- DRAFT -
SUNFISH LAKE SPECIAL COUNCIL BUDGET STUDY MEETING
AUGUST 2, 2016
6:00 P.M. - ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Mayor: Molly Park
Councilmembers: JoAnne Wahlstrom and Richard Williams
City Treasurer: Ann Lanoue
Planner: Ryan Grittman
Attorney: Bridget Nason
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
Councilmembers Mike Hovey and Steven Bulach were absent.
1. CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Park opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the proposed 2017
City of Sunfish Lake Budget.
2. DISCUSS CITY OF SUNFISH LAKE PROPOSED 2017 BUDGET: Mayor Park asked Treasurer Lanoue to provide an overview of the proposed 2017 Budget and Tax Levy. She noted that the City Attorney had prepared a memorandum dated July 27, 2016, which reviewed the legalities and City responsibilities to adopt the annual budget. She noted that the memo included the schedule of events and actions that Council must take to adopt the proposed 2017 budget and tax levy at their September meeting and also schedule a public hearing in December prior to final adoption of the 2017 budget.
Treasurer Lanoue distributed the Budget Analysis document which showed the 2016 Actual Budget, the 2016 Budget to date, and the proposed 2017 budget that includes staff requests for the upcoming year. She explained that the figures show the City in better financial condition this year than last year. She referred to page three (3) of the document and noted that there is a 6.6% increase in market value for property in the City and that $3.5 million in property valuation would be added in 2017 with new construction that would be placed on the tax records.
The Treasurer reviewed the Comparison of Average Home Values and Impact of Various Tax Rates information which compared the 2016 and 2015 mean and median rates for properties within the City. She noted that the figures show $42,000 in new tax capacity for a 7.2% increase.
Treasurer Lanoue referred Council to the proposed 2017 Budget Line Items and stated that the 2017 Revenue estimates do not show a substantial change from 2016. She stated that the Recycling Grant funds, Cable Franchise fees, Permits and Plan check fees projections remain the same as this year or show a slight increase. She advised that the Bond Fund Levy increased $366.
The Treasurer reviewed the proposed Expenditures for 2017 and advised that she inserted a 3% increase in salaries for the City Administrator, City Clerk and Treasurer positions. She noted that the City Attorney and City Planner reported that their rates would remain the same in 2017. She stated that the Police Chief proposed a 2.5% increase for Police Services. She noted that the Mendota Heights Fire Department had not yet submitted their proposal and that she was told the information would be sent to her by the end of August in order to be included in the final proposal for Council review at their September meeting. She stated that the Building Inspector receives 80% of the permit income and the City receives the remaining 20% of the fees.
Treasurer Lanoue advised that the City Engineer had included $57,000 for the Capital Improvement Projects in 2016 and proposes $33,500 for the 2017 construction projects. She also explained that snow removal costs were increased $2,000 for a total of $32,000 in 2017. She further advised that she included an additional $3,000 for payment to the City of Inver Grove Heights since they plow 60th Street which is the dividing line between the two cities; however, she noted that Inver Grove Heights has never sent a bill to the City for plowing our portion of the street. She stated the Forester had not requested any change for service. She explained that there was a slight decrease in the CAMP program costs for monitoring the water quality on the lakes. She stated that the City Insurance costs were proposed the same as 2016 and stated she had not received a bill showing any increase; she noted that she saved the City some money for Workers Compensation Insurance by changing insurance companies. She advised that Council and staff memberships remained the same. She noted that the rent cost for the church was increased to reflect the contract costs that were negotiated. She reviewed the bond principle and interest costs proposed for 2017.
The Treasurer explained that if Council wishes to balance the budget and have the tax rate remain unchanged the rate would be .25577% over last year’s rate. She suggested that council may choose to include a slight increase in order to allow for unforeseen issues.
Councilmember Williams noted that Council must adopt the “Not-to-Exceed” budget and tax levy in September and asked what could change in December.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that the CIP fund could be increased since the budget may change during the upcoming year, however, once the tax levy is adopted as “Not-to-Exceed” it may not increase. She advised that Council could adopt a tax levy amount in September that is higher which allows them the option to reduce the amount after hearing public comments at the hearing in December.
Mayor Park asked if the Comprehensive Plan costs were included in the 2017 proposed budget.
Planner Grittman explained that he would propose an additional $25,000 to be included in the 2017 budget for the Comprehensive Plan update that must be done every 10 years.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that she had not received the Planner’s memorandum requesting the additional funds and asked when the plan would be due for submission.
The Planner explained that the updated plan does not have to be submitted to the Met Council until 2018, however, most of the work would be done in 2017.
Mayor Park thanked the Treasurer for a wonderful job on presenting the proposed budget.
Treasurer Lanoue asked if the Council wished to include any additional funds in the Engineer’s budget as his memorandum does not list any funds for unforeseen costs.
There was discussion relating to an appropriate amount of funds the City should keep in reserves. The Treasurer explained that normally the City maintains reserve funding in order to maintain operations for a six month time period until taxes are received.
Councilmember Williams asked if there are limitations on how cities may invest their monies.
Treasurer Lanoue responded yes and explained that there are currently more limited options for investments since there is little yield.
There was discussion relating to the 2016 snow plowing budget. Treasurer Lanoue explained that 2015 was a good year for plowing with minimal snowfall, however, 2016 funds are close to spent and the billing issues with the new company have finally been resolved. She advised she could check with the Engineer to determine if he foresees any additional costs in 2017.
Clerk Iago noted that in previous years Council had discussed including a slight increase in taxes annually so that there would not be a large increase at one time.
Councilmember Wahlstrom proposed raising the tax rate for 2017 from .25577 percent to .26000 percent.
Treasurer Lanoue advised that would provide a $42,000 increase to the budget for a total of $472,236. She noted that the increase to the reserve funds would be reduced by $25,000 as that amount would be budgeted for staff work on the Comprehensive Plan update. She commented that last year she did not receive any questions or complaints from residents due to the tax increase enacted last year, therefore, she does not anticipate any complaints with a small increase this year. She stated she would prepare the final documents with the changes as proposed for Council adoption at their September meeting.
Mayor Park asked if there was any further business for discussion and hearing no response, adjourned the meeting at 6:50 p.m.
Catherine Iago, City Clerk Molly Park, Mayor