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Kennedy Council settles on 5% tax levy increase, doesn’t have to pay money owed to Bolton and Menk

By Margie Holmgren
The Kennedy City Council passed a resolution to approve the tax levy at 5 percent increase at its Monday, Dec. 11 meeting.
The council discussed the numerous maintenance needs of the city including road work, repairing water shut off valves and the repairs to the plow blade.
Mayor Earl Mattson thought they should go to 4 percent increase for the levy.
“If you go to 4, how much would the average homeowner have as an increase?” asked Councilor Jody Bowman. “We need to keep ahead of the game. We have got to start moving forward with repairs.”
Mattson then agreed he’d be OK with 5 percent.
After discussing the projects which need to be addressed, the council voted to set the levy at a 5 percent increase, which is $119,795.
Bolton and Menk
The council was also informed Bolton and Menk responded to the city’s letter offering to pay $10,000 on the outstanding $78,543 bill. The firm had worked on a water tower and tank project for the city, but produced unsatisfactory results. The letter from Bolton and Menk stated they were dropping the outstanding charges and requesting no further payment from the city.
Earned Sick and
Safe Time
Jon Turn and Henry Escareno were not at the council meeting but, as the personnel committee, had gone over the new Earned Safe and Sick Time (ESST) requirement, which needs to be given to all employees.
After hearing their recommendation, the council approved the following ESST for each level of employee.
Full-time: first two years 40 hours vacation, 80 hours of ESST front loaded, no payout and no carryover. Beginning third year, 80 hours vacation, 80 hours ESST, front loaded, no payout and no carryover.
Part-time: First two years, 32 hours vacation and 48 hours ESST, accrue as earned, can carryover up to 80 hours; beginning the third year, 64 hours vacation, 48 hours ESST accrued as earned.
Seasonal employees will accrue as they earn and only get what they earn.
The council also:
• Increased the water rates at 5 percent and sewer rates at 3 percent.
• Heard from Crispin Martinez with a request to replace a crossing behind his home at his expense. Tabled discussing this until next month.
• Discussed a charge to the Kennedy Fire Department for legal services.
• Heard about a resident who reached out and asked to have water shut off at a curb stop, but it’s broken. They asked to shut off water main in house but that is also broken. The city has to repair curb stop and the estimate is $1,000.
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• Discussed a delinquent water bill. Council doesn’t want to shut off the water but were willing to give them a couple options — have it put on their taxes or set up a payment plan that would help them to get ahead.
• Discussed another set of ordinances and the Minnesota Livable City Code of Ordinances, which go along with these ordinances. The city can follow the code or make changes to fit their needs. Their goal is to get through these and adopt them soon as ordinances have not been updated for a very long time.
The council adjourned at 9 p.m. and will hold their next meeting Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

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