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City council approves 2014 budget and levy

The Wadena City Council held both a special meeting and a regular meeting on Dec. 10 to complete city business for 2013.

The meeting included a Truth in Taxation public hearing as required by law. After the hearing, which only one citizen attended - and he came for the wrong reason - the council approved a budget of $12,460,857 in projected revenues and $11,177,491 in expected expenditures to provide city services. The 2014 property tax levy of $666,182 was approved as well.

The council also approved a 10-page schedule of fees and charges for licenses, services and permits of various types to be collected by the city during 2014 if requested or required by residents and businesses. The fees include everything from a $75 fee for a license to sell tobacco products, to $25 charged by the police department to open a locked car for the owner.

Most fees remained the same as in 2013. However, camping fees, snow hauling fees, golf course memberships, and several other fees increased. A complete list of city fees can be viewed at City Hall.

In other business, the city council:

• Honored retired employee Rick Taggert with a plaque recognizing his 20 years of service to the city.

• Honored employee David Evans with a plaque recognizing his 20 years of service to the city.

• Held a public hearing to discuss transferring the debt of Fair Oaks Lodge to Tri-County Hospital, the guarantor of the debt. After the public hearing, the council voted to approve the debt transfer.

• Voted to deny approval of a variance requested by Michael Burcham.

• Approved an amendment to the Merickel Tax Increment Financing Development Agreement.

• Approved the final plat of the Wadena Business Park southeast of the city.

• Nominated Mayor Wayne Wolden for another term on the National Joint Powers Alliance board of directors.

• Approved a renewal of the three-year lease with KWAD radio for satellite dish space.

• Approved a one-day liquor license for Partners for a Healthy Wadena Region for a fundraising event in 2014.

• Approved two amendments to the city's water policy.

• Approved an amendment in Current Technology's Minnesota Investment Financing loan, to reduce the final amount of the loan from $245,000 to $195,000, as requested by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).

• Approved a change in the kind of electrical cable to be installed by a contractor at the Southeast Substation and a reduction in the cost of $13,000.