Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 20, 1999

LP city hopes to balance budget with lot sales

By Luis Puga

Lester Prairie City Council will hope for two lot sales to balance the budget for the coming year.

This decision, made by the council in last Monday's meeting, was prompted by former Mayor Ed Mlynar's request to decrease the 31 percent increase in the city's proposed levy.

Mlynar, who has been looking for developers for land within the city, said such an increase coupled with the school's excess levy referendum this fall, would make the city unattractive to developers.

He said did not want to return to the days where Lester Prairie was the second highest taxed city in the area.

The council had hoped the increase would be less. In part, the increase depended on a storm sewer on Elm Street that has been a problem for years.

The council had asked for a camera to be sent through the storm sewer to see how extensive the damage was. Upon a visual expectation, it was discovered that the bottom of the field tile pipe is entirely eroded.

Council Member Rollie Bruckschen reiterated the need to complete the $40,000 project and added it had been neglected too long.

After some debate between Mlynar and Bruckschen as to how important the project is to residents of the neighborhood, the council opted to keep the project in the budget.

However, it opted to remove $40,000 from the County Road 1 project for next year. That money will actually be budgeted for, but not translated into the levy figure that goes to the county.

The city hopes that it will sell two lots in its Prairie Meadows development to repay the Country Road 1 fund.

This adjustment will leave the City of Lester Prairie with a 14 percent levy increase or $239,995 from last year's figure, $212,996.

The council will only be able to decrease that figure in coming meetings.

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