About Me

My photo
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.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Email Issues

My email provider is a day away from no longer being so... Still having email issues.... Since my provider is not calling me back I hope you read this and you find your way to the phone!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Email Down

My email will be down this evening till Friday morning. If you need to contact me please text me at 763-442-8749.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mayor's Great Yard Award Update

I am still looking for a 2nd place sponsor. Landmark Bank is sponsoring the 1st place prize once again and Northland Landscaping is sponsoring the 3rd place prize as they did last year. If anyone is interested in sponsoring the the second place prize please let me know. It is $50 per each of the three months. The total commitment is $150 and the awards are presented at City Council meetings and we ask the sponsors to come present the awards in person so you will get the publicity that follows with the presentation.

Contact me at george@georgewimmer.com or 763-442-8749 if you are interested and thank you for your consideration.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Eye on Isanti

The League of Minnesota Cities has asked me to speak about Economic Development at the League Summer Conference. Isanti is gaining a great reputation for leadership in two critical areas - Foreclosure Management and Economic Development. The more we do to promote the great things we are doing here the more Isanti is placed on the map in the minds of business and political leaders.

There is much yet to do but we continue to move in the right direction. It is an exciting time for our great City.

May 19th Council Update

A couple quick items from the last Council meeting.

The first item is another business will be opening in downtown. Recreational vehicle repair facility will be opening in the old Miller Automotive building. One more piece to our economic puzzle.

We approved our City Flag purchase. The public will be able to purchase city flags of all sizes as well. If you have questions please contact me at 763-444-7158, 763-442-8749 or george@georgewimmer.com

The Council approved moving forward with the 3rd Avenue paving project. This is the road by the soccer complex. I think everyone is ready for this road to be paved.

The Council also approved a project especially important to me - the Capital Improvement Plan. This plan, when complete, will give us a road map of our infrastructure needs. Isanti has grown rapidly the last few years and a great many roads and miles of water/sewer pipes and storm water ponds and on and on have been added to the City. One problem with that is no long term maintenance or replacement plan has been created.

This becomes a ticking time bomb if not properly planned for. Many cities that went through their growth spurts 20 to 30 years ago are struggling to replace failing infrastructure. They either take on crushing debt or use massive tax increases to rebuild. I want Isanti to plan and start reserving for the needed maintenance and replacement of all this new infrastructure. I believe it would be a monumental failure to leave this to future generations to solve. It is great having new roads, parks and our new water treatment, plant coming online in a few months, but we must also do our share to make them long term assets not long term liabilities to those that come after us.

The last item I want to touch on is the outsourcing of the mowing of nuisance and foreclosed property. We accepted the low bid of $16.25 per property which compares to City cost of $90 per lawn, a savings of 82%. Doing a 100 lawns the real dollar savings is $7375. In committee I had the stipulation placed in that if the contractor does not fulfill their obligations the next lowest bid would be awarded the contract. This ensure that the service promised is delivered.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mayor's Great Yard Award

This award recognizes the hard work, dedication, and creativity of our residents in maintaining a beautiful City. Award winners will receive prizes for first, second, and third place; which are donated by various local businesses.The awards are open to all Isanti City residents.

Nominations will be accepted through Park and Recreation Staff, Lisa Krause, who can be reached at lkrause@cityofisanti.us or by mail or drop off at City Hall, 110 First Avenue N., PO Box 428, Isanti, Mn 55040. You may nominate yourself or any property within the Isanti City limits. The Park and Recreation Board members as well as city staff and their immediate family members are not eligible. All nominations must be received by 4:30pm on the third Wednesday of June, July and August of 2009. The awards will be presented by the Mayor at the following City Council meeting.

Isantian Article summer 2009

I thought it might be interesting in this issue to look a little closer at who we are as a City. I have used information from the state demographer, U.S. Census and City facts. I also want to highlight some of the great events and groups that make living in Isanti such a joy.

Isanti is approximately 4.4 square miles with 34.54 miles of road, 22 miles of sidewalk and 4.5 miles of trails. We have 8 City parks, a soccer complex, BMX track, Skateboard Park, indoor ice arena, outdoor hockey rink, rodeo grounds, Redbirds baseball and recreational access to the Rum River.

Isanti has grown considerably in the last couple years. In 1970 Isanti had a population of 679, in 1980 it was 858, 1990 1,228 and the 2000 census had us at 2,324. Our current population, per the state demographer, is 5,485 living in approximately 1,550 households, 403 of which are verified rental properties. Our median age is 28 as compared to the county at 35.7 years and the state average of 35.4 years. Isanti’s median household income is $58,419 as compared with $55,802 for Minnesota and $41,994 for the nation as a whole.

Isanti has an estimated 125 employers with over 1,400 employees. Our largest employer has approximately 260 employees. Three of our newest businesses - Isanti Retail Meats on Main Street, Charisma on Highway 5 and Ever Cat Fuels in the Industrial park help to grow these numbers. The City of Isanti currently has 40 employees including the Municipal Liquor Store staff.

I now want to shift to our second topic. Isanti has a plethora of events and activities this summer that make us a destination of tens of thousands of visitors. Our biggest event is the July 9th through July 12th Rodeo/Jubilee Days. The Rodeo is a great fund raiser for our Fire District. To learn more go to www.isantifiredistrict.org. To learn more about Jubilee days and the best parade in the state go to www.isantichamber.com.

Rum River BMX has flourished the last few years. Isanti will be hosting the Land O` Lakes National Trials for the 2nd year in a row. The normal track races bring in over a 100 riders, the National’s bring thousands of racers and spectators to our City. If you get a chance take a look at this new Olympic Sport. To learn more go to www.rumriverbmx.com.

The Isanti Red Birds are a City treasure. The games are free to the public and the quality of baseball is terrific. If you have not seen them play, give it a try. To learn more about the Redbirds and their great start to the 2009 season go to http://hometeamsonline.com/teams/?u=ISANTIREDBIRDS&t=c&s=baseball&p=home

The Soccer complex is buzzing with activity each week during the season. Hundreds of players on game nights and even more during tournaments throughout the summer make Isanti a focal point of soccer talent.

My space is limited so I unfortunately could not cover everything but I wanted to give a brief glimpse of who we are as a City and some of the great things going on in Isanti this summer.

If you have any questions please contact me at george@georgewimmer.com or 763-444-7158 or my cell 763-442-8749.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tree Planting Today

Abigail and Alexander helping Officer Dan with Erica Zdon. Lt Hill looks to be supervising in the background.

Alexander with Officer Dan, his son and Erika

It was great tree planting today. I want to thank all the volunteers and two of our Police Officers came on their own time and pitched in. We planted 24 more trees at Bluebird park.

Bluebird Tree Planting

Tree Planting today at Bluebird AKA Clifford Park. Starts at 4pm and we can use all the volunteers that wish to help. It is a great time and the more help we have the quicker it gets completed. We have been planting trees throughout the park for the last few years. We plant these trees to shade future generations.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Been a Bit

It has been a bit since my last post. I will have a bunch this week, starting tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Council Meeting Update

A couple items from last night. We got a resoundingly good audit report. The City is in excellent fiscal health which is especially significant due to the many financial issues that surround us. A few highlights that I shared with the Council:

General Fund Balance is 26% higher than 2006
The City Budgeted spending is less than 2006
City property tax levy rate was 38% higher in 2005 than today's levy rate
Per capita non-enterprise fund debt is down 47% since 2005
(2005 it was $1,904 per person and 2008 it is down to $1,010)
The great fund reserves allow us to weather the difficult couple years ahead of us. This ties nicely into the next item.
The City has been cleaning up many past financial issues with money owed the City. We again last night took care of another area of concern. When development was booming many project cost were not properly billed nor dollars collected when billing was done. This left tens of thousands of dollars owed to the City that tax payers ended up paying for instead of the responsible parties.
I have been getting a great amount of pressure to lay off collecting these along with back taxes and assessments still outstanding. If I or the Council allowed this pressure to sway our decisions the City would be on a quick path to financial ruin or much higher taxes (those that pay taxes). One of the main reasons our fund balances are higher is that we have taken a strong stance with those that have outstanding bills to the city whether for taxes, assessments or other fees. By making sure we collect what is owed the City everyone gets to enjoy lower taxes.
For those that believe our taxes are still to high, and I agree with that sentiment, they would be 38% higher today if we had not changed direction after I was first elected Mayor.
The last item that caused some discussion was the idea of how the City should manage its money in banking institutions. We have given direction to place funds in the highest yielding safe/secure institutions.
The other idea presented was that we should place City funds in multiple City banks and credit unions regardless of interest paid the City. We simply can not do that and be good stewards of City's funds. In the past few years we have earned tens of thousands of dollars more in interest income do to better investment practices than in the past.
I understand the desire to want to spread the funds out but not at such a high cost. City staff is constantly checking rates when dollars are needed to be moved and local institutions are given the opportunity to match these rates.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Letter to Isanti School Families

Click to enlarge

65/5 Intersection MnDot Notice

Roadwork on Highway 65 in Isanti, begins the week of Monday, May 11, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The work includes installation of a new dual-turn-lane on the northbound lanes of Highway 65 and the replacement of a traffic signal system at the intersection of Highway 65 and Isanti County Road 5.

Travelers may encounter lane restrictions. Pedestrian traffic will be maintained through the work zone. Motorists should slow down and watch for trucks hauling materials in the area.
Knife River Corporation of Sauk Rapids is the prime contractor for this $750,000 safety improvement project.

Work is expected to be completed by mid-July, weather permitting.
For updated statewide traffic, construction, weather and travel information, visit www.511mn.org.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

May 5th Council Meeting

TUESDAY, MAY 5, 2009 - 7:00 P.M.

Call to Order
B. Pledge of Allegiance
C. Roll Call
D. Adopt Agenda

E. Proclamations/Commendations/Certificate Awards

F. Approve City Council Minutes
April 21, 2009 – Work Session Meeting of the City Council
April 21, 2009 – Regular Meeting of the City Council
April 21, 2009 – Closed Meeting of the City Council

G. Citizens Input

H. Announcements
1. Planning Commission Meeting Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
2. City Council Meeting Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
3. Park & Recreation Board Meeting Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 5:00 p.m.
4. EDA Meeting Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

I. Council Committee Reports

J. Public Hearings

K. Business Items

1. Resolution Accepting the 2008 Annual Financial Report and Management Letter
(City Auditor Steve McDonald)

Community Development Director Carla Vita

2. Consider Library Link to be Located in Conference Room A
3. Request for Engineering Service Proposals for the Construction of a Basketball Court in Bluebird Park
4. Resolution Accepting Quote for the Purchase of Trees for Bluebird Park
5. Request for Proposals for Business Consultant Services
6. Resolution Approving Initiative Foundation Request for Funds
7. Resolution Approving Downtown Parking Signage
8. Rail and Industrial Park
A. Request to Schedule a Joint Meeting of the City Council and EDA
B. Authorize Staff to Work on an EDA Federal Grant and Request for Proposal for Engineering Services

Finance Director Kristi Smith

9. Resolution Approving Certification of Delinquent Snow Removal Charges
10. Resolution Approving Closing of Accounts
11. Resolution Authorizing Staff to Act on Escrow Accounts
12. Discussion on Donation Boxes

City Administrator Don Lorsung

13. Council Video
14. Request for Proposals for Mowing Services

L. Consent Agenda

1. Accounts Payable in the Amounts of $161,815.71 and Payroll in the Amount of $67,263.85
2. Approval of March 24, 2009 Park & Recreation Board Minutes
3. Approval of Part-Time Police Officer Job Description
4. Resolution Authorizing Mayor to Sign Management Representation Letter
5. Resolution Approving Gambling Exempt Permit to Isanti County Pheasants Forever
6. Approve City Council Member Sue Larson’s Request to Attend the LMC Annual Conference
7. Authorize Placing Mayor’s Letter of Support to Family Pathways on City Letterhead

M. Other Communications
1. Draft Minutes of the April 28, 2009 Park & Recreation Board Meeting
2. Draft Minutes of the April 28, 2009 EDA Meeting

N. Closed Meeting
1. Pedestrian Bridge Easement Acquisition