About Me

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I have served the City of Isanti as Mayor since 2007. We have accomplished great things together and I look forward to building on our success. United, we move forward to a better future. You may contact me at 763-442-8749 or e-mail me at george@georgewimmer.com.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

City/County Comp Plan

I attended a little over an hour of the County Comp Plan meeting tonight and heard some interesting information. I thought it might be good to refresh our memory and let you know the web links to the City and County Comp Plan information.

City of Isanti: http://www.ci.isanti.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={82A3D932-CDE8-43B0-84F3-7721176A62E1}

County of Isanti: http://www.co.isanti.mn.us/planfuturecomp.htm

Check it out and if you have any questions please let me know.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mayor's Great Yard Award

I will be announcing the Mayor's Great Yard Award in the next few weeks. I am providing a preview in case anyone would like to add helpful comments.

The premise is to show our appreciation for the great work residents are doing. I believe we need to highlight the good of our community even as we are working hard to clean-up troubled properties.

I am approaching area businesses to help provide the money needed for the award. I am currently working with the idea of a $100 1st place, $50 2nd place and $25 third place award. The award would be granted for the months of June, July and August. We would receive nominations and the Park and Recreation Board would determine the winner. I would present the awards at City Council meetings. It is important to note this award would not be paid for from taxpayer money.

If you have any suggestions please let me know. If you would like to contribute as a business with name recognition or as a private citizen please let me know.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May 15th Council Meeting Update

The three items I previously discussed passed on 5-0 votes. Abatement, City rain garden and the resolution supporting a hotel in Isanti.

We received a comprehensive overview of the proposed water treatment plant tonight and discussed a possible annexation.

The water treatment plant process is on track and we are moving forward with the preliminary work and we will get an update at the next Council meeting.

The annexation would involve the City of Isanti taking more responsibility for roads currently under Isanti Township jurisdiction. I asked that this item be tabled so the City would have time to discuss and meet with township representatives and workout any potential issues of joint responsibility. It is critically important to me that we improve our intergovernmental relationships and communication.

Monday, May 14, 2007

May 15th Council Meeting

I wanted to talk about a couple of items from this Tuesday’s Council Agenda. Nuisance abatements, Rain Garden grant and the hotel deal.

We are continuing our work on removing nuisances in Isanti. We are making progress but there is a long way to go. I again hope that as we proceed, the problem property owners will understand that the City is serious and will start to clean-up before they are ticketed and fined.

I will be asking the Council Tuesday to allow City staff to spend an estimated 1 1/2hours to write a grant application for funding of a model rain garden project at City Hall. Staff had previously researched the cost for rain gutters to help correct some of the runoff issues. I want to create a model rain garden project that can be copied by residents to help with our City’s runoff issues. Rain gardens can become an integral part of our storm water solution while its aesthetic appeal can add real value to the individual home. I have received support to design the garden for free and I am receiving volunteer help to build the garden. The grant would cover up to half the rain gutter cost, something the City would have to pay for anyway at some point, and for a the plantings. If the Council approves the grant writing and we do not receive a favorable response I will continue to look for free money to make this project a reality.

The last item is a project I have been working on for several months. Many have heard a hotel is coming to town. Then not actually seeing a hotel being built…..well a hotel, AmmericInn, is coming to town but a bit of help was needed to complete the deal. Many financial tools were suggested such as Tax Increment Financing or tax abatement….both could have cost the City tens of thousands of dollars on an ongoing basis….and were not really needed or appropriate for this project. The solution to the problem was a delay in SAC and WAC payment charges….sewer and water access charges.

The 1/3 a 1/3 and a 1/3 payment deal is what the hotel owners and I worked out. The cost to the City is perhaps $2,000 to $3,000 in lost interest on the delayed payments. I balanced this with the amount of property taxes that will be paid by this commercial entity. The hotel in Cambridge pays over $40,000 in property taxes each year. The AmericInn will have a higher valuation and therefore be paying even more in property taxes.

They would pay the first third immediately…then a 1/3 when they receive their Certificate of Occupancy and the final third after the first year in operation. Current City policy is the full payment up front. There are roughly a dozen findings of fact as to why I am proposing this deal in this limited situation…..all of which are included in the proposed resolution that would prevent this being applied in differing circumstances. As part of this process we will be looking at this and other economic tools to help foster greater commercial growth as mandated by the Council. If you are wondering what happens if they should not pay the remaining payment while in operation, the City can shut off their water and assess their property taxes. I have no fear this would happen but we are covered if it should be the case.

I have been working hard on increasing commercial expansion in Isanti. This is critical to lowering all property tax rates. This one hotel project will pay more in property taxes than 25 residential properties and use less City services. I hope to be able to announce a few more businesses breaking ground in the next month or two…..the summer has started slow but I see signs of our work paying off and a strong summer should propel us nicely into 2008. Stay Tuned

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Quote

A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie. ~Tenneva Jordan

Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs... since the payment is pure love. ~Mildred B. Vermont

All mothers are working mothers. ~Author Unknown

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." ~Washington Irving

"A mother understands what a child does not say." ~ Anonymous

"All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother" ~Abraham Lincoln

"To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world" ~Anonymous

"No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you - life" ~ Anonymous

My favorite follows...

"The greatest gift a father can give his children, is to love their mother"

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mattson Park Community Install

A copy of the Mattson Park Community Install......

The City of Isanti Park & Recreation Department is requesting your help! We are constructing a new piece of equipment in Mattson Park . The equipment is a climbing structure to replace the structures removed this spring. The Community Build for the equipment in Mattson Park is May 18, 2007 starting at 8am, hopefully ending at noon . We are building rain or shine!

The following are ways that you can help:
- We need at least 10 volunteers.
-Building the structure.
-1st Aid, refreshment, sign in and information area

-Equipment (please mark your name on your tools!!):
-wheelbarrow. -3/8 inch drive sockets & wrenches (also 9/16 & 1/4inch)
-shovels -tape measures -pitchforks
-hand levels -step ladders -cordless power drill
-vise grips -utility knives -power saw

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

County EDA

We have had our second meeting of the County EDA Advisory group. We have completed the basic information gathering and review. The next meeting will start the discussion of what direction the County will take in forming an EDA, HRA or hybrid. We will also be discussing who will make up the membership, entity powers, possible projects and working relationships within the county.

After we conclude the 3rd meeting I will layout my recommendations.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Tree Planting

We completed the first phase of the tree install at Blue Bird Park. This was a volunteer project. We used bare root trees, volunteer labor and donated planning time from our city engineering firm to make this a success.

We saved the city thousands of dollars in the process. There were just a few of us but in a little over three hours we dug the holes, planted, mulched and watered the 24 trees. The trees are small in stature today but will grow over the years to provide the much needed shade for the generations to come.

We will be adding more trees each year until the tree plantings are complete.....

On a personal note my four year old son, Alexander, made his dad very proud with his digging abilities.....

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Newspaper Correction.

I want to clarify the County News story about the new Parking Ordinance. The grandfather clause is only for unpaved driveways. All other impervious requirements for parking are still required. The original story online and in print may give the impression it covers non-paved driveways and all other impervious surfaces not already in existence. The online edition has been corrected.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May 1st Meeting Update

The Parking Ordinance passed with a 5-0 vote. I was surprised that there was no public comment. I believe we have taken a strong step towards improving the current situation.

The Council moved forward with ordering an abatement hearing for nuisances on multiple properties. This is never something we want to do but it does need to be done.

The next item is the city website. We approved a redesign that will improve all aspects of the site.....this was really started as a way to improve our Citizen communication and economic development. The proposal will create the "backbone" for items such as online bill payment permit pulling......these functions may not be part of the initial roll out but we wanted to make sure the website is flexible and powerful enough to accommodate future changes. Quoting from my previous post...

"The improved website will be easier to use, allow for future bill payments, Council audio and video, strong economic development resources, citizen resources and on and on......"

The last item to follow-up on is timely reviews of city services....We voted to take 1 of the 5 major City service providers and do a full RFP for each on a revolving 5 year cycle. The first two that will be reviewed are the City Engineer and then City Attorney. It has been five years since last time City Engineering services were reviewed. I hope this rotating cycle will help ensure the City is getting the greatest benefit for the dollar. This reform will give the City a process to follow and make clear to our service providers what we expect.