Canton City Council gives preliminary levy approval
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 8:45 AM
At the Canton City Council Meeting, held last Wednesday, the 2013 preliminary tax levy was reviewed. Clerk Lolly Melander told the council that the levy needed to be filed and that preliminary approval was needed prior to filing the proposed 7 percent increase.
Mayor Donivee Johnson also noted that the levy could be adjusted down in the final version, but could not be increased.
Following the discussion, approval was given to the proposed 7 percent Canton city budget increase for 2013.
City maintenance discussion items included the scheduled repair of two streets due to the installation of water lines to new construction. The section of Main Street near the intersection of Prairie Avenue will be repaired this fall since the likelihood of settling is reduced by packing the area when the main was installed.
The street near the Hostings residence will be repaired in the spring to allow for any settling over the winter. The sidewalk area by Danny Whalen's building will also need repair due to the replacement of the shutoff to the property.
Nordsving also reported that the wastewater treatment plant phosphorus counts are now in normal range; counts had been elevated earlier in the summer, which Nordsving attributed to the warmer than usual temps.
The cleaning of the community center, town hall and Mitson House was discussed. Currently, the cleaning is done by Caroline Swartzentruber on Saturdays. It was decided to request that the services be completed on a week day when there would be City staff available to oversee the cleaning. A check list will also be written for each location to ensure that all areas of cleaning are addressed.
Maintenance employee Jon Nordsving also brought up the possibility of purchasing a spreader for the city to eliminate the need to contract the service of hauling sludge from the wastewater treatment center. Currently, the biosolids are spread at times determined by the contractor. Nordsving felt the purchase of a piece of equipment by the city would allow for the biosolids to be spread as needed. No cost for the equipment has been determined; therefore no action was taken.
Nordsving also updated the council on the required updates to the fire department radios and pagers. The fire department needs 15 pagers at a replacement cost of $405 each. There is also additional cost for reprogramming existing equipment. Nordsving estimated that the cost for the required upgrades, to be completed in November, to be around $7,000. There are grant requests written for some of the costs but no approval or funding from other sources had been secured as of the September council meeting.
There was also discussion on a legal summons and complaint regarding property previously occupied by the Canton Nursery. Several sections of property in the city are involved, including an area across from the fire hall which has been maintained by the city for a number of years.
The city attorney has been contacted regarding the summons and complaint. Nethercut will be checking into the possibility of the city securing that particular parcel. It was noted that many Canton residents have received a copy of the document.
Efforts to contact a relative of the Kelly property owner has been initiated. Taxes are delinquent and there have been special assessments to the taxes for maintenance costs incurred by the city. The only maintenance of the property has been done by the city. The general feeling of the council was that it would be beneficial to the city if the property was not allowed to further deteriorate.
The condition of the former school building was again discussed. It was reported that the building is still not secured and that the property is a hazardous environment to anyone who would enter the building. The city attorney will be contacted regarding possible city action alternatives on this issue.
Area Girl Scouts will be in the area on Saturday, Oct. 13, volunteering. The project includes door hangers and yard waste clean up.
Johnson and Melander will be attending a League of Minnesota Cities regional meeting on Oct. 3 from 1 to 6 p.m. in Lanesboro.
The council also elected to not take action regarding the ongoing silica sand issue. The city of Canton has a no-mining statute in place.
Approval was given to the purchase of two picnic tables to be located at the new shelter. The Canton Day Off committee will purchase two tables as well.
Melander told the council that Jennifer Powell had inquired about the possibility of installing an outdoor wood burner at her residence on Highway 52, west of Canton, the former VonGroven residence. The information previously given to Brandy Williams, who had also resided at the same property, was reviewed. It was noted that since the Williams' request, there had been a change in the required setback to 15 feet. In addition, the restriction of no garbage or non-wood items incinerated in the stove was mentioned. Since Powell was not in attendance at the meeting, no action was taken.
There will be a community meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 2 p.m. regarding the Postal Service plan for the ongoing operation of the Canton Post Office. The meeting will be held at the Canton Town Hall. Area residents will be sent a written notice of the meeting as well as a survey for submission to the United States Postal Service. The meeting is intended to answer questions, solicit input and discuss the results of the POST plan customer survey. The proposed plan for ongoing operation of the Canton Post Office will also be presented. The final decision as to that operation will be decided after all input and opinions have been gathered from the surveys and community meeting.