At the regular City of Rushford Village Council meeting December 21, the council set the tax levy for 2022 at $485,000, a modest 2% increase over last year. With the purchase of a new Freightliner truck and payroll raises for the new year, the proposed levy had been $495,000, a 3% raise. The council felt the compromise of a 2% raise would be appreciated by city residents.
Rebecca Charles of CEDA shared the recently completed comprehensive planning survey with the council. She reported that the city population is aging with 49% 66 years or older and only 12% in the 18 to 45-year -old range. Charles noted that the survey included information on recreational items such as boat launches, parks and trails, as well as medical resources, educational, economic, and veteran status. Currently 100% of housing is single family; future needs foreseen by residents in the study include townhomes and assisted living for the aging population. According to Charles, the city is suffering an identity crisis; many people living in CRV don’t think they live in a city — they think they live in a township.
Charles informed the council that the recreational trail study was ready for its first meeting which has been set for January 7 at 10-11 a.m. via zoom. She encouraged council members to join the meeting.
Jen Hengel of the Rushford-Peterson Valley Chamber of Commerce attended the council meeting to share what the Chamber has been doing and to request help in matching a recent grant application. The Chamber applied for a $4,000 grant from Explore Minnesota Tourism; Hengel asked CRV to contribute $642.83 toward the match. The council approved the request and paid their $90 chamber membership at the same time as they thanked the chamber for their work on promoting the area.
Planning and Zoning Administrator Jon Pettit reported there had been no new permits. He did inform the council that since the new campground ordinance had been accepted by the Fillmore County Zoning, the city now needed to move to adopt a similar ordinance which would require a public hearing. The proposed ordinance defines a campground as having five or more camping units; four or less is not considered a campground. There is an exemption for a large short-term group once a year for something such as a family reunion or celebration. A public hearing was set for February 7, 2022 at 6:45 p.m.
Paul Ness submitted the base pay study for CRV. After perusing and discussing each portion of the study, the council accepted the report and approved the plan which included new job descriptions and pay grade and point structure as well as a step structure for salaries.
The steps are set at a 2.5% pay raise each year until an employee’s seventh year; after that the raise will occur every other year. This year the COLA (cost of living) was included in the steps. Further education or certification allows an employee to move up a step. Next year the cost of living can be plugged into the steps in order to budget for salaries.
In other business the council:
• Heard the results of the lift station inspection by Minnesota Pump Works; the pumps were reported to still look like new with no problems. PWD Trenten Chiglo will look into whether the company has a spare pump on hand in case of a breakdown.
• Accepted the resignation of Preston Lecy, Public Works/Maintenance Assistant; thanking Preston for his service, the city decided to wait until spring to replace him.
• Approved the MOA (memorandum of agreement) between the state and local governments and authorized participation in the National Opiod Settlement; the city will not receive the money since the city is too small — the money will go to the county.
• Accepted the 2022 Granicus proposal of $2,134.96 for the program which is used to send out meeting information to the council members.
• Directed Judy Graham to not purchase any more CDs at this time; the delivery of the city’s Freightliner truck is anticipated in January with payment due.
The next regular CRV council meeting will be the annual meeting on January 18, 2022. There will be no meeting on January 4, 2022. The public is welcome to attend the meeting at the CRV hall.