Breezy Point: Council approves preliminary levy
In their Tuesday, Sept. 8, meeting, Breezy Point City Council members unanimously approved the preliminary levy and budget for the coming year. The proposed levy totals $1,798,063 - an overall increase of 2.22 percent from the previous year. The ...
In their Tuesday, Sept. 8, meeting, Breezy Point City Council members unanimously approved the preliminary levy and budget for the coming year.
The proposed levy totals $1,798,063 - an overall increase of 2.22 percent from the previous year.
The council will set a budget meeting in December to approve the final levy, but that accepted final total can be no higher than the approved preliminary levy, though it can be lower.
Council member Gary Bakken presented to the council a proposed ordinance regarding advertising banners local businesses use, which was revised to allow a business to have any combination of up to five banners, streamers and portable signs.
Mayor Tom Lillehei, along with Bakken, expressed support of this proposed ordinance, but council members Otto Schmid and Diane Williams were reluctant to support it.
"I don't think an abundance of things flapping in the breeze ... is what this community needs," Williams said. "I think they are unsightly. Is there a time limit or a size restriction? How big can these signs be? There is not enough direction in (this proposal) and I think it is far, far too generous."
Schmid expressed a willingness for the city to stay with the ordinance it has, allowing up to three banners or streamers, none of which can be free-standing.
Lillehei said he believed this topic was not one the city needed to legislate strictly, and that business owners should be trusted to regulate themselves, as too many banners may create a tacky appearance and negatively affect business.
Council member Michael Moroni indicated his belief that a decision on the topic must ultimately come from the council, but thought there was a better way to do it than what had been proposed.
"Businesses will regulate themselves," Moroni said. "I do strongly believe that. I hope that they would keep the tackiness out, if you will, and keep things pleasant to look at, but at the same point, there have to be some safeguards on our part ... The way this ordinance is written is not safeguarding the city."
Lillehei appointed Bakken and Moroni to take part in a committee to restructure the ordinance - which will still be subject to the approval of the planning and zoning commission, as well as the public - and present a final version by the council's December meeting.
In other action, the council unanimously agreed to make Breezy Point Drive in the area of the lake access a no-parking zone. This was done in response to a number of pickup trucks parking with boat trailers outside of the designated parking areas, creating traffic hazards along the road. "No parking" signs had been placed along the roadway prior to the meeting, but the official approval of the council was still needed.
The council also agreed to allow city employees to exchange Columbus Day with Christmas Eve as a paid holiday.
"This is a very reasonable thing to do," Lillehei said.
In the month of August, the Breezy Point Police Department responded to 292 incidents, an increase of 51 from August 2014. Among those incidents were 145 traffic stops, five traffic arrests, three crashes, four thefts and four fires.