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Lanesboro increases levy by 3 percent

Fri, Sep 19th, 2008
Posted in Government

Lanesboro - The Lanesboro City Council passed a resolution for the 2009 budget and tax levy at their regular meeting on September 15. City Administrator Bobbie Vickerman presented the council with a copy of the proposed 2009 budget, with the changes and cuts made from last year. The total tax levy for 2009 will be $386,287, up one percent from last year's levy of $382,576.

Vickerman suggested the council set the levy at $394,053, which would be a 3 percent increase from last year. The little bit of extra money would be there if it was needed for anything. Vickerman added that they still do not know how the property evaluations have turned out yet. She stated the park board and others have worked hard on making cuts and did a good job.

"It's going to be a tighter year," said Vickerman.

The council approved the three percent increase. The Truth in Taxation hearing will be on December 11 at 5:30 with a continuation on December 15 if needed. A hearing for the final adoption of the levy will be before the regular meeting on December 15.

Bids for Bond Issue

Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates presented the council with three bids for the bond issue on the Whittier Street and Maple Drive projects. The low bid was from Dougherty and Co., LLC at 4.35 percent. The council passed a resolution for the sale of $910,000 in general obligation bonds to Dougherty.

Bubany had projected the interest rate to be 4.693 percent. The lower interest rate will save the city 30,000 in payments. The call option on the bonds is February 1, 2017. The city can refinance or prepay anytime after that date.

Fire Hall Updates

Andy Drake spoke to the council about replacing the heating at the fire station. According to Drake, the current overhead heaters are obsolete and parts can no longer be purchased for them. The fire department would like to install floor heating, and they would pay half of the cost. The council approved the project.

Drake had received three bids for the concrete floor replacement. The low bid was from Bakke Cement and Masonry Company for $17,791. The estimate from Vis Plumbing for the boiler was $13,981.

Vickerman said the city's half of the entire project would be $16,749. She explained there is currently $15,430 in the budget for capital outlay that could go toward that cost. Council member Kevin Drake pointed out that the floor heating would cost a lot less and save money in the long run. Mayor Steve Rahn added that having the fire department pay half would save the taxpayers a lot of money as well.

Other Business

• The council decided to allow Vickerman to make a decision about the boiler for the community center. Vickerman spoke to a local contractor and found that going from 80 percent efficiency to 90 percent would save the city $800-1000 a year. The boiler needs to be ordered soon and Vickerman will be hearing back from the contractor soon.

• Robert Thompson asked the council if they were aware that there will not be any storm sewer in the first two blocks of the Whittier Street project, according to the contractor. Vickerman said the storm sewers should have been part of the design. Drake agreed that there weren't any in the plans, and mentioned that there is a slope from the bottom of the golf course. Vickerman is going to speak to the contractor and look into it.

• The council approved a one-day temporary liquor license for the Lanesboro Art Council for the Moulin Rouge female impersonators, a fund raiser for the AIDS Network.

The employment agreement for Vickerman had some minor changes made to clear up confusion in certain areas. Vickerman will be taking a six-week Medical Leave after her baby is born. Marge Drake will be filling in some of the duties at the city office.

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