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. My website is www.georgewimmer.com

Friday, May 31, 2013

Isanti Family Farmers Market Update



The City of Isanti has been working hard to re-establish a the Isanti Family Farmers Market at Eagle Park in Isanti.  Based on input from vendors, residents and research it was determined that a weekly Friday Market from 2:30-6:30 would have the best opportunity for success in Isanti.  The Farmers Market will open June 14th.  We are always looking for new vendors and volunteers.  You can learn more about the market at www.isantifamilyfarmersmarket.org.

To successfully market the event it would be very helpful to have flyers for the events at local businesses.    Would you allow the Isanti Family Farmers Market to place brochures at your business?  Please let us know so we can coordinate the distribution of brochures.

Please share this information with your employees.  If anyone has any questions, please contact:

Holly Buboltz 763-444-5512 X or isantievents@cityofisanti.us

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer 2013 Isantian Article


Our summer will once again be filled with great events at our soccer fields, Rum River BMX, Redbird Baseball, Vision Wakeboard Park, Rodeo/Jubilee Days, Farmers’ Market, Street Dances and many more. We have decided to bring back the Farmers’ Market and Street Dances under City direction to help market our wonderful downtown area. We believe it is vitally important to support our local businesses by attracting potential customers to our business districts. By the City offering these events, we accomplish this principal Goal of the Council at a reasonable cost. Please visit downtown Isanti each Saturday from 9am to 1pm weather permitting to support our new market and enjoy a free Street Dance on July 27th and August 24th.

 

A few changes you will be noticing in the next six months revolve around a reorganization of some City services and the anticipated cost of new State mandates. First, we are eliminating the costly, inefficient and poorly handled customer service outsourcing operation that has been handling our utility billing services. We are bringing this under City control, which will save us money, offer better control, and provide a better product to our businesses and residents. The Community Center grant the City applied for was denied. This along with the failed referendum last fall has left the Council with the tough decision. The Council could still vote to fund the needed repairs and continue to subsidize the facility but that would be directly opposed to the vast majority of voters’ wishes last fall. The Center means so much to the numerous non-profit groups that have used it free of charge for years. The next item is the newly state imposed storm water regulations that we will be forced to comply with soon. This will add significant costs to the City, which is estimated at roughly $250,000. We are looking at a storm water utility to pay for this which is what most other cities have implemented. The average estimated cost would be $7 per month per home with businesses, multi-family units, empty plots and other buildings paying their equivalent share. These are very preliminary numbers and nothing has been approved by Council. A presentation on this issue will be provided at the 2nd Council meeting in June. The State is also increasing the cost of our water and sanitary sewer operations due to higher fees and greater restrictions.

 

Finally, I want to share the City of Isanti’s 2012 Audit Report. The report shows how efficient and well run our City is when compared to peer communities. It points out that the Long Range Financial Plan I developed in 2007, and manage each year, has made us financially stable and improved our ratings in all categories through one of the worst economic crisis in our Country’s history. I have listed a few of the highlights below:

 

City Administrative cost 26% lower than Peer Cities

 

Public Works 39% lower than Peer Cities

 

Park and Recreation 38% lower than Peer Cities

 

Public Safety 5% higher than Peer Cities

 

Economic Development 380% higher than Peer Cities

 

Net debt per Capita down 40% in last 4 years

 

2004 to 2007 Taxes per Capita rose 49%, since taking office in 2007 we have lowered it by 10%

 

Net Taxes per Capita are now 26% lower than Peer Cities

 

Net Cash to cover Debt is up 220%

 

Cash on hand as a % of Budget is up 63% since I took office in 2007

 

2013 Budget is 14% less than the budget set in 2006 before I was elected Mayor

 

Liquor Store operating income has risen 160% since I have become Mayor

 

Our Long Term Financial Plan is working and with each change we make we have made City operations in all areas more efficient and have provided a higher level of services. We have more police protection, higher rated fire protection, safer water supply after building the treatment plant, more efficient and lower cost administration, great parks and trails, a growing business sector and the list goes on and on … we have so many things in the pipeline for our Great City that I am even more excited about serving Isanti as Mayor than I have ever been. Regardless of all the new State pressures and mandates, we will make Isanti as efficient and productive as possible. I look forward to all the challenges and opportunities we face in the years to come and hope to bring brighter days to all the Generations of our Community.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact me at 763-442-8749 or email me at George@georgewimmer.com . You may also follow me and keep up to date on all things Isanti on Twitter at twitter.com/mayorwimmer Facebook at www.facebook.com/MayorGeorgeWimmer or my blog at georgewimmer.blogspot.com
We are looking for more vendors at the Isanti Farmer's Market ... Contact me at 763-442-8749 or email George@Georgewimmer.com

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stormwater Utility

The possibility exist that Isanti may develop a storm water utility as a means to fund the newly mandated state requirements - http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/stormwater/municipal-stormwater/municipal-separate-storm-sewer-systems-ms4.html The City is also having to take back numerous "private" storm water ponds that were not properly maintained. The City Council in 2007 over my strong objections allowed developers to keep the storm water ponds as privately held property belonging to the individual homeowners. This would mean that all the home owners along a storm water pond would have to pay to maintain the system. That was both unrealistic and unfair. Unrealistic because without a homeowners association or other such entity this would not be feasible. The Council at the time did not create any enforcement to ensure these are were maintained. Unfair because a storm water system is the same as our water, sewer and road system. We as a whole should be responsible for the whole system. Homeowners are not asked to maintain the section of road in front of their home nor should they be asked to maintain a storm water  pond that is part of a City wide system.

The reason I would prefer a utility vs an increase in property taxes is that a utility would capture revenue from tax exempt properties making it more fair for all storm water system users as well as from platted but as of yet undeveloped properties. Another reason is if it is a property tax increase future Councils could spend these newly raised funds anyway they want. If it is a utility fee then it must be spent for that specific use and no other. Lastly it gives greater transparency as to where the money that is being collected is spent.

Why platted properties that have yet to have anything built on it? Well if there is a road and storm system that services the area that area should pay into maintaining that system. It would not be the same amount as a built property but anywhere between 10% and 25% of a residential unit equivalent. The system would resemble the follow example but remember nothing has been approved at this date ...

1 residential storm water unit would equate to 5000 square feet of impervious service ... assuming this is the average amount for a residential property in Isanti. Each residential property would be charged one unit price of say $7 per month equally $84 a year. A business, multi-family or non-profit entity that would have 20,000 square feet of impervious surface area would pay the equivalent of 4 residential units of $28 a month or $336 a year. A non-built lot that has all the infrastructure might pay 10% to 25% of a residential unit cost of $.70 to $1.75 to adequately cover the use they are making of the system and to help maintain according to the new standards.

This is again at the idea stage and a full presentation will be made to the Council the 2nd meeting in June. The problems driving this need is very real and urgently needs to be addressed. Many cities already have utilities established for storm water as well as other items like street lightening.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Our Press Release Regarding Last nights Train Accident


 

The Isanti Police Department responded to a report of a pedestrian struck by a north bound BNSF train within the City.  The incident occurred south of Main St. approximately a 1000 feet.  

 

BNSF employees observed something laying between the rails and performed an emergency stop procedure.  The train did pass over the object between the rails, which was a person.  The person was identified as Chad Rolstad of Isanti.  

 

Officers from Isanti Police Department initially responded and rendered medical care to Mr. Rolstad along with Isanti Fire District.  Medical helicopters were not able to fly due to weather, the victim was transported by Allina Ambulance to Mercy Hospital and is listed in critical condition.

 

Assisting Isanti Police Department were Isanti Fire District, Minnesota State Patrol, Isanti County Sheriff's Office, Allina Ambulance, BNSF Police Department, and Cambridge Police Department.    

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

I presented my idea to end utility billing outsourcing & staff chances needed ... Our Citizens & Taxpayers deserve better service
New state requirements on storm water management looks to add significant cost to our long term budget ... Oh all the unfunded mandates
The Council approved our plan to fund sidewalk and trails on South Passage, Railroad Ave and Heritage Blvd/County 5
We are taking a great step forward in public safety by building trails & sidewalks along County 5, South Passage & Railroad Ave this summer

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

POSITION OPENING


 

Community Event Planning/Marketing Intern (PT)

The City of Isanti is seeking an energetic and motivated student/undergraduate to assist directly with the planning, coordination, marketing and implementation of summer community events; specifically: street dances and the farmers market.  Minimum qualifications include: a second year or higher undergraduate student in event planning/hospitality/marketing or similar degree, excellent written and verbal communication skills, proficiency in Microsoft Windows/ Office programs, and a valid driver’s license. This is a part-time internship: 20 hours /week, for approximately 10 - 12 weeks. All candidates must be able to work flexible hours M-F and Saturdays. Hourly rate: $8.00 - $10.00 depending upon qualifications. Initial application deadline: May 8, 2013 @ 4:30 p.m. Resume, cover letter and application are required. For an application contact:  City of Isanti, 110 - 1st Avenue NW, PO Box 428, Isanti, MN 55040; 763-444-5512; or web site: www.cityofisanti.us. Open until filled. EOE

Posted: 04-17-2013
Published: 04-24-2013