acclamations to several committees and boards. Meghan Mathias-Krickan was accepted to the Economic Development Board, while Lynn Chipley and Loren Resler were added back to the Board of Police Commissioners. Lynn Chipley also returns for another year on Community Grant Committee.


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