Minnetrista preliminary tax increase highest of all surrounding cities

I attended the League of Women Voters city council candidate forum at Minnetrista city hall Thursday night. Once the video is available I’ll post it and give a recap. For now just wanted to post some information city council candidate Elroy Balgaard shared that night on the surrounding communities and how their preliminary tax levy changes compare to Minnetrista’s.2019 surrounding cities preliminary leviesThis information didn’t go over well with the incumbents who asserted these communities can’t be compared but it should be noted that the city of Orono is quite comparable to Minnetrista in size and growth yet their increase is 40% lower than Minnetrista’s. Yes, there’s always a chance preliminary tax levies may come down before they are adopted in December but I’d be shocked if Minnetrista’s increase came down to even Wayzata’s at 4.29%.

Minnetrista grew 2.5% last year. Why do we need a 6.01% budget increase to pay for that?

Even though there will be a public hearing on December 3, the Minnetrista final 2019 tax levy will most likely, given history, be adopted without change that same evening and the public hearing is not likely to influence that. Sort of makes one wonder what the point is of having a public hearing.

June 14, 2018

IF AND WHEN MINNETRISTA NEEDS ANOTHER WATER TOWER. A year ago we were told we desperately needed a new water tower in the southwest corner for fire suppression in the Hunters Crest area. We were told the hydrants there were only putting out 500 gallons per minute (gpm) which wasn’t sufficient and water tanker trucks were still needed for fire calls there. Turns out that’s not true. I requested we have the hydrants tested for flow rates and the report we received actually shows flow rates there of 1000-1200 gpm. So it appears the urgency is no longer an emergency. Don’t expect the urgency to go away though…there are millions of dollars at stake here and we will still see a frantic push to buy land and build a tower anyway. You’ll hear that we urgently need it for future population growth but the historically exaggerated population numbers used (see pop growth chart), even if accepted as accurate, show that need isn’t until 2030 if (and that’s a big if) that growth materializes.

If those inflated population numbers don’t materialize after the city purchases revenue bonds (which are normally paid back with user fees) it will be all Minnetrista taxpayers left holding the bag. We need to make sure, before spending millions on a huge infrastructure project like this, that we are making decisions based on accurate, factual information and not on overblown predictions that may never materialize. We can’t let vendors pressure the city to line their pockets and cause Minnetrista to take on growth just to pay off debt.

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