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LP City Council approves donation policy
Aug. 24, 2018

Ivan Raconteur

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Donations to the City of Lester Prairie will now have to meet criteria outlined in a new donation policy approved by the city council Aug. 16.

The council adopted the policy to guide the donation of various amenities.

The policy applies to all assets of the park system, city hall, and any other entity of the city, including athletic fields, park structures, benches, trails, buildings, and more.

The policy defines what types of donations will be accepted, and under what terms.

Salaries increased

The council approved an ordinance amendment increasing the salaries of the mayor and city council members. The annual salary for council members will increase from $2,000 to $2,200; and the annual salary for the mayor will increase from $2,400 to $2,600. The change will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Budget discussed

The council approved the minutes from the July 17 budget meeting.

The total proposed levy is $849,462, which is an increase of $92,447. Of that, $47,778 is for the fire truck debt.

If the townships were to pay their portion of the debt prior to December, the city’s levy could drop to 7.7 percent.

The proposed budget reflects a 5 percent wage increase according to the city’s pay scale and cost of living projections.

This adds approximately $3,000 to the budget. Increasing the assistant clerk position from part time to full time adds approximately $12,000 to the budget.

A proposal was also made to increase utility fees. Sanitation would increase 2.5 percent based on the city’s contract with the service provider. The storm sewer fee should increase 50 cents per month for each rate, and both water and sewer rates should increase 20 cents per gallon of water used.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• acknowledged a franchise fee payment of $3,066 from Mediacom.

• adopted a resolution recognizing Oct. 15 as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.

• approved the purchase of a Pro-Tech loader for snow removal at a cost of $8,507. This will eliminate the need for the city’s snowblower, which will be sold.

• accepted the resignation of part-time police officer Jon Pherson.

• discussed adding a dedicated park improvement fee to monthly utility bills but took no action at this time.

• approved increasing the retirement contribution for firefighters from $1,200 to $1,300 per year of service.

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