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October 27, 2021

10/8/2021 2:50:00 PM
North Branch Council briefs...

The North Branch City Council adopted the proposed levy at a $5,073,949 total (story in Press Sept. 23) and between now and the finalization of the 2022 numbers, the council will hear from the public November 29 at 6:30 p.m.  North Branch expects to bring in $4 million in ad valorem property taxes alone, which in 2020 this was $3.3 million.  Total revenues will be closer to $6 million with grants, permits, licences, etc.

The tax rate will go down to 43.9 percent from the current 45 percent.

The county needs final numbers from all the taxing authorities by December to do calculations for everybody’s property taxes for the coming year.

Council also approved immediate expenditures for upgrades of audio-visual equipment in the council chambers and in a conference room at city hall.  Council member Amanda Darwin remarked that these expenditures match exactly what the American Recovery Program Act monies were designed to be used for.

Council got called on the carpet during open microphone for a decision last month to table action on a parks commission recommendation and have more community members look into the Veterans Memorial project more deeply.  

The council delayed any action on the recommendation from Parks, Trails and Open Space members that was in favor of  directing council members to support the memorial in Central Park.

North Branch Beautification Association representatives Laura and Joe Scaramell spoke during public comment last week, saying they had a conflict and couldn’t attend the mid-September council session and that they were distressed by the action to delay.

The city council vote at the Sept. 14 meeting had delayed action on an agenda item supporting the memorial Central Park site, until October 26.

The motion named Council members Kelly Neider and Amanda Darwin in charge of organizing a community group to look into the memorial site and they are to report back at the second council meeting in October.

Kevin Scheiber, a planning commission member, and also a veteran— said in open microphone he has “strong feelings” about what happened at the council meeting two weeks prior and chastized the council  for not having “reached out” to those involved in getting the memorial off the ground to better understand the proposal.  “We see you (city) as a partner,” he added. His opinion is there are “misconceptions” driving the delay vote.

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