•Starbuck Council sets preliminary levy at 5%

By Kris Goracke


The regular September Starbuck City Council meeting focused on enforcing rules and ordinances, covering some important topics.

The first was a request by Hobo Park manager to not renew the lease of a park tenant. Hobo Park operates on a year-to-year lease basis, with contracts ending on October 2. The decision is due to a violation of Section 9, which states: “The tenant is in default under the terms of this agreement if the tenant or any other person in his/her party: Creates a disturbance, is disorderly, makes threats or breaches the peace of the campground in any fashion.” The council supported the Hobo Park manager to enforce the policy and not renew the lease for the 2024 season.

Next was a request from the Planning and Zoning Committee concerning the possible removal of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for Beachside RV Park. At the August Planning and Zoning regular meeting, the committee discussed the terms for the CUP, specifically regarding the construction of a privacy fence along the adjacent residential property of the campground. On July 18, 2017, the Planning and Zoning Committee granted a CUP for the park to operate as a business, contingent on the construction of the privacy fence. Derek and Amanda Bluhm, the RV park owners, have been notified of this violation multiple times and received copies of the original CUP. The Planning and Zoning Committee decided it was time to initiate the process of revoking the CUP. Without the CUP, the RV park will not be permitted to operate.  The council approved to have a hearing on the violation.

A preliminary 2024 general fund budget and tax levy were discussed. The proposal seeks a 5% increase in the levy for $987,539 budget.

A Joint Educational Workshop to gather information and explore options for eradicating invasive species in the Starbuck Marina is scheduled for Monday, September 18, at 1 p.m. at the Starbuck Community Center. Members of the expert panel vary from the State of Minnesota with Invasive Species Department to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to a resident from Lake Koronis in Paynesville to share their experiences with invasive species. “We hope to develop a strategy and a plan for 2024,” said City of Starbuck Mayor Gary Swenson. The workshop is open to the public.

The city approved replacing the lightbulbs in city-owned buildings with LED lights. The total installation cost for the project is $21,447.89.  To help with the finances, the city will receive a rebate of $7,807.56, resulting in a final bill of $13,640.33. The switch to LED lights will have an estimated yearly savings of $6880.40.

Starbuck Fire Chief Doug Noyes sought approval to purchase a 2007 Chevy Duramax with 47,522 miles from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for $7,000. Chief Noyes explained that the current fire truck is a stick shift, which can be challenging as fewer people are familiar with driving manual transmissions. “The truck is in good shape. All we need to do is paint it and put on lights on the truck,” said Noyes. In addition, Noyes asked the council to approve the purchase of a 2008 8×16 trailer to be used to haul extra equipment. “The trailer, also from the DNR, is in excellent shape and is being sold for $1850,” explained Noyes. The council approved both purchases.

In other business:

•Approved inter-fund transfers for 2023 bond payments

•Approved Northern Natural Gas Pipeline Facility easement

•Denied a request to vacate a dedicated Right Of Way (ROW) separating Lots 1-6 on the 3rd and 20th blocks of East 9th Street

•Approved a public hearing in October for the subdivision of PID #27-0087-002 at 204 Wollan Street

•Approved parcel classification and public auction on tax-forfeited land to the State of Minnesota 206 East 7th Street – PID #27-0209-000

•Approved Resolution #2023-28 accepting the donation from Jon Haavig for the annual Night to Unite

•Approved Resolution #2023-29 accepting the donation from the Starbuck Study Club for the annual Night to Unite

•Approved Resolution #2023-30 accepting the donation from the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Foundation for the annual Night to Unite.