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Lanesboro council works on 2009 budget

Fri, Sep 5th, 2008
Posted in Government

Lanesboro's City Administrator Bobbie Vickerman has been working on the budget for 2009. She presented the council with some of her suggested cuts, as well as a comparison with the 2008 budget at the September 2 meeting.

According to Vickerman, the police department had asked to increase their budget from $79,000 to $83,000, and Vickerman increased it to $82,000. There was also an increase in the salary of the librarian Jill Veerkamp. She is looking to have more participation from the Rural Board for the fire funds to help out in that department. Cuts were made to the Park Board budget due to the decrease in funds from campers this year. The bond from 1983 for the water tower project will be included in this year's levy, but will likely be paid off next year. Vickerman also budgeted for the Whittier/Maple projects, adding five percent as suggested by the engineers.

Vickerman and other city employees are working on making cuts across the board for next year to keep from having to increase the tax levy.

On-Sale Liquor

Mike Charlebois from the Riverside on the Root had previously requested a liquor license from the council in order to serve mixed drinks at the restaurant. Riverside is currently allowed to serve wine and strong beer. Vickerman explained that the statutory limit for on-sale liquor licenses is four. The question came up as to whether or not the city should ask voters to decide if that number should be increased. The question could be placed on the ballot for the general election in November.

There was some discussion about what increasing the number could do for the city, and if other businesses would also want on-sale licenses. Vickerman is going to talk with the Chamber of Commerce and get their opinion, as well as look into how other cities handle the liquor licenses for on-sale hard liquor. The council would have to decide how to ask the question on the ballot, whether to give a certain number or just ask to increase the limit, and if they should even put the question on the ballot. The council will hold a special meeting to discuss the issue further on Monday, September 8 at 5:30.

Other Business

• Vickerman received an estimate for the boiler replacement at the Community Center building. The estimate, from WHV, Inc. was for $49,760. The amount was higher than Vickerman had hoped, as they had decided to go with one boiler and save some money. Vickerman explained that the boiler in the estimate is 90 percent efficient and has a 21 year warranty. The city could possibly go with one that is 80 percent efficient. Vickerman is going to get some more information before the council makes a decision.

• Sally Ming and Gabe Dybing were appointed to the Library Board.

• A resident near the high school has some concerns about speeding on that street and has requested that a speed bump be put there. The council will be sure Officer Matt Schultz is aware of the problem and look into it further.

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