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PR council approves 2019 levy and budget

The Park Rapids City Council had a truth-in-taxation hearing on Tuesday, during which Treasurer Angela Brumbaugh explained the city's proposed budget and tax levy for 2019.

The proposal includes a general fund total of $1,956,893, a 2 percent increase from 2018 and $711,505 toward bonds and debt service, increasing 13.5 percent.

Of $3.3 million in total revenue budgeted for 2019, property taxes are expected to provide 60 percent ($2 million), local government aid 15 percent ($500,000). The remaining 25 percent ($816,000) will come from other revenues, such as franchise fees, licenses, permits, fees and fines.

On the expenditure side, 48 percent ($1.6 million) of general fund expenditures will go toward public safety, including police ($1.2 million), fire ($274,000), building inspections ($79,000), rental inspections ($15,000) and plumbing inspections ($1,600).

Another 18 percent ($611,000) will be spent on public works, including streets and roads ($438,000), street lighting ($101,000), sidewalks and crosswalks ($14,000) and ice and snow removal ($58,000).

Culture will account for 7 percent ($233,000) of the general fund budget, including parks ($132,000) and library ($100,000).

Community development will take 2 percent ($69,000), including the city's contribution to the Hubbard County Regional Economic Development Commission (increasing 20 percent to $48,000) and $21,000 toward natural resources to maintain the city's Tree City USA designation.

General government is budgeted for 25 percent ($820,000) of general fund expenditures, including administration ($349,000), attorney ($75,000), building ($64,000), assessing ($44,000), planning and zoning ($156,000), contractual services such as auditing ($12,500), transit ($25,000 toward the Heartland Express), council ($31,000) and unallocated expenses ($64,000).

For more information about the city budget, Brumbaugh said, inquire at city hall or visit the city's website at ci.park-rapids.mn.us, under Departments/Finance.

In two separate motions, council member Tom Conway moved adoption of the final 2019 general fund budget and the final 2019 property tax levy. Both motions passed without dissent.

In consent items and other business, the city council:

• Approved payables totaling $66,519 and prepaids totaling $155,872.

• Approved an off-site gambling permit application for the Park Rapids Amateur Hockey Association for 12 charitable raffle events during 2019 at the American Legion.

• Approved a lawful gambling exempt permit for the Osage Sportsmen's Club for a charitable raffle on June 9, 2019 at the Hubbard County fairgrounds.

• Paid Apex Engineering Group $4,873 for professional services regarding the main lift station reconstruction and U.S. Highway 71 frontage road projects.

• Paid Hough, Inc. $35,741 for construction work regarding the main lift station project.

• Paid BHH Partners $4,303 for professional services regarding the city hall remodel.

• Paid TKDA $3,500 for professional services regarding the airport pavement repairs and apron lighting upgrade.

• Paid Lee Davis Electric $1,766 for professional services regarding the airport apron lighting upgrade.

• Paid Insight Realty Advisors $5,000 for the Armory Square real estate cost estimates and appraisal report.

• Paid Northland Trust Services for general obligation and improvement bonds, including $104,975 for bond 2010A, $274,134 for bond 2010B, $190,065 for refunding bond 2010C, $262,165 for crossover refunding bond 2012A, $272,251 for refunding bond 2015A, $495 for crossover refunding bond 2016A, and $50,190 for bond 2016B.

• Increased the city's contribution to its employees' health insurance benefit (cafeteria plan) to $745 per month for single coverage and up to $1,164 for family coverage, effective Jan. 1, 2019.

• Decided not to waive tort limits on the city's liability insurance with the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust.

• Passed a resolution opposing legislation to allow the sale of strong beer, spirits and wine in grocery and convenience stores.

• Authorized staff to accept a change for the completion date of the main lift station reconstruction to Jan. 31, 2019, with final payment by June 30, 2019, due to a delay in the delivery of essential equipment.

The city council's next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at city hall.