Apr 9, 2024 Council Meeting

Agenda (click to open)

View the meeting (click to open)

Current Events

  • If you or people in your area want to meet and discuss current/future topics related to the city, reach out to me to set up a time to visit. (email, phone call, zoom, or in person)
  • As you're driving on the river road by Stephens' park you'll notice construction on the south side of the road. That's the new central water system treatment facility in progress.
  • Many of you are familiar with the phrase "rural look and feel" or "rural character." Dayton residents have said this is important to them and I agree. It's even in our mission statement. We've had a couple work sessions on the topic and I believe it'll result in a list of ideas we will be prioritizing for the future. If you have ideas, please let me know.

Item F (Stevens Park Turn Lanes)

This was to approve the winning bid on the Stevens park turn lanes. The estimate was $626k and the winning bid puts the cost at $515k. Three Rivers will kick in $66k leaving the city with a cost of $450k. 

This will occur while the county is resurfacing the river road. This is scheduled to be complete August 15. 

This is one more step in making Stevens park our main event park. 

This was approved 5-0. 

Item J (Minnesota State Aid Roads)

For the roads owned by the city of Dayton, the city can designate a certain amount of those roads to be MSA (Minnesota State Aid) roads. Every year the state allocates money towards those roads.  Unfortunately, the previous leadership borrowed 5 years' worth of those funds to help pay for the Pineview Lane gold plating so we weren't able to use those funds for anything else. 

The amount the city gets is based on car counts and population. For Dayton, it means about $600k starting next year. This combined with the increase we’ve allocated for roads a couple of years ago will hopefully get us to where we should expect our road quality to be. 

Item K (81 & Territorial)

Late last year we asked our engineering to create a plan to better allocate costs for road improvements on the west side of Territorial. If any development were to occur there we need this plan and a strategy to pay for it. The design incorporates a roundabout just east of 81 and moves the connection to 81 south about 500 feet, which helps with the approach to 81. It also allocates costs between the city and developments. 

What it didn’t do was resolve the problems with the intersection of Territorial and 81. Unfortunately, the county doesn’t see the intersection as an issue and therefor they are highly unlikely to put any money in it and may not even let the city put improvements there. 

Item L & M (Equipment Purchase)

This was to approve the purchase of a new skid steer and used excavator for our public works department. While the skid steer wasn’t planned for in the budget, the trade in of our old one and the deal we got on the excavator shrunk the unplanned expense down to $37k. 

This was approved 4-1. I voted for it. 

Item N (Year End Fund Transfers)

This was a lot of ugly. It was a culmination of 3 issues: 

  1. The amount of development the city budgeted for was 270 new homes (the previous year we did about 500). The actual number ended up being 200. That resulted in a revenue shortfall of $250k. 
  2. For a number of reasons, the overall spending exceeded the budget by $500k. This included a few items we knew about and had approved but... it also included a few items we did NOT know about and weren’t too happy with. Having unplanned expenses is (ironically) expected but not knowing about them isn’t. 
  3. Even though we were able to keep this year’s tax rate the same as last year AND add staff/equipment due to the additional development last year in the city (additions that were needed to handle the extra demands of more houses), I still was not happy with the amount of increase. However, it was a negotiation between 3 of the council members vs 2 council members and staff. Unfortunately, due to the cash reserve requirement (40%) in the general fund, that general fund increase meant we were $500k short for that reserve requirement. It isn’t an increase in spending but it did require moving that money from one fund to the general fund.

Due to the amount of development we’ve had over the past 4-5 years, we typically move money from our general fund to the temp fund at the end of the year. This year due to the above issues we ended up moving money from the temp fund back to the general fund. This is definitely not the right direction.  

This also resulted in a discussion about expectations (don’t spend money you don’t have) and procedural changes so the council and administrator know about these WHEN they happen, not 4 months later. 

Item O (Closed Meeting - Administrator Review)

While this was a closed meeting, there are some things I can share. Zach Doud has been our administrator for over a year now. For me this change created a MUCH better working relationship between the council and city staff. Though he’s on a learning curve, I believe our residents are much better served with him there. 

As always feel free to contact me for questions and concerns.