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The Clarkfield City Council finalized and approved their 2014 budget, as well as presenting the Truth and Taxation for the next year.
“Not much has changed,” City Administrator Scott Weske said.
The tax levy is set to increase by six percent, bringing the total tax levy to $346,068. Total expenses were set at $1,134,093, the biggest increase coming from the budgeted ECPN (the Equitable Cost Sharing for Publically Owned Nursing Facilities) plan for the Care Center.
Another increase in expenses was $70,000 toward some items that were agreed upon in the September 4 meeting, including updated financial software for the city office and money toward new fire department vehicles.
In other news:
• After a long and arduous task of determining a new Boyd wastewater contract, including Boyd rejecting the most recent proposal, the council decided that they were going to go forward or the contract would be terminated.
“This is our offer. If you can’t accept it, the agreement will be terminated,” Dave Biermaier said. “We have worked on this too long.”
The proposal was $3.65 per 1000 residents as a base and an increase of 3% per year, matching the percentage increase of Clarkfield citizens in case they were ever to go higher than 3%.
“Then we don’t have a deadline in just a few years, and we aren’t creating a mess every time in comes up,” Bob Schlenner said, approving of the proposal. “It couldn’t be more simple.”
• Council member Scott Vold was approached to help out with snow removal due to medical leave in the city staff that would have left Clarkfield vulnerable in case of a blizzard.
However, due to Vold being on the city council and there being a conflict of interest, Vold had to ask the council’s permission before accepting.
Weske explained that as long as he isn’t being paid full time and has an affidavit of pay before he starts, Vold isn’t breaking any laws or ordinances.
The council agreed that since Vold was experienced and capable of running the equipment and no one else was coming forward to help part time, he was a great candidate regardless of his councilship.
Vold would only be used in a snow emergency until the staff is back to full time.
• Fire Chief Francis Staab announced that he would hold his same position for the 2014 year. Travis Peterson was elected first assistant chief, and Jeff Lobdell is second assistant.