Nov 28th, 2023 Council Meeting and Work Session

Agenda (click to open)

View the meeting (click to open)

Current Events

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Work session (Tobacco and Cannabis Ordinance Amendment)

This was really 2 issues; Tobacco and Cannabis (pot) in public spaces. Somehow the courts determined that public spaces also include private property parking lots.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) the Cannabis issue was pushed onto us from the state. Cannabis is now legal to some extent and we had to determine how to handle where it's allowed. To that end, the council decided to treat it the same as alcohol throughout the city. The state does treat different types of cannabis differently and their statutes override ours.

As for the tobacco part, staff had included it in the proposed ordinance as if it was going to be treated similar to cannabis. The council decided to pull tobacco out of the ordinance since it's unrelated.

Item F (Commission Attendance)

It's been noticed for a while that when our commissions meet there are often absent seats. The council decided to put a requirement that members can't miss more than 3 meetings per year or they're automatically removed. The EDA isn't controlled via this ordinance, but we'll be changing their by-laws to reflect this.

Item G (Tobacco and Cannabis Ordinance)

Given the amount of changes we requested during the work session, this item was tabled until updates are in.

Item H (Levee St. Property purchase agreement).

This hopefully puts to bed a long and messy process in getting a tax-forfeit property back on the tax roles. In short, the original bid request to sell the property put out by the previous administrator (over 1 year back) was a mess and it seemed to go downhill from there. About 6 months ago, the council and EDA put it back on track. Two bids came in (this time the request was in compliance with the guided use.) There was 1 bid clearly better than the other and was selected by the council (5-0).

The selected bid will still need to submit and get all of the expected plat approvals.

Item I (Generators)

This has also been up in the air for quite a while due to supplier issues. This will set up bidding to eventually provide 3 permanent backup generators for city hall, activity center, and well #2. Most of this cost is covered by a grant.

Item J (Budget Recap)

At the last budget meeting it was discovered that the county had messed up some of our capacity numbers which would have resulted in a slight increase in the tax rate. Three of us felt we needed to trim spending to restore the rate back to where it was last year. The other 2 were fine with the increased tax rate. This meeting was to confirm that adjustment occurred.

The original staff request months back was to increase property taxes by 26%. Three of us felt that amount was totally out of line. Over the past few months of negotiations that number was brought down to 19%. I was ok with that number since 16% of it would be covered by new taxes (businesses and housing). Again, the other two felt we should spend whatever staff wanted. Here's what the 19% got the city for additional staff:

  • 3 FT Police (1 hired on July 1, 2024)
  • 1 FT Fire Assistant Chief
  • 2 PT Public Works
  • 1 PT Recreation Programs Specialist
  • 1 FT Accountant (Hired already but not budgeted for in 2023)

In your September tax numbers from the county they incorrectly published Dayton's levy increase at 21% instead of 19%.

When I was elected mayor 3 years back with a majority that wanted to tackle Dayton's high taxes, the rate was 53%. We were known state-wide for our high taxes and had been for years. Dayton had plenty of development back then and the rate should have been reduced. Now, it is 35.6% and inline with many of the communities around us.

Item K (Tax Forfeit Land for Training Facility)

This was a continued discussion about using a tax-forfeit property for use as a fire training facility instead of commercial use. The thinking is that we can rent this out to other cities in order to make enough money to replace the taxes lost. Unfortunately, it's right on the freeway interchange in the middle of a commercially zoned area. From what was presented, I'm not sure this is a good use.

Since a lot of the numbers were in question, staff will clarify them for a future meeting.

As always, contact me if you have comments, questions, or ideas.