The Pine River City Council scheduled to meet at 5:45 p.m. on Oct. 12 to discuss bonds needed to pay the remaining balance of the cost to replace the dam on Norway Creek with the new rock riffle design. This decision was approved at the Tuesday, Sept. 14 regular meeting.
At that meeting the city will discuss the $487,000 General obligation tax abatement bonds and presumably authorize the application for temporary general obligation bonds. This bond is to pay for the city's share of cost in the dam replacement, the bulk of the cost being paid for with a grant from Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. The city's share includes engineering and design, curb and gutter, sidewalks and other amenities.
The Pine River city council approved its preliminary 2022 proposed levy at $581,498, a 13.72% increase from the $511,328 levy from 2021.
City Clerk Terri Dabill said it is too early to definitively pinpoint the primary causes of this increase, however more details are likely to be available at the 6:30 p.m. truth in taxation meeting on December 14, the date of the council's regular business meeting. Dabill said that the increase reflects, in part, increases in current cost of doing business and living as well as the skyrocketing costs of materials and labor.
When city departments were trying to cut the fluff from their budgets, Dabill said there was no fluff to cut. Dabill said this was a departure from past years where the council has tried to limit its increase to a maximum of 3%. Changes in the county's property tax valuation and net tax capacity are a significant factor that the Council will be reviewing closely prior to the truth in taxation meeting.
The council is expected to pass the final levy in December as well. The council could choose to lower the proposed levy before then, however it is not allowed to increase it above the preliminary amount.
In other business, the council:
- Approved an amendment to the city's water ordinance. the amendment denotes that water service bills will become delinquent as of the 21st of any month and will incur an 8% fee at that time. It also determines that bills that are certified to the tax rolls will incur a $100 certification fee and $40 administration fee. The amendment also included a rate increase to $29.50 per month for 4,000 gallons as of Jan 1, 2022 and to $31.00 per month as of Jan. 1, 2023.
- Approved an increase to the annual contribution to the Pine River Fire Department relief association.
- Approved a change order for the Rock Riffle Dam project removing some stone outcroppings and other features for a savings of $56,010