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Mayer council tightens budget after truth in taxation hearing
Dec. 16, 2013

By Ivan Raconteur

MAYER, MN – Mayer City Council has been working on reducing the city’s levy since the preliminary levy was approved in September, and the council shaved another $20,000 off the total during last Monday’s meeting.

The final 2014 levy of $918,160 was approved on a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Mike Dodge and council members Tice Stieve-McPadden and Erick Boder in favor, and council members Bruce Osborn and Daniel Lueth opposed.

The levy is $90,858 less than the preliminary levy approved in September.

During the truth in taxation hearing, several residents expressed concern about their taxes going up. Some also expressed opposition to the city purchasing a new fire engine.

Council members noted that although something needs to be done about the city’s backup fire engine, no decision has been made yet on what direction to take.

Recently, the council asked Fire Chief Rod Maetzold to present detailed information about the cost of a new engine, as well as a used one.

Maetzold had also presented details concerning what steps the city would need to make to bring the current engine up to current standards, but there was not much support for that option from the fire department or the council.

Lueth noted if the council chooses to purchase a new fire engine, the first payment would not be due until 2015, and, if the council chooses to purchase a used engine, the price will be less.

After the truth in taxation hearing was closed, the council reduced the budget and levy by $20,000, taking this amount from $55,000 that had been budgeted for a possible fire engine payment.

Agreement reached on roundabout design

City engineer Dave Martini presented information regarding the current proposed design of a roundabout at the intersection of Highway 25 and 62nd Street.

Martini noted the current layout of the roundabout, which is still in the design phase, is based on changes requested by MnDOT.

The design was presented to the council during its Nov. 25 meeting, and Martini met with affected landowners after that.

The properties most affected by the roundabout were represented at last Monday’s meeting.

Mayer Lutheran High School Executive Director Joel Landskroener said the school board had reviewed the design and had no objections.

Tom Stifter, owner of R&V Service, said he was concerned about the amount of parking he would lose at his business as a result of the roundabout.

Martini noted that the intention all along had been to use the land up to the edge of the right-of-way in the construction of the roundabout.

After discussion, the council directed Martini to work with the property owners to shift the property further from Stifter’s business, without creating problems for the school on the other side.

The design will then be forwarded to MnDOT for approval.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• authorized the city attorney to proceed with termination of the city’s lease agreement with RW Farms for lease of the city’s compost site due to “failure to continue operation of the compost site according to terms of the agreement,” and authorized Dodge to sign a letter notifying RW Farms of the termination, and the city’s intention to take full possession of the site.

• approved a change to the city code covering the use of tracer wire, which is used to locate water or sewer pipes.

• approved sale of four damaged light poles for $50, and disposal of the crates in which they were shipped.

• approved amended fire contracts with Camden, Hollywood, Waconia, and Watertown townships.

• heard the city’s new public works employee, Kyle Kuntz, passed the test to earn his license to operate the city’s water plant.

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