I attended the Crystal City Council work session and meeting on June 3 2014.
The big topic of conversation at the work session was how to finance future road construction projects. In most cities in Minnesota, road construction and maintenance is paid for in the city’s regular budget, as part of the property taxes that the citizens pay. In Crystal, we use special assessments for major construction projects. Roads are rebuilt in phases over a period of about 20 years. Some members of the council, including the mayor, are interested in discussing changing the way we finance these projects, for a variety of reasons.
If we were to change the way we finance projects, everyone in the city would see a tax increase now, but we would no longer be hitting our residents with very large special assessments every few years. The total amount paid by residents over time would actually decrease, as we would not be paying interest on the funds.
There are very few topics where you will find me on the fence, but this is one of them. I believe that both sides have good arguments and I see merits to both approaches. As I am out speaking with residents over the next few months I will be asking for your feedback on this topic.
During the council meeting the city’s financial auditor presented the results of the annual financial audit, which were good. The best rating an auditor can give is called “unmodified opinion” which the city earned again this year.
The council approved a liquor license for the new owner of Red Dragon Liquors, and also approved a number of permits related to Crystal Frolics, which starts on July 24.
The meeting then adjourned.