The St. Michael City Council gave a nod to the Beebe Lake Homeowner’s Association for its work to lower the lake levels and clean up the lake.
The council heard that the city’s employee health insurer is proposing a 20 percent increase for next year.
Beebe Lake Improvement Association members Brian Hall and Dan Olson were present with an annual lake association report.
Olson said the priorities are to improve water quality, manage invasive species and manage the water level and erosion. Olson thanked the city for its help in lowering the water level.
He said the biggest challenge is fighting curlyleaf pondweed. He said the state department of transportation is limiting the amount of acres the association can remove treat the lake, decreasing the amount from 100 acres to 20 acres. Olson said the association is working to obtain a variance to allow more treatment.
Olson also said the state grant that usually helps with the treatment costs was drastically reduced this year, and that the association is thus doing fundraising events to help with lake quality management costs.
City administrator Steve Bot complimented the homeowner’s association for its work, noting that the lake is the city’s most used recreation lake, and that St. Michael budgets money annually to help with treatments to improve water quality.
Due to a decrease in DNR grants, the board is requesting the full budgeted amount of $2,000 from the city to help treat pondweed.
Mayor Jerry Zachman and councilors Kevin Kasel, Joe Marx, Nadine Schoe and Chris Schumm thanked the members for their time and work on preserving the water quality on Beebe Lake.
In other news, the council was informed that staff is receiving quotes for employee health insurance.
Administrator Bot said the city’s current carrier, Medica, is proposing a more than 20 percent increase from last year. Bot said at least one of the new quotes from a different carrier is 20 percent less than the current costs.
The council thus recommended staff notify Medica of the city’s intent not to renew health insurance for the coming year.
Staff said it would report back to the council once all quote are received.
In other action, the council:
HEARD a brief follow-up about a recent joint meeting with Albertville and Otsego, where it was determined the RiverRider public transportation program would be contracted to provide transportation once per week in St. Michael, Albertville, Otsego and possibly Hanover. Bot said the council would still need to determine the exact service area at a future meeting.
ACCEPTED the 2012 financial report as presented. The MMKR accounting firm issued the city a clean opinion, which is the highest it can give.