Dec 06

Proposed 2023 Budget & Property Tax Levy

Posted on December 6, 2022 at 11:09 AM by Haley Foster

The proposed 2023 budget and property tax levy will be presented at a public hearing on December 12, 2022. It will begin with a short presentation followed by an opportunity for residents and property owners to comment and ask questions about the 2023 tax levy and budget. The public hearing is part of the regular City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Mississippi Room at the Monticello Community Center.2023 Tax Levy Graph

The proposed city levy of $12,050,000 represents a 6.1% increase (or $697,000) over the 2022 city levy. The HRA levy for 2023 is proposed at $402,000, or $14,000 (3.6%) more than 2022. The total combined levy amount is $12,452,000 or a 6.1% increase.

The impact of the proposed levy on individual properties was listed in the Truth-in-Taxation (TNT) notices sent by Wright County in November. Your notice shows changes to the levies, your property value, homestead exclusion, and any other changes to the tax base. New for the 2023 taxes payable year, local governments are required to report summary budget information with the TNT notices. Wright County compiled information from the County, City, and School District to include in a one-page insert. There’s a lot of information in a limited space, so property owners are encouraged to reach out to the appropriate jurisdiction with any questions on the summary information. Please note, the 2023 proposed budget information will not be final because we continue to refine it until the final budget is approved on December 12, 2022.

This year residential market values increased by an average of 20% over the prior year. As a result, residential taxpayers should expect to see an increase in their city property taxes that exceeds the percentage increase in the levy. City Council held several budget workshops over the summer of 2022 to discuss the city’s projected costs in light of the current economic environment and weighed budgetary needs with the associated tax burden on property owners in the community.Property Taxes at Work in our Community

What are my Property Taxes used for?

 The property tax levy is used in four ways. About 1/3 of the funds are used to make the City’s debt payments, fund capital projects, and support the Monticello Community Center. The remainder of the levy is put into the General Fund.

The General Fund pays for city services like public safety, including the Fire Department and contract with Wright County Sheriff’s Office; snow and ice removal; and funding city departments like finance, planning and zoning, parks and recreation, and parts of public works. Overall, the tax levy helps us fund larger projects over time as well as complete our day-to-day operations on behalf of the public.

Dec 01

Preparing Your Home for Winter: Tips from the Dept. of Building Safety

Posted on December 1, 2022 at 3:34 PM by Haley Foster

Preparing Your Home for Winter

Now that we’ve had a glimpse into winter, it’s a great time to make sure your home is prepared for the season! These five simple tips from the Department of Building Safety can save you money and time once the snow really begins to fly.  

  1. Clean gutters and downspouts. While you’re hanging up your holiday lights, take the time to check your gutters, roof, and fascia for damage! Leaves and other debris can clog gutters. The debris can become wet and may hold moisture that can freeze when the temperature drops. This freeze-thaw cycle can damage the gutters, fascia, and roof. The debris may also result in overflows during thawing periods. The best time to clean the gutters is after the majority of the leaves have dropped from trees. Make sure the downspouts and any extensions are directed away from foundation since saturated soil increases the risk of damaging frost heave and/or leaks in the basement.  
  2. Prepare exterior plumbing. Don’t forget to turn off the outdoor faucets using the interior shut-off valve and drain the water from the pipe to the exterior. Also, disconnect and drain garden hoses and sump pump discharge hoses. Hoses connected to the exterior of the home can freeze, and that freeze can follow the hose back into the wall and burst the pipe inside. Prevent this from happening by installing foam insulated faucet covers.  
  3. Heating checkup. Have your furnace and fireplaces professionally serviced to ensure they are working at peak efficiency. Also, change the furnace filter. Make sure exterior openings are clean and clear. High efficiency furnaces use PVC vents and intakes that exit the exterior wall near ground level. Check for obstructions like grass clippings or vegetation that may have grown over, and make sure critters have not built nests in the unused vent. Also, check metal furnace vents that protrude through the roof. Chimneys and vents should have a UL listed metal rain cap that are in good repair and clear of debris. If the caps are missing or have damaged screening, check for nests and other debris. Inspect a wood burning fireplace to ensure there is a spark screen present and in good repair. Also, make sure the flue operates properly and the chimney is clean and clear—sweep if necessary.  
  4. Preparing your home for winterCheck weather stripping. Visually inspect around doors and windows for worn or damaged weather stripping and seals. Ensure the door fits tightly and there are no gaps. Also, check that all windows operate and lock properly. If you have an older home with storm windows, remove the screens and install the storm windows. If the windows don’t seal well, try using a plastic window insulation kit. 
  5. Fix cracks in concrete. Repair/patch any visible cracks on the driveway, your sidewalk, or foundation. Cracks can allow water to leak in and then freeze during the winter, causing further damage. There are numerous products available for sealing concrete, including squeeze bottles, and caulking guns for small jobs and bulk buckets for large ones.  

Don’t forget to wrap up your outdoor building permits (like roofing or residing permits) by scheduling final inspections. Call the Monticello Building Safety Department staff at 763-295-3060 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please have the permit number or address handy.  

  •  Window replacement  
  •  Decks  

 

Sep 09

Back to School Reminders from WCSO

Posted on September 9, 2022 at 2:05 PM by Haley Foster

A Message from the Wright County Sheriff's Office

With change of seasons comes other changes, the Wright County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all citizens that safe driving is a primary concern. Wright County has numerous construction zones, kids back in school, sun position changes, weather changes, and more people going back to work.

Sheriff Sean Deringer asks all drivers to:

  1. Always keep 100 percent of your attention on the road – try to avoid multi-tasking.
  2. Don’t use your phone or electronic devices while driving.
  3. Wear your seat belt.
  4. Slow down.

The Safest Mode of Transportation for Children

In Minnesota, school buses make at least 10,000 school bus trips daily. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, school buses are the safest mode of transportation for children — children are eight times safer riding in a bus to school than any other vehicles.

  •  In Minnesota in 2019, there was one fatality involving a school bus.
  • There were 3,220 traffic crashes involving school buses from 2015-2019. Only 272 school age children who were riding in a school bus were hurt during that time frame. 

Stop for School Buses: It's the Law!

  • State law requires all vehicles to stop for school buses when the bus driver activates the flashing lights and has the crossing arm fully extended.
  • Drivers who violate the law face a $500 fine.
  • Drivers can face criminal charges for passing a school bus on the right, passing when a child is outside the bus, or injuring or killing a child. 

Motorists

Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights or a stop arm when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads. Motorists should slow down, pay attention, and anticipate school children and buses, especially in neighborhoods and school zones. The best way to be aware of your surroundings at all times is to put the distractions away.

Students 

When getting off a bus, look to be sure no cars are passing on the shoulder. Wait for the bus driver to signal that it’s safe to cross. When crossing the street to get on the bus or to go home, make eye contact with motorists before proceeding.