Monday, January 13, 2014

Three local scouts achieve top award

January 12, 2014

Two Mantorville Boy Scouts and one Scout from Kasson achieve the top rank of “Eagle”. Troy Asche and David Brent both of Mantorville along with Justin Ness of Kasson were recognized in a ceremony on Sunday January 5 awarding each scout with their Eagle Badge. The three scouts worked towards this level for several years and made a commitment to their faith and community. As a final step towards their accomplishment each scout choose a community service project. Mr. Asche landscaped around the Kasson welcome sign, Mr. Ness conducted a mapping project that involved researching and documenting the location of fallen veterans in Lutheran Church Cemetery while Mr. Brent donated around 90 hours of labor to clean and beautify Slingerland park in Mantorville. Only a small percentage of scouts complete the level of work required to be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout, therefore it is fitting that a special recognition be made in honor of their achievement. I have proclaimed that Thursday January 16 be known as “Eagle Scout Achievement Day” and have sent each scout a copy of the proclamation below. The proclamation  reads:
Whereas, Troy Asche, David Brent and Justin Ness have made significant efforts to improve our communities through community service. Whereas, Mr. Asche, Mr. Brent and Mr. Ness have fulfilled all the requirement of the Boy Scouts of America for the Eagle award. Whereas, The scouts above have taken an oath to support their faith, their Country and fellow citizens through service. Whereas, The achievement of the Eagle rank is a seldom and special occasion and an occasions that deserves to be recognized.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Chuck Bradford, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Mayor of the City of Mantorville, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2014, as
“Eagle Scout Achievement Day”
This Day, I call upon all the people of our communities to join in recognition of the three scouts above accomplishments and commitment to community.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fourth day of January,
in the year of our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the States of Minnesota the one hundred and fifty-six

Congratulations scouts and thank you for your service and dedication.

Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford, Mayor - City of Mantorville

State of the City

January 01, 2014
State of The City

Happy New Year Everyone. 2013 was a busy year for the City. The year ended with a few new building permits, request for expansion, lot splits and some lot combinations. The City looked at our budget, accounting practices, personnel needs, equipment needs and proposed projects. Mantorville is on solid financial grounds and is poised to be in a very strong position as we climb out of the current recession. The City Council and City staff has worked with the State Legislature and our representatives on a couple of projects ranging from bike trails and tourism to infrastructure.

Lower Taxes for All
The City is allowed to charge up to 1% of the taxable market value of a home. If the City were to charge the entire 1%, our “advertised levy rate” would be “100%” of that 1%. In other words a house with a taxable market value of  $100,000 would be tax by the City in the amount of $1,000. Over the last few years the City has either raised the levy by a small amount like 3% or held even with a 0% levy. Thanks to the City council and our committee chairs we were able to do something very few governing bodies ever do, lower the rate at which we tax our citizens. In fact, our rate for 2014 is lower than our rate for any of the last three years. The City has passed a “1%” levy DECREASE that sets our rate at less than three fourths of the max the City is allowed or a dollar value of $422,995. In order to put this figure in perspective, I have included a table below that illustrates the tax levy amounts and levy rates for the last five years.

Tax Year
Levy Amount
Levy Rate
                          Historical Tax Levy information for Mantorville

The City was able to reduce our tax levy for this year while at the same time finalizing plans for two large projects to begin.

Waste Water Treatment Project
The first big project the City is looking forward to is the construction of the new waste water line between Kasson and Mantorville. This project has been in the works for several years now and the City is hopeful we can get final signoff from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and begin the project in the spring. In 2013, the City held a number of meetings to solicit input from our neighbors. The City also asked our Engineer to put cost figures to various options. The City considered a simple upgrade, complete over-haul of our existing plant, a new plant at a new location and the opportunity to connect with Kasson. After several debates and planning meetings the City Council chose to pursue the most cost effective option for our citizens and the option that would meet all of the foreseeable future needs. More information is available on my blog in the May 6 and March 1 2013 articles. My blog is located at www.MayorBradford.BlogSpot.Com. The project is estimated to cost around $2 million dollars.

Seventh Street Project
The second big project that the City is looking forward to is the update and repair of seventh street. The area around seventh street has some drainage issues, repair issues and has a tapered width that should be addressed. After we resolve some of the drainage issues around Seventh Street, we will be able to continue moving forward with a updated drainage system that will eventually terminate at the river. Part of this effort has already been completed in the down town area. This project is estimated to cost about $500,000.

The Right Equipment
The City purchased a new rescue truck for the Fire Department. The new truck replaced a 1980’s truck the department had been using. With the department adding First Responder service to their offering the department saw a substantial increase in usage on their rescue vehicle and the 1980’s truck simply could no longer perform at the level the department needed. The City spent about %100,000 on this new truck.

More Competition Means More Prosperity
The City has signed an agreement with AT&T to lease space on top of our water tower for the placement of a new “cell location”. This will allow AT&T to better serve the Mantorville area, open an additional choice in cell providers to our citizens and provide the City with much needed additional “Non-Tax” based revenue. Once AT&T completes the installation of the communication equipment the company will pay the City a monthly lease payment of $900.

A Friend in Need
Another event worth noting was the repurposing of the old school in Mantorville. While most of the building was determined to be suitable for the counties needs, not all of the building meets the counties criteria. By purchasing the old school building and repurposing it most of the structure. The county was able to retain all of their existing services in Mantorville while also preserving a portion of our history.

The Best is Yet to Come
The New Year brings new opportunities, new challenges and new friends. As we say good-bye to 2013 and hello to 2014, we are optimistic about what the future brings for the City and our citizens. We look forward to completing our planned projects and making plans for the projects that are still on the drawing board. On behalf of the City and myself, let me extend a heartfelt “Thank You” to everyone that attended a City meeting this past year, wrote a letter to the council and provided recommendation or guidance during our decision process. Your input is more valuable than you know and we truly do appreciate your time and efforts. I also wanted to say thank you to all of our neighbors that have volunteered either in a formal way on one of our subcommittees or in an informal way on one of our projects, so much of the character of Mantorville would be very different without your contributions, THANK YOU!

Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford, Mayor - City of Mantorville

Merry Christmas

                                                                                                                                 December 23, 2013

It has been over a year since my neighbors asked me to be their mayor and I remain humbled by the honor that you have placed with me. While I start to gather information for my state of the city article in January I can't help but reflect on some of our success over the past year. Some of these I will over in my article in January but some of the big things worth noting are the efforts the city engaged in to  not only find a solution to our urgent waste water treatment problem but also finally start to intensify our efforts on infrastructure needs. The city was able to work with our sub committees on budgets and proposed projects so we could pursue two major projects next year while keeping taxes low. None of this would have been possible with out the hard work and dedication of your council members, the cooperation of the city's sub committe chairs and their members. I am proud of our council and city groups for the level of effort everyone has put in to make Mantorville a true gem of a place to live.

When we get busy, we tend to focus less attention on some of the things that really matter most. This time of year we are given the opportunity to acknowledge those people that are most important in our lives and also we are given an opportunity to reach out to our  neighbors that are in need. Remember to spend some extra time with your family, take some time to help someone else and remember those that have placed themselves in harms way so that we may enjoy this season. May the joy and love of this season find its way into your heart and may all of you have Merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah and very safe and prosperous new year.

Yours in service

Chuck Bradford, Mayor - City of Mantorville

New Seasons Bring Change

October 14, 2013
The air is warm and the weather has been calm and sunny; however, the leaves are falling and fall is defiantly in the air. As we eagerly await the change of the new season, the holiday celebrations and fall harvest the legislature is also seeing a change in season. We are transitioning from the political season of policy and issue to bonding and investment. Every two years the State Legislature drafts a new bonding bill that will allow the state to function for the next two years. The Capital Investment committee was in Rochester on October 8th and the City of Kasson and Mantorville presented a project of combined interest that will help both cities with our current Waste Water Treatment updates. If the project does get included in the bonding bill this year, the financial impact on the citizens of Mantorville for our treatment plant will be greatly reduced. Mayor Tjosaas and myself presented our plans and request to the committee. I am very happy and proud of our council; EVERY single member of the City Council showed up for this meeting and supported our request. Please feel free to reach out to our State Representative and State Senators and ask them to support our community and project.

Continuing on the theme of change the City, as you may remember, recently hired a new public works employee Andrew Fischer. Andrew has been doing a great job and is learning about our city. Our two public works employees are doing a great job getting ready for the new season as well making sure our snow removal equipment is ready and everyone is up to speed on the status and operation of the equipment we have.

The City also has another employee that has been really working hard for the citizens of Mantorville. Our City Clerk Cami Reber has been taking on a extra duties to cover for the loss of a part time clerk a few years back due to budget cuts. When you come into the office to pay your bills or apply for a building permit please take a second to thank her for her commitment.

This fall your council has been busy planning several new projects for next Spring. We are examining the long awaited 7th street project, installing the new Waste Water line to Kasson and buying a “newer” refurbished rescue vehicle for the Fire Department. Even with these project s underway, the council is still hopeful of maintaining a final tax levy of -1% for 2014. This lower level of taxation will help our residents recover from the latest recession.

Two of my most recent public speeches that affect the city have been uploaded to my blog at for those that would care to read them. They are my remarks at the school closing ceremony and at the Capital Investment Committee meeting.

Along with our season fall celebrations comes the anticipation of precipitation that is of solid form rather than liquid. I know my fellow skiers and snowmobilers are eagerly looking forward to our first snow fall. Remember snow is part of life in Minnesota, if you find a way to enjoy it you will spend more of your life happy. So I hope all of you will join me on the slopes or on the trails. Happy Minne-SNOW-tah everyone!
Yours in service

Chuck Bradford, Mayor - City of Mantorville