The Janesville City Council decided Monday that it will try to use the CARES Act funding it received to help with projects within the city.

Waseca County and the city of Waseca created a small business relief fund with money it received from the state. Waseca County is eligible for a little more than $3 million should all cities and townships apply for funds. Any money a township or city receives and doesn’t spend is sent back to the county, which has to return it to the state.

The county alone has received $2.2 million and the Board of Commissioners authorized $500,000 for small business relief. The city of Waseca set aside $300,000 of the $680,000 for the fund. Janesville received around $145,000 and Waseca County asked if the city wanted to contribute to the fund.

The Janesville Economic Development Authority met earlier Monday and felt it was best to keep all of the funding within the city.

“I think it’s really wise to look at our expenses,” said Councilor Russ Wiebold, who is a council representative on the Janesville EDA.

Janesville received the CARES Act money on Tuesday.

“What we don’t spend the county has two more months to spend,” Mayor Mike Santo said. “I agree we need to make sure we take care of our city first.”

City Administrator Clinton Rogers and Officer Manager Andrea Moen have started to put together a list of items to fund with the money and the money could be used to fund other EDA projects.

Businesses cannot use the money to replace revenue, but they can use it to recoup any costs incurred in purchasing materials to combat the spread of COVID-19 for instance.

Audit report

The council received its audit report for 2019 Monday and the report by Abdo, Eick and Meyers, LLP, showed the city’s reserves to be at 52.3% of the city’s annual operating budget, well above the state auditor’s recommendation of between 35 and 50%.

The nursing home fund and golf course fund remained well below target balances. The nursing home fund had a target balance of $1.6 million in 2019 but had just $169,341. The target balance is based on the following year of debt payments and 50 percent of operating costs.

After two years of not making money, the audit showed the Prairie Ridge Golf Course made about $5,695, but it fell well short of the target balance of $162,405.

The council later discussed reviving the golf board. It previously reinstated the golf board in 2019 after previous boards failed to meet quorums and had limited money.

The city approved a liquor license for St. Ann’s Catholic Church for its annual fall festival for Sept. 11-13.

The council also voted to contribute $500 to a park bench improvement project between the Boys Scouts and the Janesville Rotary Club. The Rotary is expected to contribute money toward the project as well.

Reach Sports Editor Nick Gerhardt at 507-835-5447 or follow him on Twitter @WCNSports. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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