This fall, the city of Grand Rapids plans to seek input from residents on matters such as the 2015 budget and the planned local option sales tax ballot question.
Earlier this year, city councilors approved putting the local option sales tax issue to voters in November. If approved, the tax would collect an additional 1 percent on items already taxable by the state. The new revenue stream would fund street improvements. City officials say a local option sales tax has several benefits including:
• 55 percent of the tax would be paid by non-residents
• Saving the city $4 million annually in bond interest
• Reducing local property taxes
• Eliminating the need for special assessments
At Monday’s council meeting, City Administrator Tom Pagel presented a draft letter that he plans to deliver to community stakeholders announcing the meetings.
Although dates and venues have yet to be finalized, Pagel told the council current plans call for meetings the first and second Mondays and Tuesdays in October at locations in each quadrant of the city. He asked councilors to check their respective calendars for conflicts prior to meeting date finalization.
In other business, the council:
• Approved the minutes of the Aug. 11 regular council meeting.
• Approved a grant agreement between the city and the Blandin Foundation. The city was awarded a $2,500 grant, which will be used for facilitation costs related to local government collaboration efforts.
• Accepted a $1,000 grant to the police department from Enbridge Inc.
• Approved the sale of impounded and forfeited vehicles at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources auction.
• Approved an employment separation agreement with former police chief Jim Denny.
• Approved an interim chief of police employment agreement with Scott Johnson.
• Approved revised library bylaws.
• Approved claims from Aug. 5 to Aug. 18, 2014 in the amount of $527,588.12.