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Paynesville Press - January 2, 2002

City council holds year-end meeting

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 26. •The council approved adopting its 2002 budget and tax levy. The city's budget increased by 4.9 percent to $1,399,513 in 2002, but its tax levy dropped 8.9 percent to $430,614. The city will receive $93,000 more in state aid in 2002 to make it possible to cut taxes and increase spending.

2002 Revenue
Tax Levy $430,614
Local Government Aid $577,093
Other Revenue $364,306
Liquor Store Transfer $27,500
TOTAL $1,399,513

2002 Expenditures
General Government $341,143
Public Safety $409,568
Recreation and Community Services $119,515
Public Works $250,164
Sanitation $31,710
Debt Service $154,100
Transfers $42,904
Miscellaneous $50,409
TOTAL $1,399,513

• The council approved new sewer and water rates for 2002. The flat rate for the first 2,000 gallons of water or sewer service will stay the same: $13.63 for water and $15.98 for sewer. The city is raising its bulk water and sewer rates by 5Ę per 1,000 gallons beyond the first 2,000 gallons. Homeowners and businesses that use between 2,001 and 99,000 gallons of water per year will now pay $1.48 per thousand gallons, up from $1.43. Bulk users using between 100,000 and 500,000 gallons will now pay $1.43 per thousand gallons, up from $1.38. And bulk users using over 500,000 gallons will now pay $1.42 per thousand gallons, up from $1.37. Bulk sewer rates, above 2,000 gallons, will increase a nickel per thousand gallons, from $1.74 per thousand gallons to $1.79.

• The council approved an economic development loan of $156,000 for Avon Plastics Inc. for the expansion of its Master Mark Plastics plant in Paynesville.

• The council approved disbursement of $33,076 to Avon Plastics, Inc., from its terminated TIF district. The company is allowed to use 25 percent of the excess revenue from the district to pay for work not related to the district. It will use the funds to prepay part of its $156,000 loan from the city for site improvements, including the addition of a railroad spur.

• The council approved an economic development loan to the Nelson Land Partnership for the construction of a 6,400-square foot addition to Nelson Plastics in the Industrial Park. EDAP approved a loan for half the construction costs, not to exceed $35,000, in March 2001. Nelson Land Partnership submitted invoices for $65,525, the total cost of construction, making the city's share $32,762.50.

• The council approved a 15-year franchise agreement with Reliant Energy Minnegasco to provide natural gas service to the city of Paynesville. The city and the company had been operating under a previous ten-year agreement that expired on Dec. 31, 2000. The nonexclusive agreement gives Reliant Energy Minnegasco permission to use public right-of-way and ground for the delivering of natural gas to homes. The company must restore any ground or roads to their existing condition and indemnify the city against all liability.

The city may impose a franchise fee but has never done so in the past.

• The council approved a permit for the Paynesville Community Club to hold a Winter Carnival on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8 and 9, 2002, at Veterans Memorial Park on Lake Koronis.

• The council approved cigarette licenses for the following businesses: Corner Drug, H&L Express, Casey's General Store, Paynesville SuperValu, Joel's Family Foods, Paynesville Farmers Union Co-op, Paynesville Municipal Off-Sale, Jim's Standard Service, American Legion Post #271, Koronis Lanes, and Queen Bee's Bar and Grill. The city charges $12 for retail cigarette licenses.

• The council approved liquor licenses for Queen Bee's Bar and Grill and American Legion Post #271. The city fee is $3,000.

• The council approved a series of year-end fund transfers. A number of unspent surpluses were transferred to the General Capital Improvement Fund. Other transfers included designating any unspent money in the police budget to the future purchase of equipment and vehicles; using any unspent money in the administration budget for future computer purchases; designating any unspent money in the park budget to future park improvements; designating any unspent money in the airport budget to future airport expenses; and designating the surplus in the general fund budget to future street construction. This amount will be determined by the audit, which will be completed in February 2002.

• The council approved purchasing a new pressure sprayer for the public works department for $1,485.

• The council approved changing its building inspector, appointing Bernard F. Schulte to replace Kevin Piepenburg, who soon will be leaving Mid-Minnesota Development Commission, the city's building inspection contractor.

• The council approved changing its personnel policy in regard to employee benefits. The city will now contribute matching funds up to $1,000 for salaried department heads and up to $2,000 for the city administrator per year. Previously, the city contributed matching funds up to half of what was allowable by law for department heads and the maximum allowable for the city administrator.

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