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Crosslake Council Sets Preliminary 2024 Levy at $5 Million

Web posted September 19, 2023
By Paul Boblett

The Crosslake City Council approved their preliminary 2023 Tax Levy Collectible in 2024 at just over $5 million at their regular monthly meeting held Monday, September 11.

The approved resolution for the preliminary Levy totals $5,098.450 that includes: General Property taxes $3,918,588; 2024 Sewer Operation Levy $188,027; EDA $18,100; GO Sewer Revenue Improvement Bonds 2017A $118,608; GO Reconstruction Bonds Series 2018A $99,100; GO CIP Bonds Series 2019A $309,100; GO Equipment Certificates Series 2021A $144,375; GO Equipment Certificates Series 2022A $125,875; GO Special Assessment Bonds Roads 2022A $40,784; and GO Sewer Bonds 2022A $135,893.

The levy reflects a city tax rate of 19.86 percent, down from 27.46 percent in 2022. The 2024 levy is up from a final levy amount of $4,467,112 last year.

Adoption of the final Levy is due the end of December 2023, and the amount can be reduced, but not increased per state law.

City to contract with MMUA for safety training
The council heard about a complaint regarding four hazards at the Crosslake Wastewater Treatment Plant on August 9, 2023.

On August 10, there was a ‘no advanced’ inspection of the plant and as well as the city’s safety inspection records.

Following the site visits, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Minnesota OSHA (MN OSHA) noted that they found only one of the complaints to be valid; for an extension cord being used as permanent wiring. This was deemed a non-serious violation and carried a $150 fine.

It was stated at Monday’s meeting, that staff has since purchased fans with longer electric cables to extension cords will no long be used. In a memo from city staff, it was noted by MN OSHA that the city currently has no formal Safety Committee which is a serious violation and carried a $300 fine.

As a result, the city has been fined a total $450 for the two violations.

The memo includes a recommendation to contract with Minnesota Multiple Utilities Association for safety training for the remainder of 2023 and all of 2024, which is included in the budget.

The council agreed to contract with MMUA at an estimated flat fee of $5,000 for 2023, and $14,219.00 which includes a one day per month on-site visit to meet with safety committee, which will be designated by September 25, 2023. That date coincides with the abatement deadline for the MN OSHA fines that total $450.

It was noted that the police and fire departments perform their own safety training, the contract with MMUA is for the remainder of city staff.

MMUA representative Mike Willetts presented information to the council at their regular meeting in July.

IT, Network Security Upgrade
Following a lengthy and sometimes confusing presentation by cyber security specialist Kelvin Daniels of Xtona, the recently renamed subsidiary of Consolidated Telephone’s network security department, the council agreed to several upgrades and a changeover to a new, more secure domain.

Daniels told council the first thing the city needs to do is for the Police Department to be brought in to network and security compliance by switching to the Government Community Cloud immediately.

Daniels told the council that failure to do so could mean that Crosslake PD would not be able to connect to the BCA or the Criminal Justice Information Service (CJIS)

City Administrator Mike Lyonais explained the changes in a September 12 email: “For the City to be in compliance, we will be implementing the Government Community Cloud (GCC) requirements. What that
means is for the City to adhere to the (FBI’s) CJIS Security Policy, we will be implementing system security upgrades for our email system along with other software upgrades to ensure compliance along with necessary security enhancements.”

Lyonais stated that the Police Department will be done first and then the city will roll the similar required upgrades to the remaining non-police users.

Lyonais confirmed the costs for Microsoft Exchange Online (Plan 1) for GCC along with Office 365 GCC G3 (Government) cost is $8,125, with an ongoing monthly subscription for all licensed users is estimated at $554/month.

For the security upgrade side of the improvements, including X Spam Secure, X MFA Secure, X Mail Secure, X Mail Continuity, X DNS – the initial on-boarding is $250 and will carry a monthly subscription cost of $471/month. Monthly subscription costs will vary each month as the number of users will increase or decrease each month.

Public Safety
• The Crosslake Police Department reported 328 calls for August 2023 in Crosslake that included 96 traffic warnings, 35 medicals, 25 agency assists and 19 public assists. In Mission Township, Crosslake PD reported 63 calls including 41 traffic warnings and eight citations.

• Crosslake Fire reported 52 total incidents for August 2023 that included 34 medicals, one grass fire, and eight service calls. Fire Chief Chip Lohmiller presented a short video for council on wildland/urban fire protection planning and told council that Crosslake Fire was selected to be one of six to attend a national conference in Lake Tahoe in October.

• North Ambulance reported a total of 108 call outs in August 2023.

In other council action:

• Accepted donations from Roger Schwieters - $50 for Police Department; Crosslake Firefighter’s Relief Association. - $94.36 Sauna expenses; Four donations from the Park and Library (PAL) Foundation - $105 for Bridge Club, $770.24 memorial bench, $1,780 Fun IN the Park programming, and $4,522.33 for the Pine River Overlook Park

• Approved the feasibility study from the Lake Foundation for a pedestrian/non-motorized trail that will serve as a connection from the paved trail that currently ends at Perkins Road and County Road 103, to the paved trail that currently ends on the north side of Sand Pointe Drive and County Road 3. The study was done by engineering firm Widseth Smith Nolting and at no cost to taxpayers. The cost for the project would be around $2 million and provide 1.7 miles of trails;

• Approved the Data Practices Policy for the public;

• Approved a Drug, Alcohol and Cannabis Testing and Drug-Free Workplace Act Policy for Non-Commercial Drivers;

• Approved a Parks and Recreation recommendation for HVAC replacement at the Community Center in the amount of $23,275 from Thelen Heating and Roofing;

• Approved a bid from Croix Management to repair the landscape berm at the Community Center in the amount of $8,513. Parks Director TJ Graumann told council that city staff did the preliminary work to remove old mulch, landscape fabric, shrubs and edged the area, saving the city around $10,000;

• Approved a Parks and Recreation commission recommendation to mark 16 city owned Right of Ways (ROWs). The ROWs will have signage and adjacent landowners will be notified;

• Approved placing the used surplus Polaris Ranger UTV on govdeals.com. One bid was received for the unit, and was under the minimum price;

• Approved advertising for a Joint PW/Park Maintenance Technician Position around $18.50 per hour.

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