City Council receives audit, annual EDA reports

Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

The Chatfield City Council heard the annual audit report for 2018 during the Monday, April 8, meeting, as given by Jason Boynton of Smith, Schafer & Associates.

Boynton noted the city’s financials were given a “clean opinion,” the city’s tax capacity had increased to $1,814,060 in 2018 from $1,704,664 in 2017, general property tax revenues comprise 44% of the city’s revenues and local government aid (LGA) is not keeping up with costs.

Following the audit report, Chris Giesen, the economic development authority (EDA) director, came before the council with the EDA’s annual report.

He said the highlights of 2018 had been the Twiford redevelopment, assisting with providing funding for EZ Fabricating to expand and working on marketing Chatfield.

Giesen said he had met with 33 prospective business owners throughout the year and the EDA currently has ten revolving fund loans with an average loan amount of $67,000.

“There were 20 new homes, over $1.4 million in new commercial and $3.8 million in new residential,” Giesen said. “I want to thank the council and the mayor for their support over the past year.”

Giesen went on, “On Enterprise Drive, we’re trying to market some lots, and we’ve put it in the city newsletter so that potential buyers could see it.” Giesen said there isn’t an incentive for a realtor to get involved in the sale, however a buyers’ incentive could be established should a buyer’s realtor show the property. If the agent closes on the sale with a private buyer, that the EDA previously had not known about, the agent would receive 3% of the sale price.

The council approved the buyer’s incentive.

Next, councilors granted payment of an estimate from Benike Construction in the amount of $47,802.24 and another from Ricchio Construction for $162,674 for the new municipal swimming pool that has been under construction throughout the winter.

City maintenance supervisor Brian Burkholder had nothing to report, but the city’s various committees have been busy, as noted by Councilor Mike Urban. He cited the public works committee dealt with discussions about a pretreatment ordinance and a request from a resident who wants to have a fire hydrant relocated because of a driveway on that person’s property.

Urban related it is the city’s responsibility to pay for the hydrant – one already on a replacement list – and the property owner’s responsibility to pay for relocation.

Personnel matters included discussion about an EDA coordinator’s position and the job description for a part-time city clerk, as well as updates to the personal leave policy language.

Mayor Russ Smith read proclamations recognizing the contributions of Chatfield’s Vietnam veterans – recognizing them retroactively on March 27 – and Arbor Day, which will be observed on April 26.

He also remarked the cable access board will welcome two new members, Rick Irish and Linda Karver.

Young added in his report Chatfield will host a meeting of the Southeastern Minnesota League of Municipalities (SEMLM) and Southeast Minnesota Together on April 30.

The consent agenda included approving a raffle permit for the Caleb Eide Foundation to hold its event on Aug. 31 at Chosen Valley Golf Club, approving the revised bylaws of the Heritage Preservation Commission and the citywide cleanup set for May 6.