St. Michael approves preliminary levy, budget

The St. Michael City Council approved a the 2018 preliminary levy and budget, with final approval set for December.

Staff did note that the levy would now also increase due to a settlement with Riverside Church.

LEVY/BUDGET

Staff was proposing a 2018 levy of $6,183,694, which is a 4.18 percent increase from last year.

City Administrator Steve Bot said in his memo to the council, “The attached overall levy increase would not impact city taxes for an average residential property, due to increased market value and new growth in St. Michael if the value increase remains the same.”

In an update at Tuesday’s meeting, Bot said the levy that was previously discussed (4.18 percent increase) now includes a 2 percent increase to help pay for the Riverside Church lawsuit settlement over a 10-year period, bringing the levy increase to 6.21 percent.

A Riverside settlement was just approved at Tuesday’s meeting prior to the council taking action on the budget.

Before the settlement was approved, staff said in a memo to the council, “Given the current uncertainty related to the lawsuit brought against the city by Riverside Church, the 2018 budget doesn’t account for payment of claims which, if realized, would necessitate future additional tax increases.”

Staff had also indicated that the draft budget “addresses the critical needs of the city but will still keep us as one of the lowest tax rate cities in Wright County with a high level of customer service and infrastructure … we believe this draft budget is consistent with your council goals and our mission, vision and core values.”

Mayor Kevin Kasel and councilors Nadine Schoen, Keith Wettschreck, Matt Kammann and Cody Gulick unanimously approved the 2018 property tax levy and budget, setting final approval in December (cities can lower the levy before final approval but can’t raise it).

DOWNTOWN PARKING

In further matters, the council considered bids for the Southwest Downtown Parking Lot.

Community Development Director Marc Weigle updated the council regarding four quotes received for the project.

Low bidder was New Look Construction at $128,592. The total project cost is estimated to be $150,000, to be funded in the Economic Development Authority (EDA) budget.

The council unanimously awarded the contract to New Look Construction.

COLD STORAGE PROJECT

In other news, the council considered approval of a construction manager for the public works cold storage facility project that will be under construction near the city’s public works facility by the Crow River.

City Administrator Steve Bot said that, after receiving three competitive proposals, staff scored the proposals, interviewed firms, checked references and recommends Kinghorn Construction of Rogers to be the construction manager.

Grady Kinghorn was present to introduce himself and answer questions about his firm.

After brief discussion, the council unanimously approved hiring Kinghorn Construction as the Construction Manager Agency for the public works cold storage building project.