St. Paul Town Council Highlights – January 14, 2017

Highlights from the St. Paul Town Council Meeting held on January 14, 2017

Trout Pond Aerator

The St. Paul Fish and Game Association expressed concerns to Town Administration that the oxygen levels have dropped significantly at the Trout Pond (north of the Co-op and east of Reunion Station). Oxygen levels reach dangerously low levels in the winter when the pond is frozen over, and the Fish and Game Association is worried about the health of the fish. They offered to install an aerator at no cost to the Town. The Aerator will break up the ice and allow for greater oxygen levels during the winter. Although the cost of the aerator and installation will be covered by Fish and Game, the Town will be responsible for power expenses. Council supported this proposal and moved to have the aerator installed, as long as insurance concerns are met. Details regarding insurance concerns were not discussed.

Honorarium Adjustment

In October 2018, St. Paul (like other municipalities, including Elk Point) passed an increase to the remuneration of Mayor and Council to offset the removal of the one-third tax exemption that came into effect on January 1, 2019. However, when that policy was passed, Town staff forgot to include within it the monthly honorarium, which is also subject to the removal of the tax exemption. Heyman explained:

“As the policy stands right now, without adjustments being made to the honorarium, the Mayor will see a monthly decrease of $257.40. Council members will see a monthly decrease of $148.50. With a 14 percent increase in the honorarium, both Mayor and Council take home a couple of dollars less than last year. But the increase helps to offset the removal of the tax exemption.”

Council passed the new policy including the 14 percent honorarium increase. The Mayor will receive a monthly total of $2,074.80, down from $2,077.40 in 2018. Council members each will receive a monthly total of $1,197.00, down from $1,198.50 in 2018. The total result will be an annual decrease of $139.20 paid to Mayor and Council as a whole in 2019.

Sale of Old Christmas Lights

Once again, Council revisited the issue of selling the Town’s old Christmas lights. This issue was most recently discussed at the Council Meeting on September 10, 2018. Prior to that meeting, Council had directed Town staff to try to sell each light for $150-$250 per unit. By September, none of the lights had been sold, so Council instead moved to have the lights sold for whatever amount Public Works deemed “fair.” However, the lights still have not sold well, so Council revisited the issue once again.

The lights will now be sold for $25 each, as is. There are approximately 70 lights, and anyone interested in purchasing can do so at the Town office.

JD Schmidt

JD is a reporter who works with Lakeland Connect to bring you the most reliable and honest news that he possibly can. He understands the effective combination of accurate reporting and fine journalistic writing.