September 29, 2023 at 1:19 p.m.
Taylors Falls adopts double digit hike for preliminary levy
Taylors Falls council members adopted a preliminary levy for 2024 Monday night this week that was acknowledged to carry an element of “sticker shock.” Mayor Wieberg said people need to remember this is a maximum early target and it can be reduced between now and December, when final property tax numbers are set. This preliminary number is necessary for the county to calculate estimated property tax only. It can not be increased but can go down.
Taylors Falls’ elected leadership has decided it is time to tackle some needs and boost long-contained revenues —so the vote was 4-0 to put the levy up 31.5 percent.
Between now and December Council member Tim Grote suggested drawing on some of the city’s fund balances and cutting this increase to something closer to 18 percent. He felt adopting in excess of 30 percent is “unacceptable” adding this level of increase is “a tough one for me to swallow.”
With assurances that all four council members (Troy Aanonsen was absent) are going to work on lowering the levy through October and November— the total levy was adopted at $887,056.
The taxation public hearing is December 6 at 6 p.m.
Council has changed meeting start times to 6 p.m. the second and fourth Mondays.
The debt levies that remain to be paid off include public works projects at just $5,000 annually, a new well project that was financed and is being paid off at $15,000 annually, and the fire department/city hall debt service of $65,000. The independent library in Taylors Falls is a $15,579 line item and the old depot/community center gets $3,000 in the levy plus rental fees. The General Fund, which is salaries, city operations, utilities, etc is proposed at $561, 677.
In other items: council gave Sealtech the road surface rout and seal for this year at $6,300.
A door opening is being cut through a wall at the fire hall for extra access, cost is $2,000. Jewell Scanning & Coring LLC got the quote, contingent on Bolton & Menk, the city engineering firm, okaying the plans.
Based on a review of a couple quotes, and staff recommendation, Croix Valley Cleaning, will be retained for city owned building services.
The Log Jammers musicians got authorization to honor longtime musician/ resident Brian Pigott with a plaque that will be installed at the Community Center.
Accounting clean-up activity took care of funds that have balances that needed to be transferred into the General Fund. Council closed out the “Valley View Trail” and a sewer improvement and replacement fund and a tax abatement balance, totalling a little over $272,000.