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Paynesville Press - December 29 , 2004

City council aopproves budget

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

The Paynesville City Council took the following actions at their meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 22.

*The council approved its 2005 budget of $1,446,053, up 5.9 percent from 2004. Of that, $475,763 should go to public safety, $362,299 to general government, $272,959 to public works, $127,098 to parks and recreation, $111,500 to debt service, $42,442 to building inspections and the compost site, and $54,019 for miscellaneous expenses. (See related story.)

*The council also approved a $465,755 tax levy for 2005, up 4.8 percent from 2004. In addition to the tax levy, the budget included revenue from the following sources: $521,653 in Local Government Aid from the state, $291,240 in charges for services, $41,000 in other state aid for the fire and police relief funds, $33,205 from licenses and permits, $30,000 in interest, $23,000 in fines and forfeitures, and $40,200 in miscellaneous revenues. (See related story.) *The council reviewed a proposed joint powers agreement between the city and Paynesville Township regarding the Koronis Recreational Trail but tabled approvement.

A section of the agreement regarding the number of representatives from each entity drew questions from trail chairman Jeff Bertram. The proposed agreement - which states that the city will pay 75 percent of building a trail section that will join the existing trail to the city and 62 percent of ongoing maintenance while the township pays for 25 percent of the building costs and 38 percent of the maintenance costs -Ęcalls for the city to have four representatives on a joint committee while the township has three. Bertram told the council he believed the committee was supposed to have three members each from the city and township and one at-large member, which would be himself, as he represents the trail and not either government.

The council agreed to contact Paynesville Township officials before taking any action, to clarify how the committee should be formed. The issue will be addressed again at a special city council meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

*The council approved new water and sewer rates for 2005. Water rates for bulk customers were increased from $1.64 to $1.75 for 2,001 to 99,000 gallons, from $1.59 to $1.79 for 100,000 to 500,000 gallons, and from $1.58 to $1.69 for over 500,000 gallons. The flat rate of $13.65 and the multi-user rate of $10.22 were not changed.

Sewer rates were increased from $1.81 to $1.89 for bulk customers. The flat rate of $15.98 and the multi-unit rate of $11.99 were not changed.

*The council approved amending its 2004 budget to reflect actual expenditures and revenues. The following increases were made in the expense budget: planning and professional services $11,500; fire department relief association $8,885; building inspection contractual services; $7,000; library maintenance and building repair, $5,820; and miscellaneous administration (legal), $4,565. The following decreases were made in the 2004 expense budget: airport maintenance and repair of grounds, $5,500, and airport aviation fuel, $6,144. The 2004 expense budget was increased a total of $26,126.

The following increases were made in the 2004 revenue budget: the sale of fixed assets, $29,132; court fines and parking tickets, $13,700; building permit fees, $11,000; fire relief from state aid, $8,885; airport land rental (farming), $3,290; miscellaneous income, $3,200; and reimbursement to streets and parks, $3,000. The following decreases were made in the 2004 revenue budget: airport fuel sales, $14,500; and airport state grant, $2,126. The 2004 revenue budget was increased a total of $55,581.

*The council approved year-end transfers of any unspent money in the 2004 budget to a related capital improvement funds.

*The council approved transferring $14,343.24 from the building inspection capital improvement fund to the general fund and closing the building inspection capital improvement fund. The building inspection capital improvement fund was set up to cover any shortfall the city might encounter with building inspection expenses. The city, however, never experienced a shortfall because applicants pay all the fees and the city gets a percentage of the fees.

*The council approved hiring Kern Dewenter Viere to do the city's 2004 audit at a price not to exceed $13,150 for basic financial statements plus up to another $10,000 for GASB34 implementation, a mandatory nationwide auditing process that is more detailed than what was previously required.

*The council approved dissolving the following non-active committees: the Paynesville living-at-home block nurse program; the ad hoc airport committee; the Paynesville Library committee; the Paynesville Area Transit committee, the PNLS/ Koronis Civic Arena board; the website committee, and the ad-hoc joint recreational committee. The dissolved committees were either no longer active or had been rolled into other committees.

*The council approved hiring Darleen Utsch as a part-time clerk at the liquor store.

*The council approved on-sale liquor licenses, with a fee of $3,000 per year, for Paynesville American Legion Post #271 and Queen Bee's Bar and Grill, Inc.

*The council also approved cigarette licenses to the following businesses: Corner Drug; Casey's Retail Company; H&L Express; J&J Foods, Inc.; Jim's Standard Service, Inc.; Koronis Lanes; Paynesville American Legion Post #271; Paynesville Farmers Union Co-op Oil Company; Paynesville Municipal Off Sale Liquor; Paynesville SuperValu; and Queen Bee's Bar and Grill, Inc.

*The council approved releasing retained funds in the amount of $34,026 to Duininck Brothers, Inc., for final payment at the Paynesville Municipal Airport. The money was retained until work was completed to the city's satisfaction.

*The council approved a payment to Duininck Brothers, Inc., for work completed on the 2004 street improvement project.

*The council approved paying National Waterworks $1,042 for the purchase of 12 water meters.

*The council approved declaring the plow on the city's old dump truck as surplus property and advertise it for bids along with the the 1978 dump truck that was previously declared surplus. The minimum bid for the truck and the plow will be $2,500.

*The council approved a bingo permit for St. Louis Catholic Church to hold a bingo event on Sunday, Feb. 13.

*The council also approved setting a special city council meeting for Tuesday, Dec. 28. In a closed session, the council is expected to discuss ongoing litigation regarding the Paynesville Municipal Airport. The council will also review the proposed joint powers agreement on the trail at this meeting.

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