I hope everyone had a great week, the weather has been amazing, and I just checked the extended forecast and looked like it's going to warm up and be dry. Let’s keep Texas and Florida in our prayers as they have experienced or will be experiencing some pretty terrible weather situations as of late. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this blog, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my phone number is 507-593-8312.
Upcoming City Council Meeting (9/11/2017) – The City Council meeting on September 11th has some very important items that will be discussed. First, on the consent agenda, we have the previous meetings minutes, a resolution approving the disbursements, the HRA payroll agreement, and a gambling permit for Saint Peter Hockey.
Next, we have a public hearing that allows for individuals who have delinquent utility bills to dispute the delinquency to City Council. This is required via our ordinance for certifying delinquent bills to the tax roll. After this public hearing, we move onto the regular agenda.
The regular agenda starts off with a presentation by HKGi on the Downtown Master Plan. This is their penultimate presentation to the City Council; a final presentation of the plan and possible adoption will come sometime in late October. The first presentation to City Council focused on the mall area and various scenarios that could occur. Since the mall is privately held, this presentation will focus on the non-mall areas and discuss how we can make some positive change in that area.
The second item on the regular agenda is a work plan associated with the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Essentially the Comprehensive Plan Action Team is looking for a work plan of from each of the active boards and commissions. The intent is to use these work plans as guiding documents to focus on higher priority items associated with the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
Next is the preliminary budget. In attendance will be Finance Director Zach Doud to discuss some of the changes in the proposed 2018 budget. Members of the Personnel and Budget Committee, along with Zach and myself have developed a budget that allows the City to be very aggressive regarding City Council goals. We hope to pass a preliminary budget resolution which is a requirement to make sure any changes are included in preliminary tax statements.
Finally, we will discuss the addition of a stormwater utility. Stormwater related items and projects currently are funded through the general fund levy, coming directly from property taxes. The proposed draft ordinance creates an additional enterprise fund similar to electric, water, and wastewater. The purpose of this fund is to generate revenue that has to be used only for stormwater related projects. Examples of these projects are future street reconstruction projects, stormwater pond maintenance, stormwater structure repair, existing road storm sewer upgrades, and many, many others. There is a need for a dedicated funding source for these projects; the City has two options; adjust the general fund levy and dedicate funding to stormwater, increasing property taxes, or establish a stormwater utility to generate revenue. Due to the current state of utility rates, staff is recommending a four-year phase in program to establish the utility. Staff is recommending a base rate charge of $7.50 in 2018, $8.50 in 2019, $9.50 in 2020, and $10.00 in 2021. This translates to a monthly charge for properties <0.50 acres of $5.63 in 2018, $6.38 in 2019, $7.13 in 2020, and $7.50 in 2021. A complete breakdown can be found in the agenda packet.
Community Development – As mentioned above, HKGi will be presenting to City Council on Monday, September 11th. They will be providing the following information:
- Project Schedule Update
- Community Engagement Summary from Open House #2
- Mall Site Scenarios
- Other Initiative Areas
- Approach, Goals, and Objectives for Community Open House #3
- Implementation Approach
- What are the key elements the City Council needs out of this planning process?
- What needs to be focused on moving forward?
Parks and Recreation – The last Little Free Library has been installed at Legion Park. We will be registering all the Little Free Libraries with the national registrar. There will be a best design contest for the Little Free Libraries in the next few weeks.
Wednesday evening, we hosted our Curves for Women member Open House. We had over 40 current members of Curves attend the open house to talk to about the facility, answer membership and insurance questions, classes offered along with receiving tours of the facility. In the next coming weeks, there will be multiple gym orientations provided to the new members as the fitness equipment here is different from what is offered at Curves.
The next week will be busy with program activities starting and hosting home games. Our 5th and 6th-grade football program will be hosting Blooming Prairie Saturday morning, flag football starts on Monday, September 11th and Girls 5th/6th grade volleyball will be hosting Jordan, St. Peter and Cleveland in league play on Saturday, September 16th.
Airport – Andy Cemenski, the Facility Manager, has been working to prepare the Le Sueur Municipal Airport for the Le Sueur Lions Club Breakfast Fly-in/Drive-in. This is an annual event that helps generate funds for our local Lions Club.
Second Street Reconstruction Project – Wm. Mueller and Sons, the general contractor for the Second Street Reconstruction, is continuing to complete work on this project. Right now, we are slated to wrap up phase 1 (Maple, Church, Grove, northern two blocks of 2nd Street) around September 29th (minus paving). Phase 2 (Oak, Swan, southern three blocks of 3rd Street) has started, and you will continue to see a lot of activity. The first lift of asphalt is scheduled to be installed on November 1st. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the project manager Owen Todd or the project inspector Steve DenHerder.
Fourth Street Mill and Overlay (Ferry to Maag) – This project is scheduled to start around September 18th. There will be some activity, but for the most part, access will still be possible. Around September 29th is when the completion of this project should finish up.
Closing Thoughts – Some you may have noticed that City Hall received some new windows this summer. The windows that were replaced were original, single paned windows that no longer opened. I bring this up because on this beautiful day I can open up my window, feel the breeze, and listen to the resident cicadas make their easily recognized sound. This is my favorite time of year and look forward to the rest of this fall.
As many young families do a lot of chasing around on the weekends, I have numerous kid (<4 years old) birthday parties to occupy my time. I have found this to be a good time to catch up with friends who have been caught up in life, running from place to place, trying to utilize every minute of time most efficiently. Take some time this weekend for a breather; you deserve it. ??