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Nevis decreases '10 levy; looks to city liquor profits

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news Park Rapids, 56470
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As a means of "reducing taxpayer burden," the Nevis Council decreased the final 2010 levy by $10,000, from $215,267 to $205,267, eyeing the municipal liquor store as an "optimistic" means to augment the budget.

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This is a 9 percent increase from the 2009 levy of $188,376.

The council had originally budgeted a $25,000 transfer from the liquor store, and a 15 percent increase in the levy, but bumped up the transfer amount to $35,000 in the final budget.

The projected transfer is down from previous years' $65,000, which has not been met in recent years due to declining income at the liquor store.

The liquor store is reporting earnings of $18,705 through November this year. But council members noted the city paid approximately $17,000 to former liquor store manager Kathy Plumley when she resigned.

The liquor store reported a net income of $42,275 in 2008. This compares with $22,218 in 2007 (when $25,000-$30,000 was deducted for remodeling costs), $83,491 in 2005 and $75,028 in 2004.

In other action, the council:

-Renewed a two-year law enforcement services agreement with Hubbard County, the city agreeing to pay $68,900 for wages and benefits in 2010. The amount is $73,034 in 2011.

Council members commended deputy Jeff Stacey for his commitment.

-Approved the resignation of Sheila Sharp Ronnebaum as deputy clerk and zoning administrator.

Ronnebaum has agreed to work on a part-time basis until a replacement is found.

-Learned the city, which issues building permits, is not liable for a residential lot affected by water run-off.

The memo from city attorney John Masog was in regard to Angie Otterness' questioning the city's responsibility for correcting run-off problems affecting her house on Evergreen Drive.

"The road was in place prior to development," Masog stated. "The city did not cause the run-off problem by constructing the road after the home was built. Remediation is therefore the responsibility of the homeowner.

"By offering suggestions on how to fix the problem, or by hiring engineering help, the city does not incur any liability," Masog advised. "However, once the city decides to remedy the problem and constructs ditches or other drainage devices, or alters the level of the roadway, liability attaches."

-Agreed to purchase a broom/sweeper for the skating rink at a cost of $2,400, the C&C having agreed to pay half the cost. The money will be realized from the cemetery fund.

Council member Karl Dierkhising expressed thanks to the C&C, noting the rink is well used.

-Will advertise to sell the 1999 police squad vehicle and a 1988 pick-up.

-Approved a resolution designating the Hubbard County attorney as the city's prosecuting attorney for petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor violations.

The state is going to a centralized pay system for processing citations. The courts require a resolution from cities if they are to continue receiving two-thirds of fine money.

-Approved auditors Miller, McDonald at a cost of $7,775 to complete the 2009 audit, $525 for the preparation and filing with the state.

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