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Sewer user fees to increase in 2013

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After voting to increase sewer user fees in 2013, the Lake Shore City Council on Monday, Dec. 17, adopted a general tax levy of $767,525, which is lower than both the 2012 and 2011 tax levies.

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The 2012 levy was $772,514.

The council also adopted a 2013 budget of $826,247. That budget includes a 3 percent cost-of-living increase for city employees, which the council also approved Monday.

Sewer user fees will increase from $80 per quarter to $100 per quarter. The city auditor has advised the council to increase sewer user fees because the city has lost money there in past years. Council member John Bukovich said it was the city’s intent to have the sewer system be self-supporting when it was built.

The sewer system is aging, and the city recently replaced a pump for $9,000.

City clerk Patti McDonald said six people have told her that a 25 percent increase in fees was too steep.

The council said the higher rates are comparable to such rates in East Gull Lake and Nisswa.

With the sewer rate increase, the city was able to decrease its levy and budget from preliminary numbers set in August of $788,165 proposed levy and $846,887 proposed budget.

Teri Hastings, city administrator, explained that Lake Shore doesn’t receive a lot of revenue. Revenue comes from zoning permits, variances, public safety administrative fines and some interest.

2013 revenue is estimated at $58,722.

Capital outlay expenditures total $131,150, and are mostly for sewer land acquisitions, street improvements and an annual budgeted amount for squad cars and computers.

Street improvements are a big part of the budget ($75,000). Every year the city prioritizes road projects.

Public safety

Lake Shore police will participate in the Christmas For Kids distribution on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

Police recorded 65 incidents from Nov. 26-Dec. 16, including 34 traffic-related incidents and 30 miscellaneous calls.

Traffic incidents included 27 warnings, three citations, one DWI arrest, one personal injury crash and one property damage crash.

Miscellaneous activity included six alarms, four medicals, one suspicious activity, one burglary complaint, one theft complaint and one underage alcohol consumption.

Lake Shore police assisted Cass County deputies twice, Crow Wing County deputies once and Nisswa police once.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Agreed to refurbish the city’s three signs and posts for $6,100.

• Approved a request from Camp Confidence Learning Center to operate pulltabs at Bar Harbor.

• Set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Feb. 25 for a request to vacate a portion of Cumberland Way between Robinhood Way and Little John Road so property owners can build a garage. The area to be vacated is a steep slope.

• Police chief Steve Sundstrom, followed by council members and staff, thanked Bukovich for his eight years of service on the city council. He wasn’t re-elected in November.

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