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Breezy Point City Council adopts 2023 tax levy

The Dec. 5 meeting was the last for Mayor Todd Roggenkamp and council members Gary Bakken and Tom Lillehei

Breezy Point City Hall Sign.jpg
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BREEZY POINT — In its Monday, Dec. 5, meeting, the Breezy Point City Council voted to adopt the city’s budget and tax levy for 2023.

In the new year, the city will operate with a levy of $2,952,739, which is an increase of $205,338 from 2022. It is, however, roughly $100,000 less than what was approved in the preliminary levy set in September.

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Prior to approving the levy, the council opened a public hearing on the proposed levy, in which just one member of the public — soon-to-be council member Brad Scott — came forward. Scott said the property tax burden is “a direct reflection” of the amount of spending done by the city, and asked the council to consider further reductions to the budget.

This city is growing. Believe it. The numbers show it. That costs money.
Gary Bakken, Breezy Point City Council

The council argued that the expenses planned — such as studies on improvements to city hall and Buschmann Road — are necessary, and that an ever-increasing population leads to ever-increasing expenses.

“This city is growing. Believe it,” council member Gary Bakken said. “The numbers show it. That costs money … I don’t envy the 2023 council, but make no mistake about it, you better prepare. We are going to have to bond.”

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The council also held a public hearing regarding an ordinance on short-term rentals within the city.

The Crow Wing County Board voted Nov. 15 to repeal its short-term rental ordinance under its public health authority and replace it with a similar ordinance under the county’s land use authority.

Crow Wing County has no land use authority within the city, and will no longer issue rental licenses within city limits once the change is officially made.

Therefore, the proposed city ordinance removes the requirement that an applicant get a county license before requesting a city license.

After hearing comments from one resident, the council passed the ordinance, which will go into effect Jan. 1.

Council member Michael Moroni voted against the measure, saying he did not support the approved ordinance allowing short-term rentals city-wide, but understood since the county would not differentiate between the districts of the city when granting a license.

Now that the county is no longer involved in the process, he would like to see the ordinance return to previously agreed-upon districts.

“I still have a problem with having (short-term rentals allowed) throughout the entire city,” he said. “I think we needed to keep it within those districts that were only allowed the short-term rental. This allows us to go back to that and not have an issue, because the county is not the one that was issuing the license right off the bat.”

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In other action Monday, the council:

  • Received public comment on the implementation of body worn cameras by the city’s police department. No members of the public spoke.
  • Adopted a formal speed study policy to govern future speed studies. The policy requires studies be under the jurisdiction of the city and that the streets in question be classified as an easement for city use and/or maintenance and have residential or commercial land use.
  • Adopted the city’s fee schedule for 2023. Changes include increasing dog licenses from $10 to $20, golf cart permits from $15 to $20 and a quarterly increase on sewer charges from $70 to $75.

In November, the Breezy Point Police Department responded to 247 incidents — a decrease of 16 from November 2021. Among the incidents were 129 traffic stops, seven traffic arrests, seven crashes, one theft and one fire.
The meeting was the final council meeting for Mayor Todd Roggenkamp and council members Bakken and Tom Lillehei. The three were presented with certificates of appreciation from City Administrator David Chanski.

Dan Determan, sports writer/staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5879 or dan.determan@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Dan.

Related Topics: BREEZY POINTBREEZY POINT CITY COUNCILGOVERNMENT AND POLITICSTAXES
Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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