SUNFISH LAKE SPECIAL COUNCIL BUDGET STUDY MEETING
AUGUST 1, 2017
6:00 P.M. - ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Mayor: Richard Williams
Councilmembers: Mike Hovey, JoAnne Wahlstrom and Daniel O’Leary
City Treasurer: Ann Lanoue
Attorney: Tim Kuntz
Engineer: Don Sterna
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
Councilmember Steven Bulach was absent.
1. CALL TO ORDER: Mayor Williams opened the meeting at 6:00 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the proposed 2018
City of Sunfish Lake Budget.
2. DISCUSS CITY OF SUNFISH LAKE PROPOSED 2018 BUDGET: Mayor Williams asked Treasurer Lanoue to provide an overview of the proposed 2018 Budget and Tax Levy.
Treasurer Lanoue distributed the Budget Analysis document which showed the 2017 Actual Budget, the 2017 Budget to date, and the proposed 2018 budget and the staff requests for the upcoming year. She explained that the Building Inspector receives 80% of the revenue from building permits and all of the plan review fees and the City receives 20% of the revenue. She stated that there are no changes proposed for the Planner, Forester or Police services. She pointed out that the Planner was currently working on the Comprehensive Plan update, which accounts for the reduction of $25,000 that was approved for 2017. She stated that some minor changes are proposed in the City Engineer’s budget requests.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that the Clerk requested $1,000 to hire a Recycling Coordinator under a Joint Powers Agreement with the cities of West St. Paul, South St. Paul and Mendota Heights. She advised that the Clerk also recommended reducing the Election budget by $4,500. She explained that the Election budget had been increased to $9,600 in order to purchase new election equipment and the equipment was purchased in 2016, which allows for the budget reduction.
Clerk Iago commented that Dakota County staff had discussed the possibility of increasing the Recycling Grant funds and if the funds are increased in 2018, the additional $1,000 in the budget for the Recycling Coordinator may not be needed.
Councilmember Hovey asked if the recycling grant funds are shared monies from the County and the State of Minnesota and the Clerk responded yes.
Councilmember O’Leary stated he supports the funding for the shared position in order to save time for the Clerk to perform other duties. He asked if a motion was needed to authorize the funds.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that no motion is required at this time and that the preliminary budget would be adopted by Council at their September meeting and certified to Dakota County, then the Council would conduct a public hearing in December to adopt the final budget document. She pointed out that Council has the ability to reduce the preliminary budget once it is adopted, however, they cannot increase the preliminary budget.
The Treasurer explained that the Tax Capacity increased 9.5 percent and if Council chooses to leave the tax rate the same for 2018, it would increase the budget by $49,000. She advised that the Debt Levy would increase by $40,129 in 2018, which leaves additional funds of $9,000 in the 2018 budget.
Treasurer Lanoue referred to page 4 of her Budget Analysis and advised that the taxable Market Value increased 8.6 percent.
Councilmember O’Leary questioned the definition of “Personal Property” as shown in the Taxable Market Value Comparison.
Treasurer Lanoue stated she was unsure of the definition and offered to research the matter and report back to Council.
She noted that new construction that occurred within the City would increase the tax roll by 1.1 million dollars in 2018. She referred to the Tax Capacity Value Comparison, also on page 4 of her Budget Analysis, and advised that the tax capacity increased 9.5 percent. She offered to respond to any questions.
Councilmember Hovey asked if any new subdivisions are proposed in the near future.
Treasurer Lanoue stated she was not aware of any new development proposed in the City.
The Treasurer reviewed the remaining revenues which included Fines, Interest Income, Special Assessments and the Bond Fund Levy. She advised that next year the first Salem Church Road improvement project would be removed from the budget and that the City had received some delinquent assessment from the project.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that the proposed budget for 2018 totals $631,186, which is an increase of $61,445 from the 2017 budget.
The Treasurer reviewed the proposed Expenditures on page one of her Budget Analysis and noted that the Council expenditures and the Publishing, Printing and Advertising costs remain the same as 2017.
Councilmember O’Leary asked if this items should be increased due to the possible hearing notices if the Charlton Road improvement proceeds.
Councilmember Hovey pointed out that the costs for the Charlton Road improvement could be charged to the project.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that the positions of Clerk, Administrator and Treasurer show a 3 percent increase and the Election budget shows a $5,000 decrease. She also advised that the Attorney and Police costs remain the same, and that the Planner costs show a $25,000 reduction from removal of the Comprehensive Plan costs.
The Treasurer stated that the Fire Department had not yet submitted its final budget number, therefore, she proposed $45,000 for 2018. She advised that the signal light for Delaware Avenue remained the same.
Treasurer Lanoue advised that the Skeptic System Administration was increased to $600 as this is monitored by Dakota County.
The Treasurer explained that the City Engineer’s budget may increase due to the possible improvements to Charlton Road and that she added an additional $7,000 to the budget. She further explained that Sign Maintenance was removed from the budget as new signage was completed in 2017.
Councilmember O’Leary asked if funds should be included in the event “No Parking” signs are placed on Charlton Road and the City Engineer advised that those costs would be charged to the improvement project.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that she kept the $3,000 for snow removal to Inver Grove Heights for the City’s portion of plowing 60th Street. She noted that no billing statements had been received for this service, however, she kept the funds available.
The Treasurer stated that the City Engineer recommended the Snow Plowing budget remain at $35,000, the Recycling Coordinator would be $1,000, and that the City Forester had no change for service in 2018. She stated that City memberships remain the same and that the Insurance costs were reduced due to the fact she had changed the Worker’s Compensation insurance to a different vendor. She noted that Office Supplies and Website expenses remain the same and that the rental for St. Anne’s Church slightly increased as outlined in the three-year contract with the church.
Councilmember O’Leary recommended that $500 be placed in the “Miscellaneous” budget in the event an issue arises that cannot be placed in another area of the budget.
Treasurer Lanoue noted that the Bond Interest and Bond Principle would both increase in 2018.
Councilmember O’Leary questioned how much money the City retained in reserve funds.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that the City had $300,000 in savings and $350,000 in short-term CD’s.
Councilmember O’Leary asked if the City should have more reserves for street projects.
Treasurer Lanoue explained that Council would have the authority to set up a fund for street maintenance rather than increase the amount of reserve funds.
In discussion, Council concurred to keep the tax rate the same as 2017 and to include the additional funds as recommended by the Treasurer. Council directed the Treasurer to make the necessary corrections to the proposed 2018 budget for their review and adoption at the September meeting.
Mayor Williams thanked the Treasurer for a wonderful job on presenting the proposed budget. He asked if there was any further business for discussion and hearing no response, adjourned the meeting at 6:55 p.m.
Catherine Iago, City Clerk Richard Williams, Mayor