The St. James City Council met Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. for their bi-monthly meeting. Business on the agenda to address were 2014 resolutions, a request to go out for bids for a plow truck, a two-year contract with AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees), a resignation in the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, the 2014 Boards and Commissions, MCPP(Minnesota City Participation Funds) and non-union wages and benefits and a burning permit request from St. James Auto Salvage.

Economic and Community Development Director Molly Westman approached the stand to discuss Minnesota City Participation Funds (MCPP).

She explained that the Minnesota Housing will continue to provide the necessary bonding framework for access to funds from MCPP in 2014.

"For St. James to continue participating with the program there are no administrative fees or minimum usage requirements for these funds," Westman stated.

Minnesota Housing works proactively with cities and counties to be a resource for those communities to provide affordable financing to eligible first-time homebuyers.

St. James has participated in the program since 2005 and has received funding allocations of $100,000 in each program year.

Non-union wages benefits for 2014 were passed. The city will provide 100 percent of the total premium for single and 70 percent for family. The city will also pay $1,600 toward the deductible in increments of $800 on January 1 and July 1, 2014.

City Manager Joe McCabe explained that this will give employees the ability to go from single coverage to family coverage. The new benefits are also good for the city McCabe explained.

To see the full story, please see Thursday's print edition of the St. James Plaindealer.