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Council approves budget, tax levy

The Rosemount City Council approved its 2013 budget and tax levies during its Dec. 4 meeting. Before voting, the council held its truth in taxation hearing, at which no one spoke.

The city's levy for 2013 increased by 1.24 percent, but most homeowners will not see an increase in the city's share of the taxes.

The city started its budget process in March and set the preliminary budget in September. Little has changed since September. City administrator Dwight Johnson called it a hold-the-line budget.

Over the last several years the Rosemount City Council has made it a priority to cut taxes. Last year the city's share of taxes for the owner of a median value home was cut by $35. In 2011 the decrease was $61 and it was $77 in 2010.

While the council wasn't able to make a reduction again this year, they were able to hold the line by cutting expenses and paying off portions of debt.

However, there were some expenses that went up this year. The city increased pay to firefighters, contracts with the city's union workers call for increases and health insurance premiums went up.

Looking to the future the council is also planning for new amenities including new ball fields at UMore and a senior center.

2013 Street Improvements

The Rosemount City Council approved its 2013 street improvement project Monday. The plan includes mill and overlay for Carrollton Addition and Carrollton 5th Addition, 155th Street West between Shannon Parkway and Chippendale Avenue and Danville Avenue between 160th Street West and Upper 156th Street West.

City engineer Andy Brotzler estimated the project will cost $657,000. With the addition of sealcoating the total cost will be $941,670. Construction will begin in June 2013 and should be completed by fall.

Residents with property along the project streets will be assessed $1,260.

The rest of the funding for the project will come out of the city's street CIP fund, which will amount to $767,790.

During a public hearing for the project, Barbara Holmes asked if the project could be delayed if residents didn't feel it was necessary. Brotzler said the city's pavement management plan works to get the most out of the city's streets and putting it off would only cost the city more in the long run.

Another resident asked if street lights could be added to the area. Brotzler said other residents expressed similar concerns and staff will investigate the possibility

Senior housing agreement

The city council also voted to enter into a preliminary development agreement with Doran Companies to build senior housing north and west of the Steeple Center.

Primarily, community development director Kim Lindquist said, the agreement states that the city and port authority will negotiate a final development contract over the next 90 days.

"It's a blueprint for where we're going in the next 90 days," Lindquist told the council.

One of the main discussion points was that Doran has requested the city provide the land, which it currently owns, for $1.

The city attorney wrote the agreement so the land would sell for $1 so long as Doran performs to the city's satisfaction. The city had a list of terms it hopes the developer will meet.

With the approval of the preliminary development agreement, Lindquist anticipates Doran will begin designing the project, which will lead to the final development contract. The design process will include several community open houses and neighborhood meetings to get public input, which are anticipated in January.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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