LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Lester Prairie City Council approved a preliminary tax levy that reflects a 7 percent increase during last Monday’s meeting, but that number could go down by the time the final levy is approved in December.
Mayor Eric Angvall asked council members to continue to review their budgets and look for areas in which cuts can be made.
The proposed 2016 levy is $674,760, an increase of $42,824 over the 2015 levy of $631,936.
Lester Prairie’s levy did not increase in 2015.
There was a 1.29 percent levy increase in 2014.
Dakota Trail access
Resident Debbie Mathews reqeuested that the city install signs at three road approaches along McLeod County Road 23.
She stated these road approches are her privat property, and they are being used by members of the public to access the Dakota Rail Regional Trail.
Mathews stated people have torn down signs she installed, and have torn down a fence she installed to keep people off of her private property.
It was noted the only legal points at which the public can access the trail are at intersections where the trail crosses public roads, including Lily Street and McLeod County Road 9.
The three road approaches east of Lily Street are private property and may not be used to access or exit the trail.
The council agreed to install two-sided signs at each of the road approaches notifying trail users that the road approaches are not to be used to access or exit the trail. The motion approving the signs passed 4-1, with Angvall and council members Bob Messer, Larry Hoof, and Tim Dahl in favor, and Council Member Ron Foust opposed. “I think it’s just throwing good money after bad,” Foust said noting that people are going to do what they are going to do.
In another matter related to the trail, the council accepted the donation of two trail signs donated by the Lester Prairie Trail Committee.
There was significant discussion regarding the signs. Council members expressed frustration at the fact the committee purchased and installed the signs without first getting council approval.
Members of the committee expressed frustration, noting they presented the idea of the signs to the council in the past and did not hear objections from the council, but were told the city did not have the money to purchase the signs, so the committee members donated their own money to purchase the signs.
Council members said they had been presented an idea, but were never given specific details about the proposed signs.