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Emily Council Approves 2019 Budget

Web posted January 15, 2019
By Bill Monroe, Northland Press Correspondent

(Editor’s Note: The following articlewas written from the unapproved minutes of a meeting of the Emily City Council held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 as provided by the City Clerk.)

The Emily City Council approved the city’s 2019 budget when it met in regular session Tuesday, December 11. Members present included Mayor Roger Lund and council members Dan Barrett, Gerhart Hanson, Jan Mosman, and Bill Spiess. Also present were City Clerk and Treasurer Cari Johnson and Deputy Clerk Pam Roden.

Mayor Lund presided over a Truth in Taxation Public Hearing to review the proposed budget. Clerk Johnson presented a summary of the budget. The proposed General Fund Budget is balanced at $1,181,400.96. The proposed Sewer Fund Budget is balanced at $124,490 with a planned sale of investment of $47,340 from the 602 Sewer Fund. The proposed General Fund Budget is an increase of one percent from 2018. The proposed final levy is $1,000,100.96, which is a two percent increase from 2018. Budgeted 2019 projects include building a maintenance shop, replacement of Emily Dam Bridge beams, purchase of a grass rig for the Fire and First Responder Departments, and replacement of turnout gear for the Fire Department.

The balances of the Debt Service Funds allow for 2019 bond payments, except for the 304 Debt Service Fund for the 2014 Road Improvements Bond. A transfer is needed from the 100 General Fund to the 304 Debt Service Fund in December, 2018 of $26,608 to bring the 304 Debt Service Fund to a positive balance for the end of 2018. A transfer of $21,183 will be needed from the 100 General Fund to the 304 Debt Service Fund in 2019 to provide adequate funds for 2019 bond payments, which is included in the proposed 2019 General Fund Budget. Kent Rees commented that the City Truth in Taxation and Crow Wing County Proposed Property Taxes meetings were scheduled on the same date and time. Rees’ property tax increase is higher than the two percent preliminary city tax levy increase. The city has no influence over county property tax assessments. Rees recommended the council make adjustments to rectify the government inconsistencies between the city tax levy and Crow Wing County property tax assessment amounts.

Later in the meeting, the council approved the budget.

Maintenance Shop Discussion
Guest speakers Kellie Erickson and Chris Arenz of Gordian, and Chris Otto of Nor-Son Construction, attended the meeting regarding the planned building of a new city maintenance shop. Gordian has a cooperative contract with Sourcewell for administration of construction contracts. The streamlined construction process would allow the city to work on the construction of a maintenance shop with a qualified contractor using Sourcewell’s government contract. Sourcewell awards contracts based on the lowest responsive responsible bidder. Nor-Son Construction has completed Sourcewell’s competitive bidding process. Nor-Son Construction’s pricing was pre-established at the time of the bids. Nor-Son Construction will rework the estimated costs for the construction based on Sourcewell’s pricing. The construction costs should be similar. Nor-Son Construction would need to lock in the price for the metal building within the next month.

The location of the shop has moved to city property east of the prior location, which may allow for connection to city sewer instead of installation of a septic system. The original budget bid estimate called for the shop to be constructed in phases. There would be a cost savings in project management and supervision for the city to build the shop in one phase. The rough estimate for the construction timeframe would be six weeks for the metal building and concrete with 10 to 12 weeks total for the dirt work, electricity, septic system installation or sewer hookup and well drilling. The construction start date would be after frost is out. Arenz will meet with Councilmember Spiess to work on details of the planned construction.

When Sourcewell bids and awards contracts, it builds in administrative fees. The city would not contract with Gordian, but would only contract with Nor- Son Construction. Gordian would administer the contract on behalf of Sourcewell. Nor-Son Construction would pay the administration fee to Gordian and Gordian would pay Sourcewell. Nor-Son Construction’s price proposal would already have Gordian’s fees built in. Gordian’s fees will be included in the updated price proposal from Nor-Son Construction, which will use Gordian’s software and Sourcewell’s pricing. Gordian’s software was not used for the prior budget bid estimate.

Liquor License Request
Wade Vangsness, Lake Country Foods, attended the meeting regarding a 2019 Off Sale Intoxicating Liquor License. A 2018 Off Sale Intoxicating Liquor License application had been approved by the city and sent to the state. The state was not able to issue the 2018 liquor license because Lake Country Foods did not complete the liquor store addition to the grocery store. Lake Country Foods has been granted a variance and had the property surveyed on December 3. Vangsness requested the city reserve the Off Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for Lake Country Foods for 2019. The license cannot be renewed for 2019 because it was not approved by the state. Lake Country Foods needs to reapply for the Off Sale Intoxicating Liquor License for 2019. The city no longer holds a lottery for available liquor licenses.

Fire Department Purchase
The council approved a recommendation of the Emily Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a Polaris Ranger Crew ATV grass rig for $53,077.88 which will be equipped for use by the Fire and First Responder personnel. The four person ATV will include the following attachments: water tank, foam tank, hose reel, backboard, extra seat in the back near the backboard, tracks, and tires. The ATV will be purchased through a Sourcewell government-only contractor using Sourcewell’s pricing. The company would take 120 days to build the ATV. The city could purchase a trailer, preferably aluminum, for the ATV while the ATV is being built. The purchase will be made using 50 percent Fire Department and 50 percent First Responder funds. Research is needed regarding whether First Responders may also drive the vehicle.

Planning and Zoning
Council Liaison Spiess reported a Public Hearing will be held on Thursday, December 27 at 6 p.m. for the Planning Commission to hear comments, consider, and make a recommendation regarding the codified Land Use and Subdivision and Floodplain Management Ordinances.

Council Liaison Spiess reported Land Use and Subdivision Ordinance No. 906, 2nd Series Amendment includes addition of a commercial storage use definition, modification of the use chart to include commercial storage facilities, modification for extractive uses, and modification of extractive use special provisions. The council approved the amendment.

Snow Removal
There was a discussion regarding removal of snow in the State Highway 6 parking zones. The Minnesota Department of Transportation is responsible for plowing the parking zones, but parking zones are not a priority. The Council made the decision for maintenance personnel to remove snow from the fog line to the back of the sidewalk as soon as possible after snowfall for safety. The snow will need to be loaded and hauled away.

Thank Yous
The council thanked councilmembers Jan Mosman and Dan Barrett for their years of service on the council. Councilmember Mosman reported grant funds and expertise are available, including for alternative energy for new construction or repair of current buildings.

Chairperson Christine Roos submitted a report stating the Park Commission is currently working on the following items: bids for the tennis courts, costs of a restroom in the City Park, researching the possibility of a city beach, researching for a band shelter in City Park, and finding costs for replacement of basketball poles and hoops for outside City Hall. Council Liaison Mosman reported it is difficult to obtain multiple bids for resurfacing of the tennis courts. The tennis courts are located on parcels the city has conditional use deeds for. The conditional use for the east side is recreational, but the conditional use for the west side is for the Fire Hall. The Fire Hall conditional use deed should have included recreational use because the tennis courts were located on the property. A Crow Wing County representative stated the tennis courts may be maintained or resurfaced even though the property is owned by the state and used by the city.

Housing Rehabilitation
John Schommer of the Brainerd Housing Rehabilitation Administration (HRA), said the contract between the state Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Emily has been approved for the Small Cities Development Program owner-occupied housing rehabilitation projects. The contract is for $229,000 in housing rehabilitation, which includes up to $20,000 for ten owneroccupied homes and $29,000 for Brainerd HRA to administer the housing rehabilitation program. The effective date of the DEED contract is June 27, 2018, but the contract was received December 10, 2018. The program end date has not changed in spite of the delay. The environmental review process needs to be completed before housing rehabilitation projects may begin. Brainerd HRA included the environmental review and pre-application process and will include the final applications process and scopes of work. Requests for letters of interest were mailed to demonstrate a need for housing rehabilitations. Pre-applications were received for 31 properties. There is a minimal chance the housing rehabilitation funds will not be exhausted on the 31 properties on the preapplication list. Schommer stated Brainerd HRA maintains a contractor list. The homeowners are encouraged to get their own bids using local licensed general contractors. The housing rehabilitation program is not for remodeling, unless there are requirements for ADA accessibility. Schommer anticipates funding will be received by the end of January. At that time Brainerd HRA will send letters to the first ten people on the  list to fill out the final application. After receiving the final application and necessary paperwork, Brainerd HRA will determine the scope of work, which could include replacement of windows, roof and so on using DEED’s housing standards.

Brainerd HRA also administers an additional program, Rehabilitation Loan Program through the Minnesota
Housing and Finance Agency, with lower income guidelines. The council approved the contract between Emily  and the Brainerd HRA.

Other Business
In other business, the council:
*Approved renewal of a police protection agreement between Emily and Little Pine Township at the rate of $35 an hour for four hours per month;

*Approved continuing to work with Ritter and Ritter for sewer jetting and televising services;

*Approved spending up to $5,000 for Quality Fabricating to repair the city’s dump truck;

*Voted to hire Pike Plumbing and Heating to install a valve on the hall kitchen radiator City Hall for $874;

*Appointed Jason Roos to a second term on the Park Commission and *Set a public hearing for Thursday,  January 3, 2019 at 6 p.m. regarding the proposed codified Code of Ordinances and Fee Schedule Ordinance.

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