Crosslake Council sets 2014 preliminary levy
Web posted September 17, 2013
By Paul Boblett, Editor
The Crosslake City Council approved the 2014 preliminary tax levy at the amount of $2.8 million at their regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 9.
The amount of the levy can be further reduced but not increased before the final budget is approved, which is required by Dec. 31, 2013.
The 2013 final tax levy was $2,709,916.
Included in this year’s preliminary levy is $2,188,747 for General Property Tax, $23,000 for the Economic Development Authority, 2006 Series B in the amount of $135,746, and 2012 Series A in the amount of $452,507.
Mayor Schneider said that Crosslake taxpayers would be receiving a tax notice based on preliminary budget sometime in November, after Crow Wing County has calculated the tax capacity for cities.
Council set a public meeting date concerning the levy for Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7 pm. This is a public input meeting, formerly called the Truth in Taxation hearing.
Planning and Zoning
Council directed the Planning and Zoning Commission to research vehicle and equipment sales at the former site of The Exchange Bar and Grill on County Road 66.
The site has been vacant since fire destroyed the building in 2008.
Ken Anderson, Community Development Director, asked for council direction in the matter of used vehicles being sold in the vacant lot formerly occupied by The Exchange Bar and Grill on CR 66.
Anderson told council the commission is looking for direction, and that the concern is that it’s a vacant site, with anywhere from 12-20 vehicles at any given time.
John Moengen said he felt it is important to contact the property owner to find out any intentions going forward with the property, and to determine who, if anyone, is benefiting financially.
Moengen added that the lot is a key piece of property for the community and it would be good to take a look at it, and ask what kind of use do we want moving forward.
“As we’ve talked about, there is no management [of the property], [it’s] all random,” said Schneider, he noted safety concerns and that there is no contact information on site.
The P&Z commission will research the issue and come back to council with further recommendations that could include ordinance changes or enforcement action.
• Council recognized, by motion, a unanimous recommendation from the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commission to direct staff to inform Gordon and Alma Siemers, property owners of 35724 County Road 3, that their Conditional Use Permit has expired, which was modified by extension, and no further work associated with the permit shall be allowed.
Anderson previously tried contacting the property owners of the uncompleted car wash with no success; council concluded that no further written communication was required.
• Council requested a Crow Wing County Land Services Department presentation be given concerning the local comprehensive Water Plan. Anderson told council he will invite Water Protection Specialist Mitch Brinks to visit the council’s first meeting in October.
• Council member Mark Wessels reported that the first meeting with Crow Wing County Land Services to explore what the county can do for the city concerning Planning and Zoning. A second meeting is planned
Parks, Recreation and Library
Parks Director Jon Henke gave an update on the Kitchigami Regional Library System’s desire to have the Crosslake Area Library become a branch library.
Henke explained that if that happened, the library hours would be reduced from 35 hours per week to 25.
In his staff report dated Sept. 4, Henke wrote, “The Crosslake Area Library is very happy with our current relationship with the regional system... We are providing KRLS with a very efficient and cost effective way to deliver materials to their patrons at a very low cost…”
Henke also wrote, “there are benefits and drawbacks from joining the regional system, but currently the drawbacks outweigh the benefits when it comes to operations, local control, and the involvement of local volunteers.”
Council, by motion, unanimously recommended to the Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners to consider the approval of a resolution to utilize KRLS funds dedicated for library use in Crow Wing County to fund materials in the amount of $5,000 for the years 2014-2016.
Crosslake Police reported 275 calls for service in August in the City of Crosslake, that included 105 traffic warnings, 37 agency assists, and 25 EMS calls. In Mission Township, the department reported 44 calls in August.
The Crosslake Fire Department reported 29 calls for August, including 23 medicals.
In other council action:
• Approved a plan for the parking lot at the community center, making it one-way.
• Withheld a $10,000 retainage for Anderson Brothers concerning work on the newly completed tennis courts at the community center. Henke presented United States Tennis Association guidelines for drainage and standing water on tennis courts and explained that standing water depth should not exceed a depth of than a nickel, at 70 degrees with direct sunlight. He said it has not exceeded that but he wanted to test it again by flooding the courts for before coming back to council.
• Accepted a Whitefish Area Lions donation of $100 for the community center’s annual children’s Halloween party. Also accepted donations of $200 for software license renewal, and from the Parks and Library Foundation, $130.60 for rain garden plantings and $2137.17 for the Children’s Library Program.
• Budgeted $50,000 to look into expanding the sewer system.
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