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Osakis tax levy to increase 3 percent

The Osakis City Council approved a property tax levy increase of 3 percent for 2019.

The levy, along with the city's overall budget, was approved at the Monday, Dec. 3, City Council meeting.

The levy increased by $21,500 — from $716,000 to $737,500. And the budget, which was set at $3.4 million, went up from last year's $3.2 million — a 6.1 percent increase. When the budget was set, however, it was set based on the fact that it could be amended pending contract negotiations.

There was only one resident who spoke during the city's Truth in Taxation portion of the meeting. She questioned why the tax levy was raised again after she said it was raised significantly last year.

"Why is it so high?" she asked the city council.

She was told that the city is mindful of its portion of the taxes but that it can't control what the school or county does. She was advised to call the school district and ask about its portion of the tax levy.

Award Board

Two Osakis citizens — Stella Riley Bender and Matthew Ramey — were named to the City of Osakis Recognition Board and presented with certificates from the Osakis Economic Development Board.

Bender was chosen for her dedication and service to the Osakis Heritage Center and Ramey was selected for his Eagle Scout project of putting the flag pole up at Park Osagi.

Name the park

City Council members are asking for the public's help in naming a new park, which is located at the corner of Central Avenue and Main Street West in downtown Osakis. Names can be submitted through Monday, Jan. 7.

To enter, submit your park name, along with your name and phone number, to either of the following:, P.O. Box 486, Osakis MN, 56360 or in person at 14 East Nokomis Street. The name will be anonymously selected at the Jan. 14 council meeting.

In other action

The board accepted the resignation of Julie Didier as the manager of Osakis Liquor. In her letter of resignation, Didier said due to her failing eyesight, she had to regretfully resign from her position. Her last day will be Jan. 1, 2019.

City council members said they were sorry she had to resign, thanked her and applauded her for a job well done.

Changes to planning and zoning fees were approved. The following changes will take place for 2019:

• Conditional use permit, residential — increased from $200 to $400.

• Conditional use permit, commercial — increased from $200 to $400.

• Variance request — increased from $225 to $400 with survey.

• Rezoning request — increased from $100 to $200.

In addition, there will now be a damage deposit of $50 to use the community center.

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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