by Lorrie Ham
The St. Boni City Council approved a preliminary tax levy for 2014 in the amount of $604,326, which represents a 7.7 percent decrease from the 2013 levy of $654,733.
Mayor Rick Weible outlined the highlights of the proposed 2014 budget. The city will receive an increase of $46,000 in Local Government Aid (LGA) from the state. In an effort to provide property tax relief to residents, as recommended by the state government, the council opted to reduce the proposed tax levy by the net difference.
The council has also proposed transferring money from the General Fund to both the water and sanitary sewer funds in order to prevent increases in residents’ water and sewer bills. Both police and fire protection contracts will see slight decreases next year.
Increases in public works capital outlay, bonded indebtedness for ongoing city projects, city staff wages and replacement of Main Street sidewalks are also proposed for the 2014 budget.
“This is the beginning of the budget process,” said Weible, who invited public input during the budget discussions. While the proposed levy can be reduced prior to final certification, it can not be increased. The city’s final levy must be certified to Hennepin County in early December.
In other business, the council:
• accepted the resignation of Walton Bishop as the city’s alternate representative to the Lake Minnetonka Cable Commission. Councilmember Joe Arwood is the city’s other representative on the commission. Weible encouraged members of the public to notify the city if they are interested in serving.
• approved a payment request in the amount of $24,840.53 to Di-Mar Construction. This payment represents the final pay request and project closeout for the St. Boni Water Treatment Facility improvements.
• approved the first payment request to Wm. Mueller & Sons, Inc., in the amount of $432,275.83 for the 2013 street improvement project. Cost of the entire street project is $1,324,136.68 following the council’s approval of an $18,543 change order for sanitary sewer manhole improvements.