St. James City Council met Tuesday, Dec. 18 just after 5:30 p.m. This was the first meeting since the city council moved meetings to the earlier time and some council members were running a little late for the meeting.
Molly Westman, EDA director, gave a short presentation to city council of the city website which has been up and running for a few months. The website has many features that make it useful and functional for the people in St. James, including a translate button which will translate the entire website into Spanish, an events calendar and weather updates.
“It is a work in progress, we continue to add information,” says Westman.
All consent, licensing and permit items were approved unanimously by the St. James City Council without much discussion. The council approved training requests and a gambling license for the St. James Catholic Church, who intend on using that license to hold raffles.
Jim Carlsen was named the new HRA commissioner at the Tuesday night meeting. He will be replacing Brian McCabe.
Resolutions to set the city budget and proposed property tax levy for 2013 passed by unanimous vote. The budget for 2013 will be set at $14,144,310.25. The total property tax levy will increase slightly from last year, from $1,041,625 to $1,041,856.
Effective Jan. 1, 2013, non-union employees of the city of St. James will receive a planned one percent salary increase. This was decided unanimously by St. James City Council. They also set the 2013 health insurance plan for full time non-union employees. The single coverage health plan premium is completely covered by the employer, while a family plan requires an employee share of $469.64 monthly contribution.
St. James City Council approved unanimously to allow EideBailly to perform an audit of the financial statements of the governmental activities and financial statements of the city of St. James.
The audit will begin on approximately April 2013 and the reports will be issued no later than June 30, 2013. The city agreed to pay standard hourly rates of the company plus any out-of-pocket costs for the project. EideBailly agreed that the gross fee of the project will not exceed $24,100; $20,000 for the audit of the financial statements, $3,600 for the single audit and $500 for the state reporting form.
City council members approved the transfer of funds and the certification by the city clerk to the county auditor of delinquent charges on the real property tax rolls for the County of Watonwan. The city clerk is given the ability to transfer funds for the current year to adjust according to Dec. 31, balances.
The city of St. James receives donations for specific projects from time-to-time. These donations must be accepted by city council. Tuesday, city council accepted all donations they received throughout the year including:
$2,891, Hanging Basket Project
$3,000, St. James Fourth of July Fireworks Display
Page 2 of 2 - $869.51, Community Bloc Party
$3,086, St. James Community Kitchen Equipment Fund
$3,122.50, Fire Department - Equipment Fund
$75,656.81, St. James Princess Theater
“We want to be clear that all donations go to what they are supposed to 100 percent,” said Mayor Gary Sturm.
After the purchase of the marquee and projector, the St. James Princess Theater still has about $15,000 in its account.
As a final order of business, the city council recognized Officer Lenny Sargent’s retirement from the police department. His last day will be Dec. 31, 2012.
Prior to the city council meeting beginning, Mayor Gary Sturm asked for a moment of silence for the victims and families involved in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. St. James offers their condolences to members of that community as they work their way through that tragedy.