Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Indian Lake budget approved above cap

ILTB November 12 2019

IL budget approved above cap
Express News Staff
INDIAN LAKE—The Indian Lake Town Board approved its 2020 Budget when it met on November 12.
Below are figures for the 2020 Budget, followed by figures for the 2019 adopted budget in (parentheses).
THE GENERAL FUND shows appropriations of $3,774,687 ($3,765,710) with estimated revenues of $2,078,350 ($1,913,420), less $10,000 ($187,000) from fund balance, leaving $1,686,337 ($1,665,290) to be raised by taxes, up $21,047 from 2019.
THE HIGHWAY FUND shows appropriations of $1,110,961 ($1,141,410) with estimated revenues of $195,000 ($144,612), less $28,000 ($135,000) from fund balance leaving $887,961 ($861,798) to be raised by taxes. This is up $26,163 from 2019.
THE LIBRARY FUND shows appropriations of $258,083 ($235,538) and estimated revenues of $6,575 ($6,575), less $19,000 ($0.00) from fund leaving $232,508 ($228,963) to be raised by taxes. This is up $3,545 from 2019.
THE LANDFILL/TRANSFER STATION FUND shows appropriations of $224,325 ($233,667) and estimated revenues of $12,040 ($21,040), less $24,000 ($75,000) from fund balance, leaving $188,285 ($137,627) to be raised by taxes, up $50,658 from 2019.
LAND CAPITAL shows appropriations of $13,000 ($11,000) and estimated revenues of $4 ($4), leaving $12,966 ($10,996) to be raised by taxes, up $2,000 from 2019.
WATER DISTRICT 1 (Blue Mountain Lake) shows appropriations of $229, 909 ($191,361) with estimated revenues of $40,040 ($21,590) and $0 ($55,000) from fund balance, leaving $189,869 ($114,771) to be raised by taxes. This is up $75,098 from 2019.
WATER DISTRICT 2 (Indian Lake) shows appropriations of $388,750 ($352,419) with estimated revenues of $78,900 ($80,000) and $1,000 ($50,000) from fund balance, leaving 308,850 ($222,419) to be raised by taxes. This is up $86,431 from 2019.
INDIAN LAKE SEWER DISTRICT shows appropriations of $211,902 ($196,273) with estimated revenues of $35,190 ($17,540) and $7,000 ($25,000) from fund balance, leaving $169,712 ($153,733) to be raised by taxes. This is up $15,979 from 2019.
THE WEED DISTRICT shows appropriations of $15,000 ($15,000) with estimated revenues of $3,014 ($3,014), leaving $11,986 ($11,986) to be raised by taxes.
INDIAN LAKE AMBULANCE FUND shows appropriations of $563,300 ($545,570) with estimated revenues of $140,600 ($169,020), leaving $422,700 ($376,550) to be raised by taxes. This is up $46,150 from 2019.
INDIAN LAKE FIRE DISTRICT shows appropriations of $270,668 ($226,000), leaving the same amount to be raised by taxes. This is up $44,668 from the 2019 budget.
BLUE MNT. LAKE FIRE DISTRICT Last year showed appropriations of $95,301 (93,045), less revenues of $525 ($525), leaving $94,775 ($92,520) to be raised by taxes. This is up $2,256.
The estimated tax levy limit for Indian Lake in 2020 is $3,897,918 This amount excludes the fire districts. The 2020 budget, excluding the fire districts, totals $4,111,204 and this means it would come in $213,286 above the cap, up 5.4718% above cap.
Supervisor Wells asked the Board if they had looked over and reviewed all the changes that were made to the Budget on November 7. He stated that they had until November 20 to adopt a finale budget. Pam Howard stated that she felt the Board could cut $3,000 more out of the Budget from Sewer and Water. Discussion was held with Kevin King, Department Head of Sewer and Water. Pam told all she feels that the Board has a good Budget. She stated that expense wise we' re down from the previous years, the reason the Budget is over this year is because there is no Fund Balance to apply to offset the Budget. She stated this is due to the amount spent on the Laberge bills and the Grants that have not been reimbursed yet. She told the Board that if they adopted the Budget as it is now, next year we will be in a higher tax cap point and the Budget will even back out. Councilwoman Curry feels that the Board has done as much as they could without compromising services or getting it to bare bones. She feels the $3,000 is not enough to make a difference and does not want to put any more stress on Kevin's Budget.
Councilman Rathbun questioned Kevin King about his half year person he requested. Kevin explained that he is thinking of retiring. Councilman Rathbun stated past practice has always been to move one of the other crew members up and hire a laborer and then gave them time to get their licenses done.
Councilman Rathbun stated that if he knew Kevin was retiring in August, he can see hiring someone to begin training, however, if Kevin does not know when he is going to retire, we could wait. Kevin stated right now he is looking at January to retire. Councilman Rathbun stated then we can wait until next year’s Budget to hire a new person and save the Town $18,000 now. Kevin stated that he feels the Board should hire someone for half a year now so they can begin training as they must work for a year before they can get their license. Councilman Rathbun stated that past practice has been to move people up and always started the new person as a laborer which gave them time to get their licenses. Pam Howard explained that the wages used were the starting rate wages. Councilman Rathbun stated that he was saying we could wait until January to hire. Supervisor Wells stated that Kevin was trying to explain the point of getting the licenses and working the six months in the department to be able to get the license. He stated that they cannot begin getting their licenses for a year. Councilwoman Curry stated that she thought the reason was to let someone try the job for the six months. She stated that if the new person did not like the job and left, we could be backed up worse and spending more money in the long run by cutting that out. Kevin stated that the training is very expensive. Supervisor Wells asked what they can do in six months. Kevin stated they can take the D license which would allow them to dig in the ditch. He told all that this is a safety license. Councilman Rathbun reiterated that we could hire someone for six months and if they decide they don't want to stay we lose that six months and start from scratch? Councilman Rathbun again stated that past practice has been to hire when the person leaves. Supervisor Wells asked Kevin what happens in 2020 if he don't retire do, we let this person go? Kevin stated that as of now he is retiring in January. Councilman Rathbun also questioned the part time person for the Highway. Councilwoman Curry made a motion to adopt the Preliminary Budget that was approved on November 7th. Seconded by, Supervisor Wells. Discussion held. Councilman Clawson also questioned that past practice has also always been as well the opportunity for other Employees of the Town to move up, he asked what would happen to the other Departments Budget if that Department loses a man to the Water Department? Supervisor Wells stated that all transfers needed to be approved by the Department Head and the Board, so if  someone left one department  for  the other, Kevin will have the funding there to pay for six months and the other department would have the money left from that person leaving to fund a new hire. Supervisor Wells asked if there is a time that things slow down. Kevin stated that November would probably be the time, but that is when they catch up with other stuff. Supervisor Wells stated the reason for the question is that if he could wait until November would that give him time to train someone. Pam Howard also explained that the $18,000.00 is based on a new hire, if someone transferred, that amount would not be enough. She also stated that if the Board did not do allow Kevin to hire for the six months, we only have two guys trying to get the job done and trying to train a new person. She stated that the amounts are just a budget number that we try to get as close to the amount we intend to spend but you can never hit it right on the mark. Councilman Rathbun also stated that he had a question for Jamie Roblee, Highway Superintendent, who could not be at the meeting tonight. He asked since we have two For man' s in that Department, why do we not have one of them here so the Board could ask the question. Councilwoman Curry stated this has been in the Budget since they received it and there have been many opportunities to ask the questions of Jamie. Supervisor Wells reiterated that Jamie had decided not to hire until January 1 under the new Budget.
The board then adopted the budget.
Supervisor Wells stated that the Budget process is one of the toughest times getting through. He stated that at times they have issues, but it’s because the Board tries to do good things. No one is doing anything wrong, just trying to do the best they can. Kevin stated that his department has went down from four full time to three and at times its tough.
Councilwoman Curry thanked Pam Howard for all her work on the Budget and stated it was much appreciated.
Councilwoman Patricia Curry questioned the policy involving Teen Night and how many kids can participate verses how many chaperones needed for supervision. She is worried about the liability. Supervisor Wells stated he would investigate that. Councilwoman Curry also questioned the broom hockey and asked if the Town's Insurance would cover this and do, we provide the equipment? Supervisor Brian Wells stated that we do not supply the equipment. Councilwoman Curry suggested as Josselyn is new, maybe there should be a discussion on this with her, to check on the liability. Pam stated she had checked with the insurance company and was told that the parents would just need to sign a waiver.
Supervisor Wells thanked the Department Heads for their work during the storm. The Department Heads are keeping track of all their hours and equipment use for possible reimbursement.
Andy Cony, Blue Mt. Lake Association President, approached the Board with two questions. First question was asking where the Well project in Blue Mt. was at? Supervisor Wells stated we are waiting to hear back concerning the Grant application. Supervisor Wells stated until we find out about the Grant we will move forward. He also reported that there would be more Well drilling. Second question was concerning the new Zoning Ordinance and if there would be a Public Hearing. Supervisor Wells stated that the final draft had to go back to the APA. He told all that the Deputy Supervisor has been reviewing it and has sent it back for final review. He also told all, that the gentleman from Chazen, who has been working on it, has been out of the Country.
Darrin Harr, Chamber of Commerce, approached the Board telling all that the "Let There Be Lights Contest" has begun and he invited all to enter the contest. Councilwoman Stanton stated that she would like everyone who has white lights to please keep them on for Snocade.
Supervisor Wells told Bill Laprairie, Department Head of Parks and Rec., that we have the go ahead to begin work on the snowmobile trail at Furnels. It was discussed putting up a fence.
Supervisor Wells reported to all that he had received information concerning the funds available for the damage caused by the storm. He told all that we had been told to call 211 but 211called back and stated they did not know that Hamilton County had any problems related to the storm. He told all this is being taken care of. He stated Don Purdey is working on it at the County Level. He also reported that there is another fund available however they do not cover bridges or culverts.
Supervisor Wells told all that on November 21 at 7 p.m. there will be a meeting with the Blue M t. Lake Fire District# 2 at the Town Hall.
Supervisor Wells reported that he had received the contract status with Rozell from our Engineering Company Laberge concerning the Abanakee Dam, pointing out that they have some documentation, however no underwater documentation. The stated they only know of one big concrete pour that has been completed. They stated that this will not be done by the end of the year and the schedule has been extended until June. He stated that he has been in contact with Rozell concerning payment to the Engineering Group Laberge. He stated they are disputing the bill. Supervisor Wells told them that we already paid the bill and we need to be reimbursed. He stated had we been reimbursed to date it would have helped with the Town's budget. He told all that they are contacting their Attorneys and will let Supervisor Wells know what they are going to do. Supervisor Wells stated that in return he would be calling our Lawyers. Supervisor Wells stated that he feels that the Town worked in good faith with both groups, we paid our bills, we stuck with them so the process would not be upset more than it already was, and he feels that Indian Lake is not being represented well by our Engineering Firm and just because they are fighting with Rozell , the Town should be getting our money back.
Councilwoman Curry reported to all that she, Councilwoman Stanton and Brenda Valentine will be going to St. Lawrence University to attend the North Country Symposium. She stated its about what Rural Communities can do for growth and population and economic possibilities. She told all that a gentleman from the University of Minnesota will be talking about the migration of the 30 - 49 age group coming back to rural areas. She is hoping to be able to come back with some good information.

Editor’s Note: This story is based upon minutes provided by Town Clerk Julie Clawson.

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