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Harmony City Council Report: City Council approves budget, sets levy

Fri, Sep 12th, 2003
Posted in Features

Harmony City Administrator Jerome Illg presented a preliminary budget proposal, showing an increase in the city’s budget of $89,487. The city council on Tuesday, set the budget at $310,674, up from $221,187 in 2003. The 2004 levy was set at $458,805.On the expenditure side, the city expected a 20% increase in health insurance rates, costing an additional $12,000 in premiums. The community center’s new roof will cost another $20,000 and Capital Projects increases were projected at $18,500. The council allocated a $20,000 capital reserve contribution for fire equipment, and a 3.5% cost of living raise for city employees. The city lost $48,000 in revenues due to cuts in Local Government Aid and other sources. It was decided to hold off on some capital projects, retrieving some dollars from the library, fire department, and park. By doing this, the council whittled the budget down to the final amount of $310,674. The council will revisit capital projects next year with the hopes of more money being available.Fire Department Stuart Morem of the Harmony Fire Department requested a decision on a resolution he presented at the last meeting. The agreement makes equipment, personnel, and other resources available to fire departments within Fillmore, Houston, and Winona Counties. There were two major changes within the agreement from past years. The first change relates to damaged equipment while aiding at another county’s fire call. Each department shall be responsible for damages incurred with their equipment during a call regardless if it is in their county or not. The second change modification strikes the $25 per call rate and establishes an hourly charge of $200 with a maximum of $600 for each three-hour period while providing assistance. There was discussion again on charging a fee to residents for fire calls. Morem pointed out that many insurance policies have a notation on a set amount to cover a call. The council was not in favor of this option at this time. Approval was given on the resolution including the two direct changes. Other business •The Sixth Street SE sanitary sewer assessments have been finalized with the costs coming in at $74,837. Six property owners have been notified of their financial responsibility with the basic figure at $2,672.75, based on a 25% assessment. Five of the six will have the assessments spread out over five years at 5%. The last individual will pay up front.•The TH139 Public Assessment meeting will be held Tuesday, October, 14 at Council chambers. Final costs of installing water and sanitary sewer, utilities, curb and gutter, street construction, as well as payment schedules and interest rates will be discussed.•Approved a cooperative snow removal agreement with MnDOT for portions of HWY 52 and TH139. MnDOT will pay for collecting and loading of snow from trunk highway and city will pay for hauling and disposal of snow.•Approved heat share agreement with SEMCAC.

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