Ballot question to ask voters about community center improvements

A November ballot question will ask Isanti voters whether they will support increasing their city property taxes to pay for improvements to the city’s community center.

During the Isanti City Council meeting Tuesday, Aug. 21, council members passed a resolution calling to put a question on the general election ballot to issue $250,000 in general obligation bonds to fund the capital improvement projects.

The question that will be placed on the Nov. 6 ballot is anticipated to read as follows:

BETTERMENT OF AND IMPROVEMENTS TO CITY’S COMMUNITY CENTER

“Shall the City of Isanti, Minnesota, be authorized to issue its general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $250,000 to finance the betterment of and improvements to the City’s community center?”

BY VOTING “YES” ON THIS BALLOT QUESTION, YOU ARE VOTING FOR A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE.

Some of the improvements outlined in the Capital Improvement Plan for the Community Center between 2012 to 2021 are replacing the fence, installing siding on the exterior of the building, replacing gutters, installing a sidewalk to connect the City Hall and Community Center parking lots, replacing interior lighting, install new flooring, replace doors, remodeling restrooms, replacing some kitchen outlets and appliances and more.

If passed, the City Council will vote on whether to raise city property taxes roughly $13 a year per $150,000 home value for 10 years, Isanti Mayor George Wimmer said. There is no requirement for the City Council to issue bonds, but the public’s consensus will serve as guidance and gives the council authorization to issue bonds if it deems appropriate.

County Road 5 sidewalk plan discussed

The city is proposing to install a sidewalk along Co. Rd. 5 between Federated Co-op and Minnco.

The City Council approved the feasibility report provided by City Engineer Brad DeWolf. The preliminary estimated project cost is $74,412, which includes construction, contingencies, engineering and administration costs. Approving the feasibility report does not mean the final cost is approved.

The proposed concrete sidewalk would be installed along the back curb from Elim Lane NE to Credit Union Drive NE, completing the pedestrian walkway along the south side of Co. Rd. 5.

“This is a project we’ve been looking at for years,” Council Member Sue Larson said.

The 5-foot wide, 4-inch thick sidewalk would match the existing concrete walk currently installed from Elim Lane NE to Co. Rd. 23. The proposed project would also include minor drainage improvements.

City of Isanti withdraws from County EDA

The council passed a resolution to withdraw from the Isanti County EDA (Economic Development Association) and to prohibit the EDA from operating/levying within the boundaries of the city of Isanti.

In 2011, Isanti communicated to the county that it did not want to have a levy for the Isanti County EDA established within the city of Isanti and that it “should identify some clear goals moving toward the future,” a report from Economic Development Director Sean Sullivan stated.

The County EDA currently has the authority to levy within Isanti, but the city has the ability to withdraw from the EDA after serving a minimum of five years from the anniversary date of Dec. 4, 2007.

“The City of Isanti City Council has been unsatisfied with the role, actions and failure to identify clear goals by the County EDA and has determined financial support of this organization by Isanti taxpayers is not prudent,” the resolution stated.

In other action, the council:

• Approved an event application by Wintergreens to host an outdoor event celebrating their 10th anniversary Friday, Sept. 21, at 8:30 p.m.

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