Motley’s City Council votes to raise its levy by 1 percent

The proposed levy may decrease by Dec. 11

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

The city of Motley’s 2013 preliminary levy was approved by the City Council at Tuesday’s meeting. It will increase by less than 1 percent to all residents.

The preliminary levy for 2013 was approved at $328,509, up from $325,460 in 2012.

The general fund, which pays the city’s bills; wages for the Council and mayor, police and administration; insurance; maintenance on the buildings; highways, streets and roads; upkeep on the parks and more has budgeted its expenses at $477,392 for the upcoming year. This is a 4.9 percent increase over  the 2012 general fund budget of $455,143.

The general fund’s levy to Motley’s residents for 2012 came to $135,647 and the Council proposes to increase that by 6.9 percent to $144,596 for 2013.

For 2012, the street improvement fund was budgeted at $105,720 for expenses. The Council has proposed a 2013 budget of $101,769, a 3.7 percent decrease.

The levy set in 2012 for street improvements was $105,720 and the Council has proposed to reduce that number to $59,869 for 2013, a 43.4 percent decrease.

The fire fund’s expense budget in 2012 was set at $117,847 and is expected to decrease to $99,313 for 2013, a 15.7 percent decrease.

The fire fund’s levy set in 2012 was $30,474 and the proposed amount for 2013 is $25,313, a 16.9 percent decrease.

Debt service for the Beaulieu Project was budgeted at $65,831 for 2012 and is proposed to come to $79,819 in 2013.

The city levied $27,119 for the Beaulieu Project in 2012 and the proposed levy for 2013 comes to $32,004, an 18 percent increase.

The 2011 street project debt service was budgeted in 2012 to cost the city $115,186 and that is proposed to decrease to $54,695 in 2013, a 52.5 percent decrease.

In 2012, the city levied its residents $18,000 for the 2011 Street Project and proposes to levy them $16,227 in 2013, a 9.9 percent decrease.

The proposed levy for the 2012 street project was $42,000.

Proposed revenue for the general account is $477,592, up from last year’s $474,060.

The street improvement fund’s revenue for 2013 is expected to decrease from $106,120 to $101,869 due to a decrease in property taxes.

Revenue to the fire fund is also expected to decrease from $117,847 to $99,313, mostly due to a decrease in property taxes and fire contracts.

By law, cities must have their proposed levy to the Morrison County auditor by Sept. 15, to begin formulating property taxes. At the Council’s December meeting, members will certify their final levy. It may decrease from the proposed levy, voted on Tuesday, but may not increase. A public hearing will take place Dec. 11, at 7:10 p.m., during the regular meeting.

Motley City Council briefs

Other business conducted by the Motley City Council Tuesday night included:

• Hearing an update on the Small Cities Development Program that is still viable until the end of 2013. The Council learned $66,400 remained to rehabilitate commercial property, $9,000 for owner-occupied property and about $49,000 for rental rehabilitations. This is available to property owners of Swanville, Randall and Motley;

• Rejecting a request from Greg Frisk that the city install a fire hydrant to enable the flushing of water lines at the northern half of the Mill Pond complex. The Council said the responsibility of flushing water lines on private property is the owner’s responsibility and Clerk Treasurer Terri Smith said it doesn’t make sense for the city to pay for a hydrant to a private line;

• Voting to accept the low bid of 2.15 percent from United Bankers’ Bank for bonding the 2012 street project at $955,000. The bank is located in Bloomington;

• Accepting the resolution that changes the ordinance referring to the organization of the city’s Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. The changes include seven members on the Commission instead of five and may include up to five City Council members. If the Commission does not include all members of the Council, the mayor may appoint those to serve, with agreement of the Council;

• Voting to allow Maintenance Supervisor Wayne Borros to assist Russ Collison in cleaning up gravel and rock from his property left from the Beaulieau Street project in 2010;

• Voting to make the sixth payment to Kuechle Underground Inc. in the amount of $10,478 for the 2011 street project and the second payment of $86,237.83 to Feldt Plumbing LLC for the 2012 street project;

• Voting to allow people to flush the water lines to their own homes when necessary, but to make arrangements first with the city in order to coordinate with the maintenance department. An adjustment may be made to their water bill;

• Voting to put down on paper all of Motley’s minimum building requirements and standards so residents have something to follow;

• Voting to include Councillor Duane Solga, Mayor Nancy Nieken and Smith on the building committee;

• Voting to add 50 cents to every solid waste bill effective Jan. 1, 2013;

• Voting to reinstate Birten Herman to the fire department and to advertise for three additional firefighters;

• Agreeing to turn the pile of dirt in the Industrial Park into a temporary sliding hill as long as the pitch of the hill is less than 30 degrees and a buffer is added to prevent cars from getting near children sliding;

• Learning the city has maintained an A-Stable rating and is financially strong; and

• Voting to sell to residents of Motley excess clay, rock and sand at $1 per yard. Pick-up and delivery will be up to the buyer.

The next City Council meeting will be held at the Motley City Hall Tuesday, Oct. 9, beginning at 7 p.m.