Monticello City Council Highlights - July 26, 2021

MONTICELLO CITY COUNCIL HIGHLIGHTSCity of Monticello

July 26, 2021

EDA Annual Update

Economic Development Manager Jim Thares presented the annual Economic Development department update.

“The 2020-2021 workplans included six components: downtown redevelopment was the top goal or priority for the EDA. Promoting industrial and commercial development was the second priority, housing development was third. The IEDC’s priorities were labor force development and business retention and expansion. In 2020 the CARES Act came to the city and money was provided to the EDA and that’s where the COVID-19 emergency response efforts were established,” said Thares.

EDA ANNUAL UPDATE: Presentation intro slideHe then elaborated further explaining that Block 52 was the top priority of the Downtown Redevelopment work plan as well as the Façade Improvement Program. One highlight was that the façade improvements to the Agosto building were completed in late 2020, with three new applications submitted this spring/summer, all of which are on Block 35.

According to Thares, there were 38 EDA CARES Act grants approved for $5,000 each. Eight additional City CARES Act grants were also approved for restaurants and microbreweries in the community.

Riverfest Recap

Riverfest 2021 was a huge success according to Riverfest City Liaison Tom Pawelk.

“Overall, it was a good turnout. Second highest gross sales that the Riverfest committee has ever seen, so that’s pretty good. Record beer sales… and duck adoptions were basically sold out, so that’s 5,000 ducks sold,” said Pawelk.

The first night [Thursday] kicked off at Pioneer Park, with a Monticello firefighter showing up strong for a second year in a row and winning the pie eating contest. Mayor Hilgart teased that may only be because he’s “not invited back” to the pie eating contest after winning twice.

“Friday night, the talent show had 22 acts and we followed it up with a wonderful fireworks display, sponsored by the City of Monticello. The Lions Bean Bag tournament on Saturday had 49 entries,” said Pawelk.

Pawelk added that while Sunday’s parade was shorter than past years, with no royalty candidates or visiting royalty; the shorter parade might have been preferable given the heat. He joked that the kids didn’t seem to mind because they still got plenty of candy.

Online Building Permits

City of Monticello is now offering online building permits for permits that do not require a plan review. Visit our website to check it out! 

Council Approval

  • Council approved Special Event Permit
    • City Council approved a Special Event Permit and temporary liquor license for the Rotary’s Taste of the Towns event. The event will be held on Thursday, September 16 in the commuter lot on Deegan Ave. 


  • Council approved new restrooms for Ellison Park
    • City Council approved the purchase of modular restrooms to replace the existing restrooms at Ellison Park. The project will also include ADA improvements in the area around the bathroom.
  • Council approved proceeding with bids for DMV relocation
    • City Council approved notifying the State of Minnesota of intent to move the DMV from its current location to the Prairie Center building at 118 W. 6th Street. Council also approved proceeding with bids for the improvements necessary to remodel the first floor of the building for the DMV. City Council will consider officially ordering the improvements at a future meeting.

WATCH A CITY MEETING

Citizens are welcome to attend City Council, Planning Commission, and Economic Development Authority meetings, but we understand that attending in person is not always an option. As an alternative, we offer the following options to stay engaged with your local government:

  • Meetings are broadcast live on cable channel 12 (FiberNet and TDS subscribers) or channel 180 (Charter subscribers).
  • Meetings are streamed live online. View the live stream on the Monticello Live Stream website.
  • Meetings recordings are available online to watch when it's convenient for you. View the meeting recordings on the Monticello Live Stream website.
  • Meetings are rebroadcast throughout the week on cable channel 12 (FiberNet & TDS subscribers) or channel 180 (Charter subscribers).

 

Sep 28

[ARCHIVED] City Council Approves Preliminary 2024 City Tax Levy - Sept. 28, 2023

The original item was published from September 28, 2023 11:25 AM to September 28, 2023 11:25 AM

DATE:             September 28, 2023
                         For Immediate Release

CONTACT:      Rachel Leonard
                          (763) 295-2711 | Rachel.Leonard@ci.monticello.mn.us


City Council Approves Preliminary 2024 City Tax Levy

Monticello, MN – On Monday, Sept. 25, the Monticello City Council approved a preliminary 2024 city tax levy of $13,134,000. This is a 9% increase from the city tax levy in 2023. 

The majority of the tax levy goes into the City’s General Fund. This fund supports many of the basic functions of local government, including public safety, snow and ice removal, planning and zoning, and more. While evaluating the budget for next year, the City Council considered the rising cost for local law enforcement, the administration of three elections in 2024, and the maintenance needs for assets like the local pathways. 

The preliminary levy also included an allocation for the fund used to finance larger projects. In 2024, this will include completing the Downtown Roadway and Pedestrian Improvements, the city contribution to the Wright County pavement project on East Broadway, and intersection improvements on School Boulevard. 

Funding for Minnesota cities is reliant on property taxes. However, Monticello frequently seeks other funding sources, including state and federal grants, to limit greater impact on local taxpayers. In 2024, this will include use of the local public safety aid granted by the MN legislature.

The decision by the City Council on Monday night included the part of local property taxes they can control: the size of the levy. There are other factors that influence changes in a property tax bill, including any changes to the property value. 

Finance Director Sarah Rathlisberger explains it like a pizza: the Council decides what size of pizza to order; the property type and value tells you how big of a slice you get. There are four key classifications affected by the levy in Monticello: residential, commercial & industrial, apartments, and the nuclear generating plant.

Unlike most other municipalities, the presence of the nuclear generating plant significantly impacts Monticello’s tax base. The facility’s value is determined by the State of Minnesota each year. While the plant was once responsible for the majority of the City’s tax base, the facility’s property value received more modest increases in value than other properties in the city and in 2024 the value is projected to decrease by 4.6%. This shifts more of the local tax responsibility to residential, apartments, and commercial & industrial properties. 

The proposed increase of 9% would mean a residential property with a taxable market value of $300,000 in 2023 and an average 10.9% market value increase would see an increase in City taxes of approximately $132.

Understanding the challenges this creates, the City Council addressed the increase noting that between law enforcement costs, rising prices for fuel and materials, and the City’s responsibility for providing essential services, there’s not a lot of ability to reduce the levy amount needed for the budget in 2024.

However, setting the preliminary levy is simply the first step in a longer process. The information will be used by Wright County to compile the Truth-in-Taxation notices mailed to properties in November.

Following the notices, residents will have an opportunity to speak about the proposed tax levy and voice their opinions to City Council at the Truth-in-Taxation Public Hearing on Monday, December 11, 2023 during the regular Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Following the public hearing, the City Council will adopt the final 2024 property tax levy and 2024 budget.

To learn more about the City of Monticello’s budget process, how the levy is determined, and what property taxes are used for, visit the City’s website.