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Backus council adopts final 2013 levy

The Backus City Council on Monday, Dec. 3, adopted the 2013 final levy of $134,633.

City clerk Jeff Turk recommended that the council approve a budget adjustment to the final 2013 levy. The amount budgeted for a maintenance employee for 2013 was $24,902 and the actual cost will be $17, 650, a $7,252 cost savings.

Turk asked that the council consider moving that budgeted amount over to the street budget so the city could finish filling cracks in streets throughout the city. If the amount isn’t used next year to try to preserve city streets, Turk said the money could be used for future street projects.

“I think people would want to know there is money being put aside to fix the streets,” said Mayor Dwight Heim.

The council approved the budget adjustment, which did not affect the final levy.

Lee Bundy, of the Pine River Area Sanitary District, reported that a motor broke on a wastewater circulation pump. He said that next week for one hour the city would be without water as a crew performed the repair work. Bundy didn’t know the day or time yet.

Pine River Police Chief Paul Sand reported that his department had 12 calls and 15 verbal warnings for various traffic violations within the city of Backus. He said the new stop signs have been installed on Wood Street at the Washburn Avenue intersection.

Backus Fire Chief Karl Flier reported that the fire department, along with neighboring departments, would be conducting a live house burn for training on Fourth Street Southwest on Pig Lake. Flier said as of Monday the department had 36 fire calls so far this year.

Flier informed the council he would be stepping down as fire chief at the end of the month and a new fire chief would be elected by the department.

The council approved a $789 expense to bring a fuel piping system at the airport up to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency standards. The state will reimburse the city for the costs next summer, said Turk.

Bundy reminded the council of the city’s snowplowing policy. If two inches of snow or more fall on a weekend, a city plow will be out on Sunday to plow the main roadways. Early the next day two plows will be out to finish up the rest of the plowing. If the same snowstorm occurs on a weekday, plows will be out early that day.

The council approved a $2,450 cost to insulate the ceilings at the townhomes.

The city accepted two donations for the Backus First Responders. Both donations were for $1,000 and came from the Backus Lions and Backus American Legion. The city also accepted a $1,000 donation from the Backus American Legion for the fire department.