Proposed tax levy up a bit in Rush City

‘Home of the Tigers’ may be painted on water tower near RC schools

Rush City’s Council on Sept. 9 approved the city’s preliminary property tax levy for 2014, which reflects a $20,000 increase over this year’s levy.

Presenting the proposed budget and levy was financial consultant Kay Mattson. She suggested the increase to $458,383, as opposed to keeping the tax levy the same as 2013, in order to cover any unexpected budget changes or projects that may come up before the final levy is adopted in December.

“Remember,” she said, “we can always decrease the levy (and) determine if it should remain closer to 2013, but we cannot increase it once the preliminary is certified — even if we are under the (levy) limit.”

If the city does keep the tax levy at $438,343, as it was set for this year, there should not be a tax increase at the city level, while some properties would see a decrease, Mattson explained.

In any event, the tax amount is based on each parcel’s individual taxable market value as determined by the county assessor.

Also Monday night, councilors once again approved a city tax levy in the amount of $17,000 to defray the costs associated with the Rush City Economic Development Authority.

 

LGA allocations

Back in July the budget committee reviewed the proposed budget, whose numbers — from $1.18 million in 2013 to $1.38 million at present — is reflected in the preliminary levy.

And although the city will receive an additional $161,354 from the state through local government aid, or LGA, the budget committee has opted to allocate a large portion of it for future capital items or projects that did not have a funding source in place. This was due, in part, to the state “unallocating” some of the past LGA amounts that were promised, Mattson explained.

So in Rush City, the Fire Department is expecting $35,000 and $7,150 in LGA, respectively, for future vehicle and equipment and emergency air bottles, while a total of $70,000 has been allocated to Public Works for future vehicles and street improvement projects.

Other allocations include $3,000 for future seal coating and brush clearing of runways at the airport as well as $8,000 for the aquatic center.

The budget and levy will be reviewed again in October and November as the final property market value numbers from the county and health insurance premium amounts for 2014 are finalized, Mattson noted.

The public can have a say on the city portion of its property tax bill at the truth in taxation hearing, which has been set for 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9.

In other news, the council:

• Supported the idea of renaming the portion of Field Avenue that runs to the industrial park in honor of Dennis Frandsen for his many contributions to the Rush City community. Councilors agreed with City Administrator Amy Mell about addressing the idea with emergency personnel before any formal action is taken. It was noted that residents would not be affected by the street name change.

• Approved a mutual aid agreement with Pine City.

• Received an update on the water tower painting project that has begun near the school grounds. The blue tower, which holds 500,000 gallons of water, was drained last weekend and Classic Protective Coatings should have the job done in about a month, Mell said.

Also, the city should know by later this week if the Rush City Youth Sports Club is able to come up with its share of $1,400 to have the words, “Home of the Tigers,” painted on the tower. The city previously agreed to fund a fourth of the total cost of the slogan. The second, smaller tower will be painted once the larger tank is completed.

• Agreed to reschedule the time of the Oct. 14 council meeting to 1 p.m. that same day.

Announcements

A special council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at City Hall to discuss the condition of the unfinished streets, curb and gutter, catch basins and other areas of concern at Brookside First Addition and Brookside Townhouse Addition.

The Rush City Lions and Rush City Fire Department will hold their second annual Gun Raffle and Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Chucker’s Bowl and Lounge. Doors open at 6 p.m.

The Rush City Chamber of Commerce golf tournament is Sept. 27 at Bulrush Golf Club.

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