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Chatfield adopts preliminary 2014 levy reflecting a slight decrease

Fri, Sep 13th, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Government

By Karen Reisner

The Chatfield City Council at their September 9 meeting adopted the 2014 preliminary budget and levy. City clerk Joel Young reported that the city managed to keep the proposed levy about the same as 2013 because of the sales tax exemption ($9,165) and an increased Local Government Aid allocation (a total of $752,700 or an increase of $84,000).

The reduction in the levy was $24 or .002 percent, which is slightly under the state mandated levy limit of zero. Young related that the figures were arrived at before information was released about the state mandated levy limit. The proposed 2014 levy is $1,225,793.

Young listed in his report several goals that were kept in mind while preparing the 2014 budget. The goals included maintaining the levy close to 2013 levels, minimizing the sanitary sewer debt burden, the maintenance of the city’s strong public safety departments, investment in the city’s infrastructure, providing a financial foundation for the operation of the Chatfield Center for the Arts, and protecting the city’s strong bond rating.

Councilor Ken Jacobson noted that even with the levy at zero or at a slight decrease, it doesn’t necessarily mean property taxes won’t increase for some property owners.

The public meeting in accordance with Truth In Taxation regulations will be held at the Thurber Community Building, at 7p.m. on December 9.

McGhie and Betts to Merge with WSB & Associates, Inc.

David Morrill, McGhie and Betts, said he has worked with the city of Chatfield for 25 years. He said he would like to continue in that capacity as city engineer. He noted that they have worked with WSB on projects and the two firms know and respect each other. WSB can offer a wide range of services. Morrill suggested this is an opportune time for the merger due to changes expected with the planned Destination Medical Center. The two firms have been talking over the past nine months and Morrill expects it will take about two years to get fully integrated.

Jay Kennedy, vice-president WSB, said they can provide most all the services that city clients may need. He explained his firm does internal training for the specialty of city engineering. The firm was founded in 1995 and has expanded rapidly. They currently serve 33 communities. They strive to provide a customized approach to each of their clients and work to identify available grants that may fit a city’s projects.

Councilor Robert Pederson praised McGhie and Betts and David Morrill for the good job they have done for the city. Morrill will continue working with Chatfield.

Other Business In Brief

•A Conditional Use Permit was approved for Mary Peterson as recommended by the Planning Commission. Peterson would like to use the basement at her 205 Main Street South building as an apartment. The property is zoned B-1 (General Commercial District).

Four conditions were recommended, all of which Peterson has agreed to. A public hearing was held by P and Z on September 3. The conditions include that there be one parking stall per apartment maintained and available adjacent to the rear of the building. There are two upstairs apartments. The street level portion has to be maintained as a commercial use, currently Silver Frame Photography. Access to the lower level apartment must be made through the rear entrance. There will be an annual inspection of the building for compliance with the CUP.

A motion to adopt findings of fact and the four conditions was approved. A motion to issue the CUP was approved.

•A public hearing was set for October 14 at 7p.m. on the proposed business subsidy to EZ Fabricating, Inc. Chris Giesen, EDA, explained the owner’s intention to expand 19,000 feet of space and to hire 19 new employees.

A resolution was adopted setting a public hearing on October 14 at 7p.m. on the proposed modification of Municipal Development District No. 3 and the proposed establishment of TIF district No. 3-4.

•Household hazardous waste collection will be on September 17 from 4p.m. to 7p.m.

•Constitution Week is September 17-23 to celebrate the 226th anniversary of the adoption of the United States Constitution.

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