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Nisswa: Preliminary tax levy approved; goal is to lower it

The Nisswa City Council on Wednesday, Sept. 20, approved a preliminary 2018 tax levy of $2,204,635, which is 7.4 percent ($152,283) higher than this year's tax levy.

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The Nisswa City Council on Wednesday, Sept. 20, approved a preliminary 2018 tax levy of $2,204,635, which is 7.4 percent ($152,283) higher than this year's tax levy.

That total includes $1,767,730 for the general property tax levy; $90,185 for general obligation street reconstruction bond for the County Road 18/Highway 371 realignment project; $186,947 for general obligation capital improvement plan bond for the city hall building; and $158,963 for general obligation street reconstruction bond for various road improvements.

City Administrator/Clerk Jenny Max said the council can continue to work to lower that levy over the next several months. Before final adoption in December, the council can lower - but not raise - the preliminary tax levy.

Main reasons for the increase include saving more for road projects and incorporating a wage compensation study that factors in wage adjustments to bring employees to current rates, and the city still has two union contracts to settle, Max said.

Council members indicated they were OK with the numbers because they are preliminary. A goal is to hold the levy increase to between 2 percent and 4 percent.

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Council members Don Jacobson and Ross Krautkremer reiterated that the council would further discuss the numbers with the goal of reducing the preliminary tax levy before final adoption in December.

The council will hold a truth in taxation meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20, before the council's regular meeting, for residents to comment on the proposed budget and tax levy before the council adopts it.

Council member Gary Johnson was absent from the meeting.

Comprehensive plan

The city's updated comprehensive plan will be submitted to Crow Wing County on Oct. 2. The county will have 60 days to review and provide feedback to the city.

The final plan should be presented to the council in December or January.

Public safety

In August, police had 266 calls for service and 52 agency assists, issued 120 traffic warnings, 18 traffic citations and 14 criminal citations, and made 10 arrests.

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In August, the fire department had 30 calls, including 20 emergency medical service calls, six fire alarms, one fire call and three car accidents.

In other business Sept. 20, the council:

• Agreed to buy new computers and accessories for the clerk department for $4,195.

• Approved a provisional liquor license agreement with Bob Johnson and Chris Foy for the restaurant being built next to the post office - the Broken Oar.

• Discussed the council chambers audio equipment and possible improvements.

• Agreed to rezone 14.84 acres of property west of Roy Road and south of Dullum Circle from Open Space Residential to Shoreland Residential, at the request of Ted Dullum.

• Heard from Dale Goodhue, a West Linden Boulevard resident, who said people on that road are concerned about Grand View Lodge's plan to use septic systems for a new development. He said 20 years ago the city decided to protect the environment and get rid of septic systems, and the residents of West Linden Boulevard bought into that, and there are wetlands nearby.

• Held a closed session for union negotiations status.

Related Topics: NISSWANISSWA CITY COUNCIL
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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