As we are in the heart of winter, I am returning from my hiatus from this memo. I apologize that this has fallen off, but I’m going to be starting it up again as I feel it’s a nice avenue to provide information to citizens of Le Sueur. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this blog, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my phone number is 507-593-8312.
Upcoming City Council Meeting (2/26/2018) – The City Council meeting on 2/26/2018 is a little lighter than a lot of the previous meetings, but we still have some important items to discuss.
After the consent agenda, we have an item evaluating the City Council long-term and short-term goals. These goals were developed at the 2018 City Council Planning Retreat, which was held on 1/27/2018 at the Le Sueur Fire Hall. These goals were discussed in great detail, and the following were developed and will have the opportunity to be adopted on Monday.
Long-Term Goals - 2022
- Housing: In order to ensure safe, livable and attractive housing which in turn increases long-term neighborhood stability, the City’s economic viability and tax base, the City will encourage compliance with property maintenance codes and the rental licensing program, and it will enforce the state building code. By 2020 the City, in partnership with the EDA, will have implemented recommendations from the 2015 Housing Plan.
- Economic Development: In order to retain, expand and attract businesses that create high-quality jobs, the City, in partnership with the EDA, will by July 2018 have developed and begun to implement strategic initiatives to enhance the City’s business climate.
- Planning: Follow-thru on 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update by developing and implementing an action plan based on the recommended Comp Plan strategies.
- Infrastructure: Continue to update the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) in order to preserve the City’s infrastructure while ensuring efficient use of tax dollars. The CIP will (1) identify capital projects, and equipment purchases, and (2) provide a planning schedule with options for financing.
- Financial Management: Develop a long-term financial plan that incorporates best practices for accountability, operations, reporting, and financial sustainability of the City.
Staff Priorities – 2018
- Begin to develop protocols for rental ordinance monitoring and building maintenance code
- Develop tools for odor mitigation, public relations components, and develop a path forward
- Clarify roles and responsibilities of staff and workgroups associated with the downtown master plan follow-up and 2040 Comprehensive Plan
- Evaluate the possibility of establishing an advisory board that evaluates Parks and Recreation in the City of Le Sueur
- Take action on the Community Center Organizational and Funding Analysis Study
- Update the Pavement Management Plan and incorporate projects into the Capital Improvement Plan
- Continue to develop and begin to implement strategic initiatives to enhance the City’s business climate
- Evaluate the 2015 Housing Study recommendations and continue implementation
- Continue the developed of the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) and Capital Equipment Plan (CEP)
Next, the City Council will be evaluating the purchase of a Boring Machine for the Electric Division. The current boring machine has been slated for replacement since 2016, and we have finally had enough of the machine breaking down. This is a large expenditure, but we have planned accordingly, budgeted enough dollars, and secured bids through the proper process. Ditch Witch of Minnesota & Iowa supplied the lone bid at $218,501.00, which is not surprising because the boring machine unit was a Ditch Witch, but we are required to go through this process due to the amount being above $100,000. If City Council approves this expenditure, the Electric Division will take delivery of the machine in April.
Capital Planning/2018 Projects – The City of Le Sueur formally adopted Capital Improvement and Capital Equipment Plans for 2018. The basis of these plans is to look into the future five years and estimate expenditures that are needed to continue to maintain service to the various aspects of City business.
Here are some highlights of items that have been budgeted for in 2018:
- Electric Division boring machine replacement
- Roof repair at the Fire Hall
- Parks, Open Space, and Trail System Master Plan
- Kingsway Dog Park
- Sidewalk to Outdoor Pool
- Snow Plow Truck Replacement
- Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) Sidewalk Program (31 blocks)
- Various vehicle replacements (1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994)
Stormwater Utility/Utility Rates – In your current bill, you will notice that utility rates have increased and an additional fund for Stormwater has been created. City Staff and your City Council have evaluated in great detail the current financial states of our utility funds and have determined that an increase is warranted due to maintenance needs that have been deferred. These rates will help ensure that you as a citizen of Le Sueur receive the best service from your utilities. Our core goal is to provide citizens with reliable service at an affordable cost. Most of our utilities, minus Sanitary Sewer are at or below the median cost for cities in our region.
- Water rates have not increased since 2009 (9 years)
- Electric kWh charges have increased 3% since 2009 (9 years)
- Electric service charges have not increased since 2007 (11 years)
- Sanitary Sewer has followed a City Council adopted rate plan adopted in 2014
City Council also created a Stormwater Utility fund. This fund is to be used only for Stormwater related projects. These may consist of paying for a portion of street reconstruction projects, addressing standing water issues throughout town, addressing deteriorating stormwater structures, and creating and maintaining stormwater ponds.
If you have questions about your utility rates, please reach out, and we will sit down and go over the changes specific to your property.
I hope everyone has a great weekend, be safe during the inclement weather.