The 2024 preliminary budget and tax levy was adopted in the amount of $2,588,325 at the Chatfield, Minn., city council’s September 25 meeting. Councilors David Frank and Paul Novotny were absent.
The preliminary levy for 2024 represents a 5.873% increase over 2023. The final levy to be adopted in December can be lower but not higher than preliminary numbers. The Truth in Taxation hearing, during which the proposed budget and tax levy will be discussed, is to be held on December 11 at a regular meeting of the city council.
A resolution was adopted setting the city of Chatfield’s pay grid for the coming year. The pay grid and the pay for part-time and seasonal employees will be adjusted upward 4%, effective January 1, 2024.
Details of the proposed budget and levy will be available on the city’s website.
Drought Restrictive Response Phase
Ryan Priebe, water superintendent, explained as of September 15 we have moved to the Drought Restrictive Response Phase of the statewide drought plan. Chatfield has worked to reduce its daily water usage to contribute to the watershed goal for Olmsted/Fillmore Counties. The goal is to cut water usage to 25% of the city’s daily average. To this end there has been an effort to reach out to heavy users again including commercial businesses, the school and residents. People are asked to conserve as much as possible and restrict non-essential outdoor water use. Priebe noted the city has been under its target goal for the last five days.
Other Business in Brief
• Craig Britton, WIDSETH, updated the council on the schedule for the installation of a pedestrian bridge in Groen Park. The city has received a grant for the bridge. The bridge manufacturer Contech may be able to deliver the bridge in November 2023.
A hydraulic analysis of Mill Creek in the vicinity of the bridge location will need to be done along with a foundation design (abutments on each side of Mill Creek). The hydraulic analysis is required for a DNR permit and for construction. A proposal from WIDSETH for this work was approved at an estimated amount of $19,240.
The goal is to have the foundation in place before the bridge is delivered. Final grading work will be done in the spring of 2024.
• Citywide leaf and grass pickup is scheduled for the last Monday and Tuesday in October.
• Councilor Pam Bluhm, Public Services Committee, reported that dead and dying ash trees will need to be removed. Residents will receive a letter regarding ash trees.
• Mayor John McBroom said, “Let all of us do our part to conserve water, referring to extreme drought restrictions.”
• The city council will meet next on October 9.