We provide these West St. Paul City Council previews with your support.
The last City Council meeting of the year will be closed to in-person viewing thanks to the recent spread of COVID-19. Council members will still meet in the chambers in-person and the meeting will be broadcast live online and on cable TV with call in for public comments.
The big item on the agenda is the city budget. City Council will approve the final 2021 budget and tax levy as well as the preliminary 2022 budget. The total budget is nearly $46 million, a big increase from 2020’s $33 million, however nearly $12 million of that is a shift in capital expenses, many that come from third-party sources. The actual operational budget only increases 3.73%.
The tax levy equates to a 5.61% increase. That came down a hundredth of a percent since September. For comparison’s sake, here are recent tax levy increases:
- 2021: 5.61%
- 2020: 6.51%
- 2019: 9.96%
- 2018: 10.9%
- 2017: 6.33%
- 2016: 4.77%
There will be a public hearing on the budget so the public has a chance to weigh in.
Also On the Agenda:
- Recognition: Outgoing Council Members Anthony Fernandez and Bob Pace will be recognized for their service. They’ll be replaced in January by Robyn Gulley and Julie Eastman.
- Solid waste abatement: There’s a tweak to a solid waste abatement ordinance to bring us in line with Dakota County requirements. Staff says it will have limited impact, though some apartment complexes will need to increase recycling programs and some large events will be required to recycle organics.
- Bonding: The Council will approve going out for bonds to fund the city’s portion of two lift stations and force main. A big chunk of these projects will be paid for by the state thanks to the recent bonding bill.
- Drugged driving: The city’s police department will get a grant to hire a driving while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement officer, primarily due to the increase in “drugged driving,” which can take an inordinate amount of time for an officer to process (six hours is the example given for a single case).
- Thompson Park improvements: During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), Council will hear an update on planned improvements to Thompson Park.
- Logo: Also during the OCWS, Council will discuss the city’s logo, branding, and tagline. There’s been talk of updating the logo for years, but the cost has always been prohibitive (changing the logo on the water tower, squad cars, etc. puts the price tag at nearly half a million dollars). Staff is recommending a look at the tagline and branding, which would be substantially cheaper.
The public can watch the meeting live on Town Square TV or cable channel 18 starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday (5:45 p.m. for the OCWS).
Since the public can’t attend in person, you can always use our coloring pages to imagine you’re there.
Keep City Council previews and recaps coming by supporting West St. Paul Reader.