Monday, January 25, 2016

2015 State of the City

January 20, 2016

Happy New Years Everyone! The City of Mantorville held its “AA-“ S&P rating with a note of “No Change Expected” after a review of our financial standing and account balances. Mantorville is on solid financial grounds and is poised to be in a very strong position going forward.

Setting a low Levy
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. In 2015 the City Council lowered our rate below the rate off any of the previous four years. For the last five years, Mantorville has not raised our tax rate. 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 seven years.

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

In the table above you may notice that the Levy Rate for 2016 went down but the total dollar figure went up. The State of Minnesota recalculated our maximum tax capaCity based on housing value increases within the City and the adjusted cost of inflation, the new calculation gave the City a greater tax capaCity therefore the rate went down even though the dollar amount went up.

2015 Events
The City celebrated the 50th annual Marigold days celebration and enjoyed an expanded “Stage Coach Days” weekend; however, there were some sad events as well. The City mourned the passing of one of our council members when Don Swanson passed away. The City and the world were reminded that evil is still capable and willing to inflict harm on the innocent and the City stood with the people of France and displayed the French flag for a week in a show of solidarity.

City Hall Updates
The City Hall and Fire Hall building were in need of some fixes and updates. The siding was in bad shape and some of the wood trim badly needed replacing. The City was able to finish this project in 2015. The exterior was resided, the trim lines were cleaned up and the exterior lights were converted to LEDs. The building looks a lot better.

City Re branding efforts
The EDA and the City have been working on a re-branding project during 2015. The final three designs for the new look and feel for the City were on display and several citizens voted on their favorite designs. After public input the EDA choose a design and the EDA is taking the next steps to finalize this work in 2016, we will make an announcement when the new look can be viewed.

Waste Water Treatment Project
The City is looking forward to 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 break ground this summer. 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.  Recently Governor Mark Dayton announced his budget proposal which included the requested funding for both the Kasson WWTP project and another 3.1 million for Mantorville's waste water project. This figure is a proposal from the  Governor’s office and any final budget would have to be approved by the House, Senate and signed by the Governor in order to actually make the money available for our project. Still this is very encouraging. My original comments to the bonding committee can be found on my blog under October of 2013 and is titled “Bonding Committee WWTP Remarks”.

Street Projects
The City is planning on expanding the streets projects and the City is making plans for several of our streets that desperately need repairs. We re-evaluate street needs every spring to determine what damage has occurred during the winter months. The City is planning to get two projects in during the 2016 construction season.

Local Trail Projects
The Dodge County Trails Association has been working on trail routes for the last couple of years, with the planned street projects for this spring considerations are being incorporated into street reconstruction plans. The local trails could be incorporated into a connecting route between segments of the regional “Stage Coach Trail”.

Opportunities within the City:
The Mantorville Economic Development Authority has two opening on the committee. The EDA helps make recommendations to the City Council regarding the economic health of the community, select individuals for our annual “GEM” award, evaluate revolving loan applicants and working on City Events.

One of the events that the EDA is looking to help promote and plan this year is the “Stage Coach Days” the EDA is going to try and model this committee after the Marigold Days Committee were the new “Stage Coach Days Committee” is going to be responsible for the planning and execution of the event. This means that anyone that would just like to help with a single event can volunteer for this event. Anyone that is interested in just helping out with a single event can contact City Hall for more details.

The Best is Yet to Come
The New Year brings new opportunities, new challenges and new friends. As we say good-bye to 2015 and hello to 2016, 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