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NY Mills increases 2010 levy by 4 percent

The New York Mills City Council voted unanimously for a modest increase in the 2010 levy. The finalized levy is $366,000-a 4 percent increase over the 2009 levy, which was $352,000.

The levy is collectible in 2010, upon taxable property in the City of New York Mills. A certified copy of the resolution passed Tuesday will be sent to the Otter Tail County Auditor.

Interim director title removed

The council voted Tuesday in favor of appointing Roger Salo as Public Works Director for the city. Salo had been serving as interim director. Mayor Larry Hodgson said during Tuesday's council meeting, "I feel it's appropriate to appoint him official Public Works Director. He is very deserving of it and I believe the change is justified."

SCDP rehab funds sought

New York Mills, Bluffton and the townships of Newton and Bluffton have agreed to submit a joint 2010 Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) application.

The communities and townships have agreed the mayor of New York Mills will be the authorized official on the grant agreement with the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

The parties involved have decided to submit a comprehensive application for the activities of owner-occupied housing rehabilitation in all four communities, rental housing rehab in New York Mills only and commercial rehab in Bluffton only.

New York Mills will be the fiscal agent for the project and will be responsible for issuing payments to contractors and vendors for all projects in both cities and both townships.

The communities have agreed on the initial goal of 21 owner-occupied homes with initial targeting to the cities of New York Mills and Bluffton, and after the first 15 months of the grant term, remaining funds will be made available to homeowners in the two townships.

The agreement also states the communities understand that the goals stated may need to be adjusted as interest and average costs per house may run higher or lower in each community.

The group received word from DEED last month to move forward with the full application, which must be presented to DEED by Jan. 14 to be considered for funding.

A public hearing to discuss the SCDP grant application was held Tuesday in New York Mills.

Fire department new hires

The city council approved the hiring of two new firefighters. Eric Koskiniemi and Matt Olson have successfully completed the physical skills testing and oral interview for positions on the New York Mills Fire & Rescue squad.

The hiring committee recommended these two individuals to be added to the roster of active members, pending completion of a physician's exam, driver's license and background check.

Public Works report

• finished the mandatory natural gas fall checks

• finished adding tar to some of the bad holes and manhole covers

• Christmas lights and snow banners are up around town, giving New York Mills the holiday feeling

• two valves at Karvonen sewer lift station were replaced and are now working fine at a cost of $2,375

• MPCA still has not approved the permit for the water backwash discharge, therefore the water is still going to the wastewater ponds

• receiving bids from three contractors in regards to possible gas main/services on South Main for next spring

Lions donation

The city council passed a resolution Tuesday acknowledging the cash donation of $2,500 from the New York Mills Lions to the community swimming pool.