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Nisswa: Tax levy to rise 5 percent in 2018 - Council accepts $50,000 donation to park

The Nisswa City Council approved a 2018 general tax levy of $2,154,969, which is 5 percent higher ($102,618) than this year's levy.

That number breaks down in the following way: $1,718,874, general property levy; $90,185, general obligation street reconstruction bond for the County Road 18/Highway 371 realignment project; $186,947, general obligation capital improvement plan bond for the city hall building; and $158,963, general street reconstruction bond for for various road improvements.

The city's tax rate is 32.329 percent, up from 30.713 percent in 2017.

The council also approved salary and benefit adjustments for city staff, and fire department officer pay adjustments at its Wednesday, Dec. 20, meeting.

The council approved a 2018 total budget of $7,387,214. The budget includes levy funds, fees for services and revenues from city liquor and sewer funds.

Nisswa Lake Park

The council accepted another donation of $50,000 from Millie Gjertson, of Brainerd, to build a pavilion at Nisswa Lake Park. Gjertson previously donated $35,000 for trail development at the park, which has been started. The trails and pavilion will be completed in the spring.

The council also approved a bid from Classic Recreation Systems/Midwest Playscapes for $22,728 to buy the pavilion, as recommended by the Advisory Commission. Mayor Fred Heidmann voted no, based on the utilitarian look of the pavilion.

A design team that included two members each from the city Parks Advisory Commission and Friends of Nisswa Lake Park fundraising group reviewed options and pricing and recommended the pavilion to the Advisory Commission, which recommended it to the council.

Heidmann said if more money is needed for a nicer looking pavilion, fundraising should be done. He was concerned the building was being fitted to a budget.

Public safety

In November, police reported 245 calls for service; issued 127 traffic warnings, 16 traffic citations and two criminal citations; assisted other agencies 17 times; and made six arrests.

Firefighters responded to 28 calls in November, including 22 emergency medical services calls, three fire alarms, two fire calls and one vehicle crash.

In other business Dec. 20, the council:

• Increased sewer rates to $143.70 (3 percent increase) per equivalent residential connection (ERC) per quarter, and the sewer connection fee to $8,000 (6 percent increase) per ERC.

• Learned the city would receive $10,038 from the state for cleanup from a straight-line wind storm in September after the governor declared a disaster. The state paid 75 percent of the $13,384 cleanup cost.

• Learned nine land use permits were issued from Nov. 7-Dec. 12.

• Moved both Planning and Zoning Administrator Desmond McGeough and police officer Jeremy Rooney from probationary status to permanent employees after successful probation periods.

• Agreed to rezone 1.73 acres of property on the east side of Oak Lane from shoreland residential to commercial waterfront for Thomas Steffens of Good Ol' Days Resort.

• Agreed to meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 3, for an organizational meeting for the new year.

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