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Nisswa: 2013 tax levy increases 2.99 percent from 2012

The Nisswa City Council earlier this month approved the preliminary tax levy and budget for 2013 that was set in September.

The general revenue tax levy is $1,847,652, an increase of $55,269 from the 2012 levy, or about 2.99 percent.

The increase is attributed to road project costs and planned capital improvements for the Nisswa Community Center and adjoining Nisswa City Park, as well as a public restroom facility along the Paul Bunyan Trail.

A $200,000 annual tax levy for road projects in 2010 and 2011 increased to $260,000 per year starting this year to go toward paying the $1.5 million general obligation street reconstruction bond for the city’s portions of the future pedestrian tunnel, Highway 371 and County Road 18 projects, as well as other future road projects.

Public restroom/

chamber building

At its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Dec. 19, the council agreed to pay engineering firm Widseth, Smith, Nolting $36,740 to design a building on Main Street in downtown Nisswa that would include public restrooms and, possibly, an office for the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce.

The council earlier this month agreed to pursue the design phase to obtain firmer, more detailed cost estimates for such a building. The council is debating whether to include a chamber office as part of the public restroom facility.

The council is considering a 10- or 15-year, $500,000-$700,000 abatement bond in 2013 to pay for improvements at Nisswa City Park and the Nisswa Community Center, as well as to build the new public restroom facility at the site of the current facility on the Paul Bunyan Trail downtown.

Planning and zoning

The council learned that the Planning Commission will meet at 9 a.m. the second Tuesday of the month in 2013, rather than on a Monday.

Permit activity was up this year at 92 permits issued, including 10 new homes, compared to 58 permits issued a year ago. Overall valuation is $4.9 million in 2012, compared to $2.3 million in 2011.

Public safety

Nisswa police in November reported 14 agency assists, 152 calls for service, 19 traffic citations, 55 warnings, one arrest and 11 alarms.

Firefighters recently responded to a car fire, a brush fire and a structure fire, as well as a call about a missing hunter.

Fire chief Richard Geike will remain chief. Tim Holmes is assistant chief, and Shawn Bailey and Doug Buehl are captains. The department will have a third captain as well. The council approved these appointments.

Geike reported the Nisswa-Lake Shore Area First Responder numbers have fallen to seven, including five firefighters. So the fire department will take over those duties and will respond to medical calls, Geike said. New firefighters will be required to be able to respond to medical calls.

He said this will cost money, about $20,000 per year. The First Responders group does have some money from area city contributions.