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Chatfield 2014 levy down slightly

Fri, Dec 13th, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Government

At the December 9 meeting of the Chatfield City Council the 2014 final budget and property tax levy was adopted showing a decrease of .0002 percent in the levy or about $24. The total 2014 levy will be $1,225,793.

City Clerk Joel Young credited the increase in local government aid (LGA) to $84,000 and the sales tax exemption (estimated to be over $9,000) to begin in 2014 as primary reasons that will allow the city to maintain a flat levy. The LGA was increased back to where it had been in 2003. The city added no new debt in 2013.

Young pointed out that there are many variables that contribute to an individual’s property tax. Even with the flat levy, some property owners will enjoy a reduction and others will be hit with an increase.

Councilor Paul Novotny noted that in order to minimize the sewer rate increases, a substantial portion of the tax levy is budgeted to satisfy sanitary sewer debt and related operation and maintenance expenses. For 2014 the total allocated from the general fund for the wastewater treatment plant is $115,000 which represents a $20,000 increase from 2013.

The largest increase in general fund expenditures will be a $35,000 increase to help cover basic expenses to operate the Center for the Arts, bringing the total yearly support to about $57,000. It is estimated that an additional $18,000 will be raised from rental income.

City employees will receive a 1 percent increase in pay in 2014. Health insurance premiums for employees will increase 13 percent.

There was no public comment on the 2014 budget/levy.

A resolution was adopted that adjusted the city’s pay grid for 2014 up 1 percent.

EZ Fabrication Addition

Planning consultant Kristi Clarke reviewed the petition by Tuohy Real Estate, LLC to subdivide one industrial lot and to extend water and sewer service to the existing building. Clarke said there had been two comments; one from MnDOT saying there would be no significant impact on Highway 52 and one from the Fillmore County surveyor noting minor corrections.

Clarke said there had been no comments from the public at the Planning and Zoning hearing. The preliminary plat was adopted by the council.

Before adoption of the final plat, Mark Welch of G-Cubed Engineering offered to answer any questions regarding the plat. There were no comments or questions from the public or council. The final plat for the EZ Fabrication Addition was approved.

Other Business In Brief

•The second consideration of omnibus fees, Ordinance 409, was approved. The only fee changes were the increase of water rates by 3 percent and the increase of sewer rates by 6 percent. The addition of a $45 permit fee for demolition was also noted. Publication of the 2014 fee ordinance was approved.

•The purchase of a small mixing pump at a cost of $11,995 was approved for the water tower. Tony Lammers said the pump will keep the water in motion constantly and help with water quality.

•Six LED lights will be purchased at a cost of $525 each which will be retrofitted into the current units along the downtown street. The LED lights should last longer, use less energy, and produce more light. Lammers had requested the purchase of a few lights to try them out.

•Rates for use of the city’s snow moving equipment with an operator were approved which will be charged to the state for snow removal on state highways within the city.

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