St. Michael aims to keep levy increase under 3%

The St. Michael City Council chose a bond financing plan that covers bond payments and amounts to an under 3 percent levy increase.

The council also ordered the Crow River Erosion Control project public improvement hearing, and discussed hockey arena maintenance funding.



City administrator Steve Bot updated the council about a bond financing plan that explains the history of current bonds, and projects the future financing for payment of those bonds.

Bot explained that one model, “Exhibit E,” is probably the best approach since it does not anticipate many revenues from development. He said if development does happen, the scenario would look better.

Councilor Kevin Kasel said he would rather have incremental levy increases that cover bond payments, than pushing it off and significantly raising future levies. Kasel said there is not much excess money for future projects, but that the city needs to be mindful of that when future requests come in for more parks and trails.

Kasel said he feels a 2.99 percent levy increase is reasonable for the 2013 budget.

The council noted there is a lot of equipment to replace and bonds to pay for, and that the city has spent is reserves and does not have much coming in from development.

The council then unanimously approved “Exhibit E” as the bond financing plan moving forward. The preliminary budget and levy for 2013 will be added to a future council agenda for approval.



In further matters, the council reviewed a feasibility report for the Crow River Erosion Control Project.

Administrator Bot reviewed specifics, explained the sources for funding, and noted that the local share is about $45,000. He said 10 property owners most benefiting from the project would be assessed $1,500 per lot, with the remaining amount paid for by storm water fees.

Bot said if the cost of the project is less than anticipated, the amount assessed per lot might be reduced.

The council agreed to keep the assessment at $1,500 per lot unless the cost to complete the project is reduced. The council unanimously approved the feasibility report and ordered the public improvement hearing.



In other news, the council heard a report concerning the most recent meeting of the STMA Hockey Arena Board.

St. Michael, Albertville and the school district jointly own the STMA Hockey Arena.

Staff said the initial maintenance/replacement amount requested is $10,000 per year.

Councilor Kasel noted the current building should be able to cash flow itself and cover maintenance expenses, and was cautious to have the city put too much money toward the building.

Administrator Bot said there might be some surplus in the budget this year that could support a year-end transfer to the Arena Board for upcoming maintenance costs.

The council agreed to dedicate money through year-end transfers to the arena board to be used for future maintenance/capital equipment purchases or other items at the board’s discretion, so long as Albertville and the school district agree to dedicate money as well.

In other action, the council:

APPROVED a 5K run route for St. Michael Catholic School Oct. 6 along Frankfort Parkway.