BY GABE LICHT
MONTROSE, MN A 2.5 percent tax rate increase is being proposed for Montrose for 2018, a number that can be decreased but not increased before the final levy is submitted in December.
Montrose City Council approved the preliminary levy Monday.
“I believe it’s $100,000 higher than last year,” Deputy City Clerk Wendy Manson said.
Many of the items affecting the levy are included in the capital improvement plan.
That includes $205,000 for Highway 25 South right of way acquisition and engineering, $55,000 for a Montrose Meadows street reconstruction bond payment, $30,000 for a single-axle plow truck municipal lease, $30,000 for a public works pickup truck, $20,000 for a city hall back-up generator, and $16,000 for solar lights for the Highway 12 walking trail.
Another large expense is an additional $59,860 for an extra two hours of police protection from the Wright County Sheriff’s Office per day, for a total of 10 hours per day.
Other expenses include $7,000 for legal services including union negotiations and $5,000 for an election equipment upgrade.
Manson estimates that the city’s taxable net capacity will be $1.95 million, up from $1,856,872.
Based on that tax capacity, estimates predict an individual with a $125,000 home would pay $32 more in taxes, an individual with a $150,000 home would pay $40 more in taxes, an individual with a $200,000 home would pay $53 more in taxes, and an individual with a $250,000 home would pay $66 more in taxes.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• adopted a resolution for the issuance and sale of $366,000 general obligation street reconstruction bonds. Citizens State Bank in Montrose is the purchaser of the bonds, with a 2.5 percent interest rate payable over seven years. The average annual payment with interest will be about $60,000.
• adopted a resolution regarding an orderly annexation agreement between the city and Woodland Township, as ordered by an administrative law judge. The agreement calls for the city, not the citizen, to pay $250 per acre for annexed land, as required by state law.
• learned the city has received 12 applications for the city clerk position and two applications for the fire chief position.
• approved a variance for 111 Buffalo Ave. S. to allow the property owner to reconfigure and move a building away from the streets. The move will increase the setbacks to 10.7 feet, 9.8 feet, and 5.1 feet, which are less than required setbacks, but an improvement over the current nonconforming setbacks.
• approved the resignations of firefighters Jeff Daniels and Scott Johnson, who have 10 and 6 years of experience, respectively. Another individual will be resigning in October. The fire department is actively looking to hire more firefighters.
• scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9 to address concerns regarding the Regional Park and the Herzog home.