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April 18, 2021

3/19/2021 2:25:00 PM
CL Township increases levy after years of zero hikes

Attendees at last week’s annual Chisago Lake Township meeting saw the wisdom in putting more dollars into the blacktop repair road fund, and by motion directed township supervisors to boost the proposed 2022 levy by $150,000.  The preliminary blacktop repair fund levy was presented at $200,000 and the final is recommended to go to $350,000, based on a vote by the 12 or so people at the meeting.  

According to statements from staff, the cost to do a road blacktop reclaim and pave is at least $200,000 per mile, so at the level first proposed Chisago Lake Twsp. might have been able to do one mile of blacktop in 2022 levy dollars.  (The upcoming scheduled mile-long project approved is Little Lake Road.  If there are property owners beyond this project zone and they want additional paving, they can petition.)

The township board traditionally reconvenes its annual meeting in August and acts on the final levy for the next year, relying on updated property tax valuation data.

Supervisors are looking at a recommended $1,289,000 budget then, with the boost in the blacktopping account.  The township current levy for pay-2021 is $1,119,000, which is unchanged from 2019 and 2020.

Township Public Works Supervisor Matt Wikelius said the blacktop repair line item in reality could easily be $500,000— to  keep pace with what’s coming up in road needs.  

The majority of Chisago Lake’s 40 miles of blacktop roadbed was done around the early 2000’s and with the accepted 20-year maintenance cycle approaching, there will be expenses, he continued.  (There are also 35 miles of gravel road in the township.)

Resident and former Supervisor Jim Froberg, was elected annual meeting moderator, and he commented that there must have been enough new housing added to the township property tax valuation in the last year,  to cover an increase in needed revenue for the blacktop budget.

In other financial matters: the recreation and services contracted organizations were alloted $5,000 maximum in total.  Last year Chisago Lake Twsp. dispersed $4,500.  Supervisors will determine payments to Family Pathways, the County Agricultural  Society (county fair), the Historical Society, Chisago Lake High School Band Boosters and Chisago County Recreation (adult ball leagues.)

The General Fund line item was upped from its current level by $7,000,  to $89,000.  The Road and Bridge account went to $390,000 from $362,000.  The Fire Contract line item was decreased by $25,000.

Township-taxpayer contributions to the area library remain at $3.40 per capita, budget Contingency stays at $5,000 total;  Equipment funding stays at $50,000 and Capital and building projects are still at $75,000.
Township Clerk Jeanette Peterson read the annual business highlights for 2020 and among the issues supervisors addressed were:
~ Decided to not enact the Lodging Tax (currently this tax is adopted only in urban areas within the Chisago Lakes School District boundary and is paid by lodging business.)
~ Authorized annexations out of the township into Chisago City, for parcels on Karmel and Kirby.
~ Asked for a speed study on Malmberg.
~ Adjusted hours and use of town hall for covid precaution compliance. The hall has lately been put to use for vaccination clinics.
~ Maintenance crew was approved for three percent raise.
Gopher bounty was left at $2 and $1 depending on the species.
The meeting for finalizing next year’s levy was put on the calendar for August 17.

** There were 23 votes cast in balloting during the day March 9. Incumbents were unopposed and Judy Straub was re-elected with 23 votes for treasurer and Supervisor Dave Reed was returned with 23 votes.


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