October 7, 2022 at 12:21 p.m.
The annexation is absorbing current Lent Township property owners who don’t want to enter the City of Stacy, which would be their only alternative in an orderly annexation (merger) procedure in the works for months.
The area in the North Branch agreement is 1,099 acres. (See map.)Not every parcel owner has been in direct communication with North Branch but the council members felt there’s been sufficient time for owners to connect, since the general annexation area was identified. Council member Patrick Meacham asked rhetorically, “How long do we give them.” Staff has tried to contact some owners, he said, adding, “I feel good” about this.
The agreement goes to Lent Township to be acted on.
The orderly annexation agreement includes a phased-in property tax for the affected properties. Instead of jumping overnight to an urban level of taxation, there will be a tax rate of 20 percent of the difference between North Branch’s and the township’s current rate, until the year 2027. Then property taxes on the annexed parcels will be at 100 percent of what is being collected for traditional North Branch.
This agreement will eventually become part of a package going to the state, for a Stacy-Lent orderly annexation (merger) that will dissolve Lent. There’s also a contract with Chisago City for an area east of Carlos Avery WMA. The MN Office of Boundary Adjustments and an administrative law judge will rule on the township being dissolved and creating the new boundaries of the city of Stacy.
In other business council adopted the discussed version of the 2023 budget and levy. The public hearing when the city explains the levy is November 28 at 6:30 p.m. at city hall. The levy sits at a six percent increase, but can be reduced as it goes through this finalization.
~ The council reviewed a $4,500 funding request for Lakes Center 4 Youth and Families (formerly Youth Service Bureau) and if the amount can be addressed in existing budget structure. Council ended up voting 4-1 to support the possibility of dedicating $1,000, with
Kathy Blomquist opposed. Timing for monetary support requests will be discussed with outside contract agencies, to better align with North Branch budgeting process.
~ The council approved applying for trail funding to do the trail, crossings and accessories for the segment from 392nd to existing trail on the northside of County Market. The Active Transportation Grant being sought is for $250,000 and the winners will be known in March 2023.