City raises rates on water and sewer

•Employee raises approved; insurance levels lowered

“Due to contractors raising rates annually, the city’s utility rates need to be increased,” said City Administrator Shirley Teigland. “I’m proposing a three percent rate increase for water and sewer to cover increases,” she said at Monday night’s city council meeting.

There was no increase in residential garbage service. “In reviewing garbage costs for commercial, it appears the city is not charging enough to cover their current costs, so I propose a five percent increase,” said Teigland.

She said the increase should be greater than five percent, “But I would oppose an incremental increase in commercial garbage rates in the same manner as the city did with water and sewer rates over multiple years.”

TEIGLAND also said the Consumer Price Index released in November has remained fairly consistent at 2.5 percent the entire year.

“The council approved raises for full-time employees in 2017 based on the increase and that resulted in a two percent raise.”

As a result, the council approved the same increase for 2019. The council, in an effort to cap costs of health insurance, in 2012 switched the health insurance offered to full-time employees to a higher deductible plan.

Because premiums have consistently increased each year since 2013, the amount the city contributed to individual HSA’s has also decreased. The premium costs have dropped substantially and are currently at 2013 cost levels.

As a result, the council lowered the annual contribution back to the 2013 levels. This is based on decreased insurance premium costs.

IN OTHER action the board: •Heard Jim Fink of the Minneota American Legion request the city’s help in maintaining new flags at for the city at a cost of about $500 for the year. He indicated he would like to replace the flags each year.

City Councilman Jerry Teigland made the motion to approved the donation to pay for the flags.

•Approved a final levy of $527,063 for a 2.5 percent increase for the coming year. That’s a increase of $12,855.

•Approved liquor licenses for the American Legion (on-sale beer; set-up); City hall Bar and Grill (combination liquor; Sunday liquor); Countryside Golf Club; (combinational liquor, Sunday liquor); Dalager’s Convenience Store (off-sale beer) and Hwy. 68 Liquor (off-sale liquor; Sunday liquor).

•Was informed by the Lyon County Historical Society that the historical society was awarded the Legacy Grant for the development/fabrication of the second floor exhibit space for $265,585.

Executive Director Jennifer Andries and Board President Andrea Hess thanked the city council for their contribution to help raise $144,000 from public, private and individual contributors to help secure the grant.

“It’s with excitement we inform you we will begin the fabrication process in January, 2019, concluding the project in 2020 to coincide with Lyon County’s 150th anniversary.”

•Approved the appointment of Karen Golden to the Minneota Library Board to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Marilyn Pagel.

Byron Higgin

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