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Lake Shore: Preliminary tax levy rises 7.72 percent

The Lake Shore City Council on Monday, Sept. 25, adopted a preliminary 2018 general tax levy of $818,307 and the 2018 preliminary budget, according to unapproved draft meeting minutes.

The preliminary levy shows a 7.72 percent increase from this year, and the overall budget is up 7.35 percent from 2017, the minutes said. Last year, the city decreased the levy by 4 percent.

The proposed budget includes a 2 percent cost-of-living increase for employees. The Initiative Foundation requested $1,025. Increases to the budget include funding for elections in 2018, a comprehensive plan update, health insurance premiums, and increases to road maintenance and engineering for roads and wastewater.

The preliminary levy can be decreased, but not increased, before final adoption in December.

Mayor Kevin Egan said that while people would like to see things remain steady, in a smaller city they do go up and down. Staff does its best for financial control to keep costs down.

The council will hold its truth in taxation hearing for citizens to comment on the proposed budget and levy at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at city hall before final adoption.

Mayor's report

Egan asked about County State Aid Highway 77 project, and City Administrator/Planning and Zoning Administrator Teri Hastings said Tom's Backhoe will get the roadway done by the end of October and will continue to work on the trail until the weather prohibits further work.

The City Hall Building Committee met Sept. 26 to discuss appraisals of the two sites that are under consideration for the potential construction of a new city hall.

A representative from CTC was at city hall to discuss plans to connect city hall to fiber optics that will be available to select businesses along CSAH 77.

State Rep. John Poston facilitated a meeting at city hall in regard to "anything water" with questions answered by Barb Huberty, director of the Minnesota Legislative Water Commission. About 18 people listened to Huberty explain how the various state entities all tie in together regarding water quality, wastewater systems, permitting processes and regulations, etc.

Egan said the last one-mile portion of Trail 77 to the north that would link Lake Shore to Nisswa needs to be discussed for development and construction. The final portion of the trail will be a little costlier and require engineering input to get across the narrows.

Fairview Township and Nisswa continue to work on their portions of the trail that would complete the Regional Gull Lake Trail.

Roads

Council member John Terwilliger said the city continues to have complaints about Agate Lake Road. Fill was added to the low spot this spring, and considering the amount of rain in the past couple months, he thinks it is doing well.

Rocks were placed around a culvert on Portview West where it has been washing away. The Springside Drive road vacation has been dropped, although the residents would like to pave the road. Terwilliger said the road committee would like to see the details of their request.

Widseth Smith Nolting engineering firm will drive the city streets Oct. 5 to review their condition to continue with the road inventory and five-year road plan.

The road committee has discussed changing Jacobs Road into a county road because of the volume of traffic. Residents of Jacobs Road would also like to see a reduction in the speed limit. More information is needed to finalize a speed limit reduction.

In other business Sept. 25, according to draft minutes, the council:

• Heard from resident Tim Moore, who said most people are aware that Anderson Brothers has been doing some expansion and intensification of the gravel pit. Moore asked if Anderson Brothers had asked the city for a conditional use permit. Egan said he and Hastings have been doing background work because others also have brought up the activity at the gravel pit.

• Learned the police department had 138 incidents from Aug. 28-Sept. 24, including 77 traffic-related incidents and 61 miscellaneous activity.

• Approved an ordinance amendment that dictates the city, rather than Cass County, will decide road vacations, noting it is in the city's best interest to keep decision-making local if possible.

• Learned police officer Mike Heldt had a successful annual review.

• Learned that the Park and Recreation Committee met in conjunction with the stakeholders involved in the logging project at Fritz Loven Park. The park trails should be open sometime this month.

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