By Fritz Busch
SLEEPY EYE - By a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Sleepy Eye City Council approved its 2014 final budget following a Truth in Taxation hearing.
Due largely to increased state LGA (Local Government Aid) similar to the city's 2007 level, total 2014 tax asking of $1,111,440 is $40,670 less than $1,153,110 in 2013, City Manager Mark Kober said. The 3.53 percent overall tax reduction includes 5.6 percent less for the general fund. A city sales tax exemption adds more money back into the budget beginning Jan. 1, 2014.
The city council approved:
* Appointing City Utilities Superintendent Bob Elston to vote for the City to increase it's CapX power transmission project purchase closer to the $1.5 million the City originally intended to purchase in the power project between Brokkings, S.D. and Hampton. The Sleepy Eye Public Utilities Commission earlier approved the resolution.
"We've got the money in bond proceeds," Elston said. He added the investment has a 12.38 percent rate of return when the power lines are turned on next year.
* The First Reading of a Dangerous Dogs and Potentially Dangerous Dogs ordinance that allows police to immediately seize dangerous dogs, which are defined as inflicting substantial bodily harm on a human being on public or private property when unprovoked; that kill or inflict substantial bodily harm on a domestic animal while off the owner's property; thataggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals after the owner has notice the dog is potentially dangerous; or repeatedly attacks or attempts to attack a person or domestic animal on private or public property when unprovoked. The city council will vote on the ordinance at its second reading set for January.
* Sending back Sleepy Eye Electric Company's variance request to reduce the front yard setback from 25 feet to 10 feet for a new building in the C.C. Hansen Addition on Prescott Ave. N.W. to the Planning and Zoning Board in an effort to avoid allowing a zoning variance. A special meeting must be held by Jan. 7, 2014 or the request would become approved by the 60-day rule. The request was filed Nov. 7, 2013.
* Annual fund transfers from general to EDA to balance cash, $210,000 from sewer to general, $15,000 from liquor to general and from street to debt service and projects to balance cash.
* Tobacco license renewals for 2014 for Casey's, Freedom, Meyer's Bar, the Servicemen's Club, Cenex and Family Dollar.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.