Mayor's Report For March, 2009

We have a guest post from Mayor Ernie Schmit his Report For March, 2009

We have received notice of our 2009 tax capacity rates from the County. Our rate went up this year from last year. Last year our rate was 69.038 percent, this year it increased to 70.502 percent. No, we did not raise the tax levy. Because of the present economic climate, the majority of the property in Holdingford went down in value. This causes the tax capacity rate to go up to collect the amount of taxes the City of Holdingford levied. By the way this levy amount has not changed since 2002. Even with the tax rate going up, the majority of property owners should not see an increase to the City portion of their property taxes.

As I wrote in January, the City of Holdingford has been trying to qualify for some of the economic stimulus money the federal government is providing to stimulate the economy, to repair some of the problems we have been having with our water distribution system. Good News! We have been given preliminary approval for a grant and loan package to replace all of the 1930s water and sewer lines in the city (with the exception of Main Street) as well as updating some of the equipment in the waste water treatment plant. Our engineering firm estimates this to be an approximate $4,019,000 project with $1,455,970 paid by grant and the remainder with a low interest loan. These are very rough estimates; we will have a better idea of true costs once the design engineering has been done which will take most of this year to complete. If all goes as planned, we will be calling for bids in early 2010 and start digging in April of 2010, and have the project completed in the fall of 2010. We will keep you informed as the project progresses.

We have received a letter from the U.S. Department of Commerce asking us to set up a complete count committee for the 2010 census. The idea of this committee is to help inform the public of the need to fill out the census accurately and send it in. Local Government Aid and project grant formula’s use population figures and mean incomes to determine the amount of dollars a city receives for the following ten years. We know of cities that did not get an accurate count in 2000 and consequently have lost thousands of dollars in State and Federal aid. So it’s very important we get an accurate count in 2010. I’m looking for some individuals or an organization who would like to get this count committee going and run with it. I have the information and would be willing to help you get started. Please call me at 746-2966 office or 746-2603 home or email me at mayor.eschmit@holdingfordmn.us Don’t make me beg!

We are going to remodel the bathrooms in the Municipal Liquor Store. We have approximately $30,000 of lottery profits saved up to do this much needed project. We hope to start in April and finish as fast as possible so as to not inconvenience the store patrons for too long. We will have portapotties set up while the project is in process.

The hydraulic pump in the snow plow truck gave up and died of old age. The cost of repair was a little better than $3500. I would like to publicly thank Holding Township for the one day use of their truck, while ours was being repaired, Thank-You!

We have been notified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that the City of Holdingford has been awarded the Minnesota Wastewater Treatment Facility Operational Award for the period of October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008. Good job Jerry and Jeremy!

The Municipal Liquor Store will host a 500 card tournament Saturday evening March 14, with the band Corridor playing afterwards and the Fire Department will have its annual breakfast Sunday, March 15.

Kathy O’Hara who is in charge of reservations for the City Community Center is now also in charge of renting the Veteran’s Park shelter. She can be reached at (320) 293-6687 to set up reservations or answer any questions about renting either of these facilities.

The City Clerks office will be closed March 18-20, and I will not be in my office Monday, March 30.

Respectfully Submitted by Mayor Ernie Schmit