Despite contention from one council member and a few city residents, the Lake Shore City Council agreed 4-1 to proceed with bonding to fund the 2020 and 2021 roads projects as outlined in the city’s capital improvement plan.
Those roads potentially include Jacobs Road, Port View Road West, Pamela Drive, Wienzel Point Road and Ebert Road.
Council member John Terwilliger cast the “no” vote Monday, Nov. 25.
“Even if you borrow a million dollars over 10 years, that’s $80,000 interest over 10 years,” Terwilliger said, adding there’s an additional estimated $150,000 to pay to a consulting firm. “Two years down the road, what do you do? Borrow more? I don’t think we need to do this.”
Terwilliger said Portview Road residents offered to pay to improve their road, and he thinks a $500,000 estimate to repair Jacobs Road is too much.
Mayor Kevin Egan said the idea of bonding is controversial in Lake Shore. That’s not so in other towns where bonding for road improvements is common, he said.
Resident Bob Grussendorf asked how much money the city has in its reserve fund, saying the city could compromise by using a combination of reserve funds and bonding to pay for road repairs. City Administrator Teri Hastings said the city has $1.3 million, but some of that money is designated to assigned funds.
Scott Flategraff and Mitch Crocker voiced their displeasure at the idea of bonding for roads, also saying cost estimates were too high.
“Aren’t you supposed to listen to us?” Crocker asked.
Council member Wayne Anderson said the big issue with Jacobs Road is that the road base must be redone.
Egan urged the residents to attend committee meetings, where these issues are talked about for hours.
“Committee meetings are where the public can share input. The council now has a recommendation from a city committee,” he said.
The city’s road/wastewater committee recommended the council proceed with bonding for roads in those two years. The committee talked about the need to issue an estimated $1.26 million in bonds for this road work.
The council also agreed to proceed with the chipsealing program outlined in the city’s capital improvement plan. This will be done in conjunction with Crow Wing County. Roads to be done in 2020 include Pohl, Point Narrows and Whitstrom roads.
Chipsealing will be done on asphalt that was installed within the past couple of years to extend the road surface life. In 2021, roads proposed for chipsealing include Bass Lake Road, Bass Lake Trail and Schaeffers Point Road.
The proposed budget for this work in 2020 is $33,000 and in 2021 is $29,000, according to road committee meeting minutes.
The council met Monday, Dec. 2, to take another look at the proposed 2020 budget and general revenue tax levy. Council consensus was that it can’t cut any more from the budget to reduce the tax levy any further.
The council’s most recent proposed levy stands at $1,284,778, which is $12,477 less than the preliminary levy the council adopted in September. Council consensus was that Hastings and City Clerk Patti McDonald prepared a reasonable budget in tough times.
“You have a one and a half million dollar budget that doesn’t appear to have fluff in it,” Egan said.
Council member Krista Knudsen said that while she wasn’t totally happy with the proposed budget and levy, the council is unable to come up with changes.
The council will hear from the public at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23, regarding the proposed 2020 budget and levy, and then will approve both at its regular meeting that night.
Regarding bonding for road projects, Egan said the city likely will be borrowing regularly because that’s how cities pay for infrastructure. That’s more attractive than applying direct levy funds to pay for a third of the city budget, he said, adding bonding for road projects also spreads out road maintenance to everyone who lives in the city.
Knudsen said the city must have a plan to get ahead of and stay ahead of the game when it comes to road improvements.
Council member Doug Miller wasn’t present at this budget meeting.
Police reported 107 incidents in October, including 68 traffic-related incidents and 39 miscellaneous calls for service.
Traffic incidents included 55 traffic warnings, five traffic citations and one motor vehicle non-injury crash. Miscellaneous calls included four suspicious activity reports and one each property damage complaint, theft complaint, assault complaint and obstructing legal process.
In other business Nov. 25, the council:
Designated Lake Shore City Hall as the city’s polling place.
Agreed to close city hall Tuesday, Dec. 24, and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 30-31. The council also closed city hall Friday, Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving.
Appointed Robert Toborg to the city’s board of adjustment/planning and zoning commission beginning in January.
Learned the city issued 11 land-use permits in October for a total valuation of $1,218,265.