Silver Bay city councilThe Silver Bay City Council got right down to business at 7 p.m. last Tuesday evening at city hall.
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
The Silver Bay City Council got right down to business at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening at city hall. The minutes of previous meetings were approved.
In November, voters will be asked to decide on the development of a new public utility for heat and power. Two informational meetings have been scheduled for Sept. 19 at 4 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. at the Reunion Hall to discuss the two questions that will appear on the ballot.
A proposed tax levy was passed at 3.5 percent, a reduction from the 4.8 percent increase in the first budget draft. The increase is due to rising costs related to insurances, utilities, staffing and capital assessment planning. The reduction in the original tax hike is due, in part, to the efforts by city offices to reduce costs in their departments. There was discussion by the council about the increase with some councilors expressing regret that any increase was necessary. However, city departments were commended for cost reduction efforts.
A resolution to adopt the Lake County Disaster Mitigation Plan passed unanimously. In times of natural or technological disaster the plan is intended to save lives, protect health and reduce injuries as well as limit damage to property and reduce economic losses. According to the plan, identified hazards may be addressed by implementing structural hazard control or protection projects, retrofitting facilities, acquiring and relocating structures, developing mitigation standards and regulations, and increasing awareness through public campaigns and education programs.
The council also unanimously passed a resolution to submit a grant to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board for $250,000. The money will be used for the Banks Boulevard project and the “replacement of a portion of the high pressure water main that services the city, along with street and sidewalk repairs,” said Lana Fralich, City Administrator for Silver Bay. Funding from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development have been sought to serve as leveraged funds for the IRRRB Public Works application. Although there has been no word on the DEED money, the grant application for IRRRB funds must be submitted before the October deadline to ensure consideration for this round of grant funding.
On the heels of a request by the Two Harbors Public Library for funding to cover repairs and improvements to its building, the City of Silver Bay will write a letter and present it to the Lake County Board requesting funds for its own library. Work is needed to repair window leaks and storm drainage problems. Sidewalks outside the library are in need of repair, also. $15,000 will be requested. The motion to approve the presentation of a letter to the Lake County Board was unanimously approved by the council.
Finally a change order for work slated on the sewage system was approved. Although change orders often mean bumping up the budgeted amount for a project, this time the change will result in a significant savings. A trickle filter will be changed at the original cost, but a painting project that had been contracted to an outside vendor will be now be handled in-house.