ORR- The Orr City Council tabled a request from the Cook Hospital District, requesting the council send a letter of support to state representatives Senator Tom Bakk, Rep. Rob Ecklund, and Rep. Jason Metsa asking to amend legislation to require all townships/residents of the original hospital district area be assessed.
Hospital Board Representative Barbara Johnson submitted a letter for the city to send to Bakk, Ecklund, and Metsa. In the letter, it states that the Cook-Orr Hospital District was created through legislation back in 1988. However, “Since the district’s beginning, the tax burden for staffing, operating, and maintaining the facilities has not been born equally by all taxpayers in the hospital district, yet all residents of the original hospital district benefit.” The letter continues, “Five townships in St. Louis County (Greenwood, Vermilion Lake, Alango, Sturgeon, and Morcom) and some unorganized townships in Koochiching that were included in the original districting, are not now, (and never have been) assessed their fair share of the tax burden for operating the hospital district.”
The council had a mixed reaction to the request, which led to the item being tabled. The council wanted to wait to hear further citizen feedback from the upcoming annual township meetings.
In other business the board:
‰ Approved an application from the Orr Lions Club for a gambling permit.
‰ Approved the appointment of Benchmark Engineering for the airport project.
‰ Approved a Five Season Sports proposal of $8,645 for a John Deere Z925M lawnmower. The unbudgeted mower will be paid with funds remaining from the difference between 2017 budgeted revenues and expenses fund ($2,353) and from the unrestricted funds balance from 2016 ($6,411).
‰ Approved the request to change on and off-sale credit card processing to Safe Harbor Business Solutions out of Duluth. It is reported the Liquor Store will save money in processing fees.
‰ Approved a request from Wally’s Auto for a one-time adjustment for an undetermined high usage on their water bill.
‰ Liquor Store head Charles Neiman reported January and February sales were up from the same time last year.
‰ Ambulance Service report noted the new ambulance is substantially complete and anticipate delivery at the end of March.
‰ Fire Department head Dallas Johnson reported the year end reports were completed. Had 42 runs in 2016. They are working on minor repairs to the fire boat. Also wanted to thank Bill Hoffer for all the work he did on the Ranger, installing equipment for emergency response.
‰ Tom Kennebec reported he took a recent tour of the ORR Center, and was very impressed with the progress.
‰ The 2017 Local Board of Appeal & Equalization-Open Book meeting for the City of Orr will be April 12, from 3 – 4 p.m. at the County Assessor’s Office in the Old City Hall.