By Starrla Cray
WAVERLY, MN Waverly City Council adopted a resolution approving the city’s preliminary 2011 budget of $839,213 during Tuesday’s meeting.
The proposed budget for the enterprise funds (water, sewer, storm sewer, and refuse) is $952,213. The 2011 preliminary levy is $846,563, a 13 percent decrease from last year. Last year, the levy was $970,005.
“From start to finish, we made a lot of changes,” city clerk Debbie Ryks said. The council went through the expenses item by item at three separate budget meetings to determine where cuts could be made.
“We trimmed it down, so it’s going to be kind of sparing what you’re going to get this year,” Mayor Ken Antil said.
The reductions came from various areas. For example, $40,000 was levied for the park improvement fund last year, but that won’t be included in the levy this year. The amount allotted for street improvements and heavy equipment purchases was also greatly reduced.
Decreasing the amount of overage in the general fund also contributed. About $135,000 more than needed was collected last year. This year, that overage was reduced to $74,000.
Market values for homes went down this year, which resulted in a significant drop in tax capacity. Therefore, despite the reductions, the tax rate is projected to increase to 68 percent for 2011. In 2010, it was 66 percent.
“I think the important thing to look it is that we’ve reduced the amount of taxes collected,” board member Connie Holmes said. “The real thing is the numbers.”
The council awarded a bid to Knife River Corporation for work on unfinished development projects in Waverly.
The bid for the entire project was $577,785, the lowest of the four bids city engineer Barry Glienke presented to the council. The highest bid was $727,243.
The actual contract amount was lower, however, at $451,726, according to Glienke.
Part of the reason for a lower cost is that the Summerfield developer is planning to do his own work.
Carrigan Meadows and the industrial park also might have the work done privately, which would further reduce the contract. The development owners have until Friday, Sept. 24 to submit a letter stating their intentions.
Another factor that will lower the bid includes a 50 percent cut to the Windgate development trail system.
Late-night noise was a heated topic of discussion at the council meeting.
Residents said that people leaving Uptown Bar & Grill in Waverly (which closes at 2 a.m.) are continuously loud and obnoxious.
“We had a couple complaints the biggest thing was people making all kinds of noise and waking people up,” Mayer Ken Antil said.
Additional police patrol were added in August, but bar owner Judd Meyer said the police presence is inhibiting his business.
“In the past four weeks, my business has been cut in half on Friday and Saturday nights,” Meyer said. “People are afraid to come up here.”
One resident said that despite the police, it is still loud near her house, and people have urinated on her yard.
“I was quiet for three years,” she said. “I can’t take it. I need sleep.”
She said that the bar should be closed at 1 a.m., but Meyer was adamantly against that idea.
“If I lose that 2 a.m. permit, you might as well close the doors on that bar,” Meyer said. “I’m not throwing that out there as a gauntlet, but those are the cold, hard facts.”
“We’re certainly not doing the community a favor by chasing a business out,” council member Keith Harris said. “You need to work together.”
The council was also sympathetic to the homeowners, however.
“I can understand the residents around here,” council member Gary Olson said. “I wouldn’t want to be in their position either.”
Uptown recently implemented measures to try to reduce the noise level. Traffic on the side of the street near homes has been redirected to the other side after 10 p.m., and drinks are taken away after 2 a.m. “I don’t want to cause any rifts with the community,” Meyer said. “As soon as we found out about this, we’ve done our very best. We’re going to try to keep it as quiet as possible.” Antil said that the bar workers should go outside after closing to monitor the noise level.
“We’ll try it that way first,” Antil said.
“If there is a reoccurrence anytime soon, then we have to take action,” board member John Konrath added.
“I understand that I hold a certain amount of the liability, but I can only control what goes on in and around my bar,” Meyer said.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved a temporary liquor license for the Waverly Lions for a fundraising event at the village hall Saturday, Oct. 30.
• approved a zoning ordinance amendment for wind energy systems, as recommended by the planning commission.
• approved a resolution for charitable gambling for a benefit at the village hall Saturday, Oct. 16.
• heard that the Waverly liquor store made a profit of $996 in August. Manager Wanda Tussing said she plans to raise prices on hard liquor and wine by about 10 percent, because of increasing costs.
Sales tax, insurance, utilities, and payroll have all increased since last year.
“I think you probably could (raise prices), because your prices are lower than some of the competition,” Holmes said.
On-sale liquor prices might increase by about 25 cents, Tussing added.
Also, the liquor store will be ordering glasses with marks on them, so that it will be easy to see how much liquor should be put in mixed drinks.
• addressed a resident’s concern about people driving with excessively loud music in their vehicles. The council said it will research the city’s noise policy and bring it up at the October council meeting.
• heard from Angela Lachermeier that there will be a fundraiser with part of the proceeds benefiting village hall Saturday, Oct. 30. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
A chicken breast meal will be cooked by the Waverly Café and served by the Montrose Chamber of Commerce.
A chili challenge will also take place that day, with judging at 6 p.m.
“If you know anyone who has a good chili, we’d encourage you to let them know,” Lachermeier said. “We’re just looking for good city support and for all the residents to come out. More details will follow.”• approved a 12-by-30-foot addition to the fire hall.
“Now would be an ideal time to do it, because the roof is going on,” Olson said. The council told fire department members that they can obtain bids and come in for a building permit.
“As far as the council’s concerned, go ahead and do it,” Antil said.
Also, the fire department recently got one new member, which brings the total membership to 24 people.
“That’s the highest you’ve had in years,” Olson commented.• heard that there were eight miscellaneous building permits issued in August. “Still no new construction,” Ryks said.