City of Isanti intends to withdraw from Isanti County EDA

By Elizabeth Sias

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer, right, presents the Isanti Cub Scouts with the 2011 Jubilee Parade Mayor’s Choice Award. Mayor Wimmer selected their float because of their great concept of environmental stewardship. Photos by Elizabeth Sias

The Isanti City Council passed a resolution at their meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3, to communicate to the Isanti County Board of Commissioners the city’s intent to withdraw from the Isanti County Economic Development Authority (EDA).

The County EDA adopted a motion in July to have the County Board consider an EDA levy or general fund allocation for taxes payable in 2012, which members of the Isanti City Council oppose because, as the resolution states, the levy is for “an undetermined type, amount and purpose.”

“Hopefully this will make them think twice about what they’re going to be doing on raising the EDA levy,” Isanti Mayor George Wimmer said. “But it also really gives the County EDA a chance if they want to retain or change our minds — which, I think they’d have to do an awful lot to change it — but it would give them a chance—a year or two—to say ‘this is what our purpose is, this is what we’re going to do.’”

Yvonne Kennedy (1st place), $100 prize funded by Hutchens DDS; Scott and Gabrielle Nelson (2nd place), $50 prize funded by Startec; and Jeff and Karen Rasche (3rd place), $25 prize funded by KJD Signs, were selected the winners of Isanti Mayor George Wimmer’s July Great Yard Awards. Mayor Wimmer (far right) presented them with their certificates during the Aug. 3 council meeting.

In May 2010, the Isanti City Council, based on the recommendation from the City of Isanti EDA, adopted a resolution asking the county not to institute an EDA levy and that the focus be on the development of an industrial rail park for which the County EDA was created.

After reviewing the matter at the July meeting, the City of Isanti EDA passed a motion asking the city council to notify the Isanti County Board and EDA that the city intends to withdraw from the Isanti County EDA in 2012, after the five-year requirement expires. Additionally, the Isanti City Council is requesting the Isanti County Board not to institute a levy for the County EDA.

The City Council’s resolution states that, if funding is to be utilized by the County EDA, it should not be in the form of an additional County EDA levy, but that the funds should be reallocated from within the existing budget of the Isanti County general fund levy.


In other action, the council:

• Awarded a bid for the purchase of a 4-foot by 6-foot city flag to Embroidery and Ink for $333.98. The council previously awarded a bid to the same company for $252, but Embroidery and Ink was unable to deliver the flag at the cost. New quotes were obtained from Carrot-Top Industries — $155.81 — and Embroidery and Ink — $333.98 for one flag. The Park and Recreation Board reviewed the material of the flags provided by each vender and found the material used by Embroidery and Ink superior to Carrot-Top Industries — the former is rated for at least two years, whereas the latter is a maximum of one year.

• Awarded a quote to install ball field lighting relays at Unity Park to Bloomquist Electric for $1,300. The current mechanism to operate the lights is potentially unsafe due to the exposure of 420 volts of power by accessing the electrical box directly, and installing a single switch will remove the safety risk.

• Waived the building permit fees for the Isanti Fireman’s Rodeo Association. The nonprofit organization rebuilt the preferred seating area for the rodeo twice from storm damage, and requested the fee be waived to help limit their losses. Isanti Mayor George Wimmer agreed it was fair, as the Fire Department does not charge the usual $250 to the city for each fire call.