Lynne Hermanse
Special to The Gardner News
Jim Pruetting is Gardner’s City Administrator until December 2024.
After a 41 minute executive session Gardner City Council members approved a revised four year contract with automatic two year renewal.
According to the contract, his salary will be $160,000 per year, and a $500 per month car allowance. Pruetting became administrator in April, 2019, for a salary of $150,000 plus incentives such as an annexation bonus and education payment.
Steve Shute, mayor, said Pruetting had approached him months ago about extending his contract and removing incentives from the original contract.
“We have always had a good working relationship,” Shute said. “He said this is a place he wanted to retire from.”
Randy Gregoryck, council member, said he wanted to thank Pruetting for his willingness to visit the details of his contract.
“I support this,” he said. “Jim has done a good job.”
Mark Baldwin, council member, said it is a good contract for the city and provides stability.
The council also passed the second part of the eminent domain procedures for the six foot force main Prairie Trace Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project.
The acquisition of the easements is for a six foot forcemain to the East Lift Station for Prairie Trace’s Sewer Sanitary Improvements. Prairie Trace is at 175th to 183rd between Cedar Niles and Clare Road alongside I-35.
Gonz Garcia, utilities director, said the city had only received an easement agreement from one property owner.
“The Wolf family hasn’t come in agreement,” he said.
David Wolfn representing his family’s land, said he had thought his brother had been communicating with Jim Pruetting, city administrator.
“I thought from texts with my brother we had come to a compromise,” he said.
Pruetting said he was exchanging emails with Wolf’s brother at the meeting.
Shute said the eminent domain ordinance was a formality.
Tory Roberts, council member, said she wanted to clarify that even if the city proceeds negotiations over the land doesn’t stop.
Garcia said the city will continue to negotiate in good faith.
“Are we at the goal line or fifty yard line,” Gregoryck said.
Pruetting said the city is at the goal line for the project.
City council members passed the beginning of the Main Street reconstruction project.
The road reconstruction will be from US-56 to Sycamore along the main corridor of Main Street.
Tim McEldowney, city engineer, said the project consists of 20 – 25 tracts with the majority of the worst repairs West of QuickTrip.
An amended redevelopment plan for the Main Street Market Place Revelopment District also passed.