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October 17, 2019

10/3/2019 4:09:00 PM
Lindstrom levy set at an early six percent hike

The Lindstrom City Council took care of some smaller items in addition to adopting a preliminary 2020 levy increase September 19.  On a 3-1 vote--with member AnnMarie Brink absent and David Waldoch opposed, a levy of $2,295,308 and $64,000 for the Economic Development Authority were acted on.  

The levy increase is six percent over 2019.

The council holds its truth in taxation hearing December 9 starting at 6:30 p.m.

Kay Mattson, finance director, explained that there’s $120,000 in next year’s budget for self-contained breathing apparatus replacement for the firefighters, and engineering is working on a number of projects, plus parks expenses are up and longer term employees’ wages are all part of the picture.

The levy can be whittled down between now and the final numbers that are accepted in December, but this preliminary can not go up.

Municipal Liquor Store manager Roxie Bluhm was invited to inform council on a couple matters, and her items took a few minutes.

There was a sale to an underaged customer during the last Lakes Area Police compliance check.  Bluhm noted that the employee looked at the decoy buyer’s driver license, but simply did the math incorrectly. The muni is getting a license scanning device that either gives advises ‘no or yes,’ depending on the birthdate.

The penalty in ordinance centers on a cash fine and/or closure. City Administrator John Olinger said a fine doesn’t really do anything because this is a city-owned business. Council opted for a half-day closure, which according to income reports amounts to loss of revenue the same as a fine would be.
A request from a downtown business owner to reduce water use charges due to a leaking toilet was halfway granted.  Vince Charles didn’t get the full reduction he wanted but council agreed to cut the bill by $200.

Council stated he had cooperated on the matter, had repaired the problem quickly and has a new method to better monitor any maintenance issues that may arise in the rental unit.

Olinger shared a plan to lease a new Toyota for an administrative vehicle and it was approved 4-0.  He said the lease can be “rolled over” and makes sense because the city vehicle goes very few miles. The existing vehicle is in pretty tough shape, and Council member Laurie Burington also remarked that it doesn’t represent the city well.

A pavement management plan was also adopted.

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P.O. Box 748 Lindstrom, MN 55045

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