County officials talk business at monthly meeting

 

Officials from Le Sueur County cities and the county talked to legislators and discussed current projects at the county officials assocation meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28, in Montgomery. 
The monthly event included officials from the cities of Kilkenny, Elysian, Le Center, Montgomery, New Prague, Waterville, as well as Le Sueur County.
Starting the evening were legislative updates by Senator Kevin Dahle (DFL, District 20) and State Representative Kelby Woodard (R, District 20A). 
Dahle spoke about the budget forecast and the $627 million deficit, the governor’s philosophy, how the state is relying too much on property taxes,  and how cuts to local government aid hurts cities.  
Woodard, in his second term but first time representing Le Sueur County, talked about paying back the delayed payments to schools,  the governor’s budget plans.
Questions to the legislators came about the sales/clothing tax. Woodard is not in favor, while Dahle has not heard a lot on the subject. Both also talked about property tax equalization and market  value exclusion.
The second part of the meeting consisted of each visiting Le Sueur County officials highlighting what is going on in their community. 
Le Center spoke about the new Dollar General being constructed this year and the assessment lawsuit that is set for the end of April. 
New Prague spoke about finding a new public works director, and a major street project slated for this year.
Kilkenny Mayor Kevin Taaffe, Jr. asked Dahle if Kilkenny would ever be big enough to warrant a large directional sign on highways that would tell people where Kilkenny is located.
“We’re a great little town, that I feel is in its infancy,” Taaffe said. “We have a lot of families moving in because it’s cheap living.”
Dahle offered to help and gave the Mayor his card. The Senator said he would talk to the Minnesota Department of Transportation about getting Kilkenny a directional sign.
Taaffe said his city is also in the process of setting up an Economic Development Authority that would set up some services in the town.
Elysian reported on its contentious camp ground issue, as well as the departure of that city’s Public Works Director.
Waterville reported on the snowmobile association working on the Highway 13 bridge, their wastewater treatment plant, and celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sakatah State Park. 
Montgomery reported on the public hearing for its assessment policy, and the search for a new public works director. 
City Administrator Steve Helget said the city received only three applications for the position and was hoping to have a good candidate out of those.
He also reported on working with Le Center and Lonsdale, the other two cities in the Tri-City United School District, on a Safe Routes to School Grant. 
 
Next meeting
The next meeting of the Le Sueur County Officials Association will be held in Le Center on Thursday, March 28. Le Sueur County Assessor, Dave Armstrong, will be the guest speaker.