The city of Long Lake approved its final 2022 tax levy and budget at its last meeting of the year.

The final approved levy and budget was lower then the preliminary levy and budget the council approved in September.

In September, the council approved a preliminary operating levy of $1,213,573 with a debt service levy of $84,335 for a total levy of $1,297,908 which was a $74,525 or 6.09 percent increase over the 2021 levy.

That increase of just over $74,000 along with an 7.22 percent increase in the gross tax capacity will result in an .189 percent increase in the local city tax rate, but allows for a surplus of $104,000.

At the council meeting on Monday, Dec. 21, the council dropped those numbers by $20,000, bringing the 2022 final operating levy down to $1,193,573 and the final total levy down to $1,277,908.

That reduction dropped the anticipated surplus down to $84,000, of which the council earmarked $40,000 (down from $50,000) for the pavement management fund; $5,000 (down from $10,000) for a carp management fund; $35,000 for furnace replacement at the public works building and street-pedestrian safety improvements; and $4,000 (down from $9,000) unanticipated items.

The council also approved the final 2022 budget with a revenue budget of $3,174,857 and an expenditure budget of $3,295,942. That is also $20,000 less than the council approved in September.

In addition to those approvals, the council approved the 2022 city rate fee schedule with increases to the fees for park rental, recycling and incident billing for public works.

For park rental fees, the rates are going up $5 from $25 to $30 for Long Lake residents, and increasing $10 from $50 to $60 for non-residents.

For special event fees, the structure will jump up from $75 to as much as $150, depending on the use of the city facility.

The quarterly recycling fee is going up from $16.56 to $17.50.

In other council action, the council approved a Master Development Plan and a Preliminary Plat for the Long Lake Townhomes project to be located at 1843, 1877, 1885 and 1895 Symes Street.

The applicant for that project is JMH Land Development Company and it has proposed building 11 new townhomes across two buildings which would be three stories tall with tuck under garage and decks on the second floor.

In a letter to the city council, Mark Sonstegard, Vice President of Operations for JMH Land Development, said with the approval they would purchase the properties and make necessary final plat applications in January 2022, with removal of existing homes in March 2022, first development work in April 2022 and first townhome construction to start in June 2022 with the second townhome work starting in the fall of 2022. Remaining work and landscaping is anticipated to be down in spring 2023.

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