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Water, sewer rates may bump up

Osakis residents may see about a $6 monthly increase for their water/sewage rates beginning in January.

At the Monday, Nov. 5, city council meeting, council members discussed the fee schedule for 2019, which includes increases for water and sewer. The base charge for water, which is the minimum charge per month, will increase from $26 to $29.50 and additional fees will be added based on water usage, ranging from $3.40 to $4.30 per month. The increases range from 40 cents to 50 cents.

The base charge for sewer, which again is the minimum charge, will increase from $18 to $19 per month, and additional fees will be added, based on gallons discharged.

The planning and zoning commission is expected to take a look at the fees and then the council is expected to discuss the fees at the December meeting. The fees are expected to be approved at the January meeting.

Change in meeting

Starting in January, the Osakis City Council meetings will be held the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. If the meeting falls on a holiday, the meeting will take place the next business day at the same time. All meetings, unless otherwise posted, will take place at the Osakis City Hall.

Housing assistance

The city council approved its participation in the Minnesota City Participation Program, which is a program of Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. According to Angela Jacobson, city clerk, the program provides assistance to first-time homebuyers who are buying a new home or homebuyers who are refinancing.

MCCP offers a lower interest rate and a down payment loan option for those who qualify. If the city participates in the program, it can receive a minimum of $100,000 for the program, but it must use at least 50 percent of it or the city is not allowed to participate the next year.

City councilman Justin Dahlheimer said there is no down side to participating and that there are many small communities participating in the program.

Eagle Scout project

Jacob Uhl, an Osakis Eagle Scout, along with his dad, Osakis Police Officer Calvin Uhl, approached the council to ask for permission to place a Smokey Bear and fire danger sign at Lions Park on Highway 27. Jacob Uhl provided the city with a contract that stated he would maintain the bear and sign until he graduates as his Eagle Scout project. The Smokey Bear and its sign, which is copyrighted, will come from the Department of Natural Resources.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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