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The City of Decorah has a $30 million wish list

Posted: Mon, Jan 6, 2020 4:10 PM

(The following is analysis by's Paul Scott):

There are a lot of projects that City of Decorah officials, including staff members and city council members, would like to get accomplished over the next ten years.

In all, a city council work group came up with over $30 million in projects which might happen between now and the end of this new decade.  The list has a number of new construction projects for city departments--$3 million for a new fire station, $2 million for a new softball diamond complex, $1.1 million for airport terminal upgrades and $1 million in City Hall remodeling.

That doesn't include $13 million in possible street projects, which includes $2.2 million in improvements to North College Drive, $4.5 million in improvements to East Heivly Street and $2 million in improvements to Washington Street, Rural Avenue, Ravine Street and Pleasant Avenue.  Also included in the $13 million proposal--a new street shop for $3.5 million as well as more than $750,000 in equipment purchases.

The list is a step forward in planning for future expenses, so that costs can be anticipated ahead of time.  The only problem is--where will the money for such items come from?

While the total assessed valuation of property within the city limits has been going up, it will decline slightly next fiscal year.  And past city councils have given priority to holding firm on the property tax mill rate for city purposes.

All of that means there are a lot of items on the city's "to-do list," with not enough money to do them all.