Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2017 State of the City

The state of the City is good:
The City still has maintained it’s AA- Standard and Poor’s (“S&P”) rating for a third year in a row. During the last review a note of “no change expected” was noted and is a strong indicator that Mantorville is on solid fiscal grounds. The City is able to move forward with the needed WWTP as well as some much needed infrastructure and the City is currently planning for the future.

Tax Levy Rate:
The City was able to once again reduce the tax rate.

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

You may notice in the above table that the levy amount for the City exceeded the amount from 2012 for the fist time for the 2017 budget even though our tax rate has decreased. The reason for this is that the taxable values of properties within Mantorville increase around nine percent last year. The council did not want to raise our tax levy amount by nine percent (zero rate change) while the housing market is just starting to recover. The council did feel that the levy needed to increase over the 2012 dollar value in order to meet some of the construction needs during the next two years.

Park Board Vacancy:
The park board has had some members retire, and this has opened up a couple of opportunities to serve our community. If you have an interest in identifying policy’s for our parks, keeping the plantings healthy or just have an interest in helping shape the future of our parks, I encourage you to fill out an application in City Hall to be considered fort this important committee. This past year the park board was able to invest in additional development and build a new play area in Dennison park. Some of the original equipment from the old school grounds was repurposed and will see new life up at Dennison.

Waste Water Treatment:
The City was able to break ground on the long awaited Waste Water Treatment Plant this fall. With an unseasonably warm November the construction crew was able to make additional progress with installing some of the pipe-work and was able to deliver most of the materials needed for the project. The work will wrap up this week with the securing of materials for storage over the winter and progress will resume once the frost is out of the ground.

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 2017, we will make an announcement and rollout of the new design at the Mulligan stew in March.

Streets and Infrastructure:
The City was able to start phase one of the fifth street project and plans are in place for the continued work on phase two of that project. The County invested in the restoration of the historic retaining wall along highway 57 next to the courthouse. In 2016 the county also rededicated the historic courthouse that is situated on top of the hill in Mantorville. Work continues on our parks and roads. The last year was a productive year for the Mantorville community.

Safe Routes to School:
In 2016 plans were started for the next phase of safe routes to schools. The City of Kasson, The City of Mantorville, the School Board and community members were invited to take part in the discussions to determine what the area needs were for safe routes to schools, what each government sector could do to promote this effort and how all of the stakeholders could work together to benefit our students. The design firm took the input from this meeting and worked on a plan that was presented in January.

Welcome new Council:
The new Council was sworn in at the January 9th Meeting. Joining the Mantorville City Council is Ryan Christensen. Deputy Mayor Henry Blair, Council Member Will Lambert were also sworn in at the January 9th meeting. Council Member Don Hofstad was not up for re-election this year.

A bright future
The last year brought both Challenges and opportunities. The Council was able to move forward with some much needed constriction projects and infrastructure needs while maintaining our S&P rating with sound fiscal policy. The state of the City is sound and healthy and every indication is that Mantorville will have another healthy year in 2017.

Yours in service,

Chuck Bradford,
Mayor - City of Mantorville