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After removing a last-minute, $12,000 budget item to avoid a tax rate increase, the Pequot Lakes City Council approved a 2019 budgets and tax levies Tuesday, Dec. 4. Approved on a 4-1 vote was a total tax levy of $1,699,185, which is a 3.75 percent increase over this year's total tax levy. The full impact to property owners includes the general revenue tax levy of $1,678,265 plus the tax abatement levy for Pequot Lakes Supervalu of $20,920, for a total levy amount of $1,699,185. That's $61,400 more than this year's total levy.
Highway 371 in Pequot Lakes may get another billboard to promote city businesses and events. The Pequot Lakes City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 4, approved an ordinance amendment to expand the offsite sign overlay district to include an 11.27-acre parcel of commercially zoned land that Robert Rickard, of Stellar Properties, LLC, owns along Highway 371. The planning commission recommended approval.
About 30 people learned more about what improvements could be made to Rasmussen Road in Pequot Lakes when they attended an open house Tuesday, Nov. 27, at the Cole Memorial Building. The Pequot Lakes City Council has identified Rasmussen Road - or the former County Road 112/former Old Highway 371 - as needing improvements. Widseth Smith Nolting, the city's engineering firm, completed an improvement study, and maps with possible improvements were revealed Nov. 27 for residents to look at and share comments and ideas.
Unassigned funds that total just over $4.6 million may be tapped to help reduce the tax burden on Nisswa residents. At a budget workshop Tuesday, Nov. 27, the Nisswa City Council again considered its 2019 budget and general revenue tax levy. The proposed levy currently is $2,342,653, or 8.71 percent higher than this year's levy. Employee wage increases and bonds issued for road improvements equate to a 5.22 percent levy hike, which the council can't change.
Lake Shore will not build a new city hall in 2019, and city council members will ask the League of Minnesota Cities to help council members work more collaboratively toward goals. The council made three key decisions at a budget workshop Wednesday, Nov. 28: • To take $108,000 that was earmarked to pay interest on bonds out of the 2019 budget. • To keep an extra $200,000 for road improvements in the 2019 budget. • To welcome a League of Minnesota Cities representative to visit Lake Shore to help council members work together. No bonds
Bar Harbor Supper Club and Zorbaz on Gull may sponsor a fireworks display at 10 p.m. New Year's Eve after receiving Lake Shore City Council approval. The operator is AOP Pyrotechnics-Sheldon Speaker. Speaker told the council Monday, Nov. 26, that a midnight fireworks show had been discussed, but Police Chief Steve Sundstrom said the city would get noise complaints at that time. He was fine with a 10 p.m. show. Pohl Road
The Lake Shore City Council is taking steps to tackle problems associated with the rise of short-term vacation rentals in the city, commonly known as VRBOs (vacation rental by owner).
Since becoming Nisswa's mayor in 2017, Fred Heidmann has addressed where he lives a couple of times. The most recent brief discussion took place at the Tuesday, Nov. 20, city council meeting. Council member Ross Krautkremer had requested that Heidmann provide proof of his residency.
After hearing from residents that the Highway 371-County Road 29 intersection is dangerous, the Pequot Lakes City Council asked that the Minnesota Department of Transportation look at it and get back to the council on what could possibly be done.
Big city projects likely will be scaled back as the Pequot Lakes City Council continues to try to reduce the 2019 budget and resulting general revenue tax levy. A street and utility improvements project, Trailside Park project and Rasmussen Road improvement project were big-ticket items the council addressed at a budget work session Wednesday, Nov. 14, among other miscellaneous items. After discussion and failed votes, the direction ultimately was to scale back the first two projects and obtain new cost estimates before making a final decision.