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Paynesville Press - March 5, 2003

Township to vote on levy increase

By Michael Jacobson

At their annual meeting next week, residents of Paynesville Township will get to decide if the township should raise its tax levy from $331,000 for 2002 to $385,000 for 2003, a proposed increase of $54,000 or 16 percent.

Levy chart The proposed levy increase was approved by the board of supervisors in December and will be approved or denied by a vote of township residents at the annual meeting on Tuesday, March 11. The annual meeting starts at 8:15 p.m. and will be held at the township hall at 28780 Koronis Drive.

The suggested increase includes $15,000 for a new arena fund. Of that, $10,000 would go for debt reduction, repaying the township's road and bridge fund, since the township paid off the debt on the arena this year using funds from that account. Another $5,000 would be put in a fund for future repairs at the arena. Other suggested increases are $5,000 for fire, $10,000 for snow, $5,000 for road and bridge, $4,000 for police protection, and $15,000 for recreation. This recreation money includes $5,000 for parks, $5,000 for arena operation (including providing open skating), and $5,000 for Community Education (which runs summer recreation).

These monies for recreation were previously provided by the township as donations but now would be budgeted items.

In recent years, the township has given nearly 17 percent of its budget in donations, above its self-imposed limit of 10 percent. If the levy increase is approved, the township's donations would be back under 10 percent.

The police fund, recreation fund, and arena fund are all part of the revenue fund, which accounts for $34,000 of the proposed increase. In December, clerk Don Wiese told the board that the levy increase would increase township taxes by $48.43 on a $100,000 valuation. Township taxes, he added, have gone down in the past two years because the levy has stayed the same while the township's valuation has increased.

The levy increase was approved unanimously by the township board in December.

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