BE City Council sets 2022 levy at $ 1,795,033 | News, Sports, Jobs

Blue Earth City Council has approved funding for the purchase of a new 2021 # 332 main pump for the Blue Earth Fire Department. Firefighter Jim Wirkus is pictured with the new truck, above.

Blue Earth’s city council wrapped up a busy year at its last regular meeting scheduled for 2021 on Monday, December 20 at 5 p.m. ET.

As usual, an important item on the agenda was setting the 2022 property tax for the city of Blue Earth. Although the board discussed and tentatively decided on a levy amount at its previous meeting on December 6, it decided to postpone the official vote until December 20.

The council voted unanimously to set Blue Earth’s 2022 property tax at $ 1,795,033.64, which is a 4.1% technical increase over last year’s tax.

Council members were keen to make it clear that most citizens of Blue Earth will actually feel the effects of a 3.5% increase.

New properties recently developed by the city, like the duplexes it recently built in collaboration with the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA), have become sources of property taxes.

“This is an increase of $ 11,000 over what we were getting before” Mayor Rick Scholtes explained.

Taking these additional funds into account, the board increases the levy to a mathematical increase of 4.1%. However, this portion of the tax increase will have little or no impact on the general population of Blue Earth.

“It’s our way of capitalizing on what we have, of making sure we have the funds we need in our budget” Scholtes reasoned.

The council addressed other financial matters by passing a litany of agreements and resolutions that were needed to facilitate funding via grants for new public works equipment.

A USDA Community Facilities Grant will provide funding in the amount of $ 64,500 for a Bobcat compact track loader, while the remainder of the cost of the equipment will be covered by a USDA loan in the amount of $ 52. $ 916. The total cost of the equipment will be $ 117,416.

The board also reviewed agreements and resolutions related to the Blue Earth Fire Department’s purchase of an all-new fire truck, a 2021 Main Pump No. 332.

The new truck will replace the existing 1982 Ford 8000 City Pumper from the Fire Department.

The City will receive a community equipment grant in the amount of $ 55,000 to help finance the purchase of the fire truck, which will amount to a total cost of $ 555,000.

The city plans to finance the remainder of the cost with a federal loan of $ 450,000 borrowed at an interest rate of 2.165%, which will be repaid over 20 years.

In addition to finalizing funding for the new fire truck, the council also approved the Blue Earth Fire Department to sell its surplus property, the old 1982 Ford 8000 City Pumper, on the MN-Bid site.

An additional case the council addressed on Monday evening stretches beyond 2021 in years past.

The Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) sent a letter to city council expressing concerns after council objected to an EDA recommendation regarding the local Three Sisters project on Blue Earth’s Main Street.

EDA has indicated its intention to no longer provide recommendations to council regarding city-owned properties, unless EDA is the registered owner of said property.

The city council presented a divided response to the correspondence.

Board member Glenn Gaylord said, “I thought I was doing you a favor (at the EDA). It was deadlocked, in my opinion. You were overwhelmed with everything you were doing for this project. This allows you to work on other projects. 

Board member John Huisman disagreed, reminding the board that he voted against the motion. “It happened very quickly”he noted. “I don’t think everyone has a clear understanding of the situation. “ 

Scholtes, who was absent at the time of the vote, agreed, saying: “I feel like if I had been here you wouldn’t have made the decision you made.” Everything went without discussion. “ 

EDA Board Member Bill Rosenau concluded: “Many EDA members were unhappy with the time we spent visiting these buildings over the past few years. We want and need a cooperative relationship with the City, but we just want a clearer relationship with how we are to manage our time in the future. “ 

Other issues discussed by Blue Earth City Council on December 20 included:

• Hold a public hearing for the property located at 405 N. Moore Street, which is owned by Andres Pascual Andres and Noeli Carolina Garcia Ortega.

Council had received numerous complaints about unusable and unsafe furniture, furnishings and appliances stored on the property’s lawn rather than housed in a building. As such, the city had found that the owners had violated subsection 510.02 of the Blue Earth City Code.

At the end of the hearing, city council passed a motion requiring Andres to remove furniture that violates city codes from his lawn by January 1 of next year.

Office specialist Tammy Davis has also set up a meeting with Andres on December 21, where she will make it clear which elements of the property are in violation of the city code.

• Acceptance of a letter of resignation from Devin Stephens, employee of the Public Works Department.

• Receive updates from City Engineer Wes Brown regarding the Safe Routes to School project. Previously, the project had been put on hold due to the clearance process for a level crossing near Leland Parkway.

Brown said he was recently able to secure a deal from the railroad that could be executed to move the licensing process forward.

• Accept the terms of the Bolton & Menk 2022 General Engineering Agreement with the City of Blue Earth.

• Approve several resolutions and annual agreements, including a resolution to participate in the Law Enforcement Support Office program for the Blue Earth Police Department, and the Joint Powers Agreement of the Unit. south central drug investigation.

• Opened a closed session during which a discussion took place on the purchase price of two lots located in the Prairie View Subdivision. No decision was taken during the meeting.

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