ALERT! UPCOMING COUNTY BOARD MEETINGS TO BE HELD AT LINDSTROM CITY HALL.
Chisago County :Press article:
9/24/2015 4:43:00 PM
Split vote adopts new LID boundary
by DENISE MARTIN
The County Board last week voted 3-2 to authorize re-establishment of the Chisago Lakes Lake Improvement District, enlarging the outline of the special taxing district by hundreds of parcels.
The new LID-- if not contested-- becomes effective in January 2106. Parcel tax amounts won’t show up on statements until 2017.
There is a provision to have for a vote by the people on this action. A petition with names of at least 26 percent of those who voted in the last general election, can trigger a referendum on the LID boundary and a vote would be held in July or August 2016. The petition needs to be submitted by December 31 2015.
The no votes were from Commissioners Mike Robinson and Lora Walker.
Walker said, “this is wrong” and first made a motion to deny re-establishment. The motion declared the LID functions efficiently and effectively within its jurisdictional limits and the boundary should remain. She got no second.
The motion to authorize the proposed LID expansion was made by George McMahon.
Commissioner Mike Robinson commented that the LID issue doesn’t really have any impact on his Fifth District constituents; noting the successful efforts of Rush Lake Improvement Association-- a citizen-led non-profit that funds itself with membership and charitable gambling.
Still, he said he was voting no to avoid setting in motion “a big fight” that has the potential to reflect badly on future county efforts for grants for water quality efforts.
The ‘fight’ Robinson refers to is promised from property owners opposed to being forced to contribute to the Lake Improvement District budget. The opposition has attended prior meetings on the issue.
In public comment during last week’s meeting this argument was reiterated by a couple of Lent Township Supervisors-- Lyle Johnson and Ron Brown-- who disputed the accuracy of the county’s numbered findings for re-establishment, and said no positive benefit accrues to property owners being brought in under the expanded border.
In public hearings held before last week’s final action-- the opposition has also stated the “watershed” being used as the basis for the new boundary is not legitimate and there are already in place, through the Soil & Water Conservation District and Farm Services, various programs and projects that support water quality efforts in rural areas.
LID members voted to initiate the expansion in December 2014, asking the County Board to start the process to bring in additional properties in an effort to contribute towards a “comprehensive plan to eliminate water pollution.”
The make-up of the LID Board stays the same with seven members.
The LID reports to the Chisago County Board and recommends a levy for its operations and changes in LID by-laws are approved by the County Board.
The LID annual meeting is in February. The commissioners’ list of findings also states LID bylaws “shall be amended to include a method of property owners not present at the annual meeting to participate in the election of the LID Board,” but contains no specifics.
A proven leader for Chisago County, Lora Walker is committed to providing responsible leadership, guiding Chisago County into the future with vision, while respecting it's heritage.
We should seek to develop; not just grow in size. A delicate balance of affordable homes, provision of services to residents, reliable roads and accessible bridges, increased local employment, schools and retail, are all key to a successful, vibrant community. A community our children can look forward to living in 25 years from now. Working for the common good, as your Commissioner, I will continue to advocate for a community that is balanced and sustainable.
We don't often talk about our County's financial position. I feel we must meet citizen's needs without taxing them out of their homes. I understand the impact of taxes on families and businesses and the importance of government spending within its means, and have worked hard toward that goal.
My work led the way with NO county levy increases 6-years in a row and tax levy DECREASES the past 2-years! My service on the County Budget Committee produced strong fiscal management resulting in our county bond rating being upgraded twice in recent years, saving many thousands of dollars in bond interest payments.
I have supported fiscal policies that cut waste, prioritized needs, and fulfilled State and Federal mandates. We deserve action-oriented, independent leadership; I believe I offer that leadership.
"Keep the Unity in our Community"