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Dassel Council approves 2011 budget and levy
DEC. 13, 2010
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Levy has remained unchanged for three years straight

By Kristen Miller
News Editor

DASSEL, MN – Dassel City Council approved the 2011 budget and levy during last Monday’s meeting, resulting in no increases for city taxpayers.

The budget was set at $1,058,645, which is actually a $6,000 decrease from last year, reported Dassel Administrator Myles McGrath during the Truth in Taxation hearing prior to the council meeting.

The levy, which will remain the same as the past two years, was set at $511,988.

McGrath also noted the tax rate has gone down considerably, with a projected tax rate of .5527 percent, compared to .7305 in 2006.

Sidewalk maintenance discussed

With the winter season here, the ongoing issue of sidewalks was discussed as to upkeep and snow removal.

The city will send notices to residents with sidewalks that have been deemed “essential,” informing them of their responsibilities to maintain the walk area.

The city ordinance states that property owners have up to 24 hours to have the adjoining sidewalks cleared of snow, but it was noted that the city will work with residents as needed to accomplish this.

Along with this issue, the council approved establishing a sidewalk fund for accounting purposes only.

No transfer of money was suggested at this time, but it was noted that if there are maintenance or upgrades necessary in the future, funds could be transferred from the public safety fund. It was also noted that a motion would need to be passed in order to move any funds from any account to the sidewalk fund.

Voting for the motion were Mayor Mike Scanlon and council members Alesia Warner, and Jason Benzing. Voting against establishing a sidewalk fund were council members Pat Haapala and Bob Lalone.

Council certifies assessments

The council approved five property assessments for certification, to be collected in 2011, including a water main break at the mobile home court and the pond repair in Highland Meadows.

In a separate motion, the council approved a special assessment for $3,000 at 6 percent annual interest rate, to be paid by the property owner over a 10-year period.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved the purchase of a floor cleaning machine for the Dassel History Center and Ergot Museum for $1,800. As discussed at the last meeting, the Dassel Area Historical Society will contribute $900, or half the cost.

• approved the final payment of $18,367 for the Third Street project, which completed water main and street surface improvements from Highway 12 down Third Street to Simons Avenue.

• approved the appointment of Benzing and Warner to serve on the fire department work group in an effort to better clarify the proposed rates to be changed for fire calls. The group will be comprised of the two council members, the city administrator, and the fire chief, along with other fire department officers.

• heard the liquor store report, which shows almost a 3.5 percent increase in sales over last year.

• was asked by law enforcement to mention that snowmobilers should stay off of the sidewalks and walking paths.

• heard from Dassel History Center Director Carolyn Holje about upcoming events and exhibits including another Smithsonian traveling exhibit coming this fall. The Dassel Area Historical Society is also working on a possibly permanent seed corn exhibit since, at one time, Dassel was named the seed corn capital of the world, with the most seed corn companies per capita, according to Holje.

She also informed the council and public that the museum will be closed from Tuesday, Dec. 21 to Tuesday, Jan. 4 as a way to help with the budget and give staff time off.

• heard from Public Works Director Dave Scepaniak that the department is working to clear fire hydrants, but also asks property owners to help clear their fire hydrants since clearing roads and parking lots are their top priorities.

He also noted that the ice rink will be open soon.

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