1/10/2013 9:16:00 AM Taylors Falls Council moves remodel
projects forward; hikes utility fees
by DENISE MARTIN
The Taylors Falls City Council met in special session Jan. 2 to organize for 2013 and to award the bid for remodel projects at the community center. The project to re-do the upper bathroom and kitchen in the community center/old depot went to Kevin Hays Construction. The bid was $7,840. His and one other bid were just $15 apart, and council opted to give the work to the locally-based company. The community center will be getting a kitchen facelift and the older bathroom will be upgraded. Center City Cabinets won the counters, cabinetry and kitchen island bid several weeks ago.
City staff will coordinate the tradespeople, who should be doing the work starting this month and into February. Council member Ross Rivard has donated hours for the project’s electrical labor through his company, Wild River Electric. In other matters: the council raised the base rate for sewer and water use in Taylors Falls and the fees for gallons of water used. Every resident “unit” is billed the same base fee (starting at zero) which for 2013 is now $6.53. Non-resident base went to $9.80. Charges per-thousand-gallons of water used (starting at zero) is now $3.62 per thousand and $5.43 per 1,000 for non-residential properties. The sewer base rate also went up to $17.36 for 2013. The charge for every 1,000 gallons of water going into the sewer system is now $3.03. The city’s other fees like dog licenses, liquor licenses, and peddler permits, community center rentals-- all remain the same from 2012.
The council discussed the city’s cleaning services when setting hourly wage rates for city staff in 2013. The employees pay scales were budgeted in the final levy and council accepted 2013 pay rates of: $20.85 hourly for the maintenance worker, $24.94 for the public works superintendent, $17.50 for the zoning administrator and $24.94 for the city clerk-treasurer. Seasonal help won’t go beyond $9 an hour. Librarian wage is $9.30. The public buildings are cleaned per an agreement for a certain number of hours, provided by Kevin and Carol Schumann. They get no city benefits. Mayor Mike Buchite questioned if they have the time to commit to adequately clean the city hall, community center, etc and said he has had some negative feedback, on the appearance of the community center.
Clerk Jo Everson commented that the start of the new year is a good time to do any adjustments if council wants to pursue a different approach. Buchite and the full council discussed the cleaning persons’ hourly rate, and were okay with the $14.88 budgeted-- but also directed staff to look into options and report back on cleaning service alternatives. ~ The council meets the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 7 p.m. This was unchanged for 2013. ~ The legal paper is the Chisago County Press. ~ Vice Mayor remains Ross Rivard Taylors Falls is seeking resident applicants for a number of city boards and commissions. There’s openings on the planning commission, for a term to the end of this year and one that expires the end of 2015. Ross Rivard serves as council liaison. Taylors Falls Economic Development Commission also has openings. Council member Mary Jo Murphy is council liaison to this group. Council member John Tangen sits on the Heritage Preservation Committee and there’s one opening on this group