3/16/2017 4:10:00 PM Shafer City Council adopts ABC request for lodging tax, reluctantly raises water and sewer rates
Shafer City Council met March 7 for a regular meeting. Council member Brad Swenson was absent.
The council then heard from Tangi Schaapveld representing America’s Best Community competition committee. Schaapveld told the council the final review of the top eight cities in the America’s Best Community contest is fast approaching. Tourism, workforce an arts are the main focus here, Schaapveld explained.
Schaapveld told council the new website chisagolakes.org is up and running.
Schaapveld said ABC, along with Chisago County, are looking into implementing a Lodging Tax that would be collected by Chisago Lakes Area hotels, campgrounds and bed and breakfasts. Schaapveld said they were hoping for a three percent lodging fee which would generate close to $60,000 annually. The monies raised would have to be used in tourism advertising thus promoting the area.
Schaapveld then gave a brief update on all of the ABC doings. She said the committee was at 100 percent of its goals. Schaapveld noted the judges for the contest would be in town early April to see what changes had been made. The final three top winners are announced in April.
Council member Terry Smith then made a motion to accept a resolution calling for a three percent lodging tax, which passed unanimously.
Nick Anhut from Ehlers and Associates, public financing consultants, was there for the road project planned for this summer in Shafer. Anhut told the council they were in good shape and could easily pay the 15 year bond (borowing) off in eight years. Anhut told the council the levy impact would be $53,000.
Shafer would hold a captive bid process for local and regional banks for the $1,020,000. The council would then choose the lowest bidder.
In other business, the council discussed the potential of raising water and sewer rates. Mayor Dan Vogel told the council the water and sewer rates are not sustaining the actual costs. Vogel said the rates should have gone up gradually over the years but have not.
Vogel suggested option B which is a base rate increase of $4.52 per month to bring the billing base rate to $49.72 and the sewer base rate would sit at $99.47. Vogel made the motion and it was passed unanimously.
Council member Patty Mattson then told the council the parks commission would like to see a gravel parking lot at Shafer Meadows park. Vogel and maintenance supervisor Tim Budig agreed to look into the matter.
In the engineer’s report, city engineer Jon Herdegen told the council they had recieved four bids for road construction and they would like to see three more. The city will open the sealed bids March 27.