HOWARD LAKE, MN Howard Lake City Council approved a preliminary levy for 2016 that reflects a 3.1 percent increase during its Sept. 15 meeting.
The council could reduce the proposed levy before the final levy is approved in December, but could not increase it.
City Administrator Jennifer Nash noted that, despite the levy increase, the city’s tax rate will actually decrease again because the city’s tax capacity has increased.
“We’ve been pretty lean in our budgeting and how we spend money in Howard Lake,” Mayor Pete Zimmerman noted.
During a workshop session following the regular council meeting, the council discussed the transfer regarding the city administrator position, noting that last week was Nash’s final week of employment with the city, Nash having previously submitted her resignation to take a job with the City of Buffalo.
Zimmerman noted only one resume has been received for the position. The deadline for applications is Thursday, Oct. 1.
Zimmerman said it could be December or January before the council fills the administrator job.
The council discussed a variety of options, including hiring an interim administrator.
The council also asked Nash if she would be willing to help part time during the transition.
There was also some discussion regarding former City Administrator Nick Haggenmiller if he might be interested in returning to Howard Lake. Haggenmiller was the city administrator prior to Nash accepting the position in 2014.
The consensus of the council was that the city will need some additional help until a new administrator is found.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• scheduled the city’s annual Truth in Taxation hearing Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
• discussed reports of an odor coming from a local business, which a resident said makes it impossible to breathe. Nash said the city is seeking a long-term solution to the problem. She noted if residents experience cases in which the odor is extreme, they should contact law enforcement.