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In the Pipeline - 01 January 2021A monthly news brief from the city of New Hope, Minnesota • newhopemn.gov January 2021 Over January/February City Council Regular Meetings: Jan. 11 and 25, Feb. 8 and 22 at 7 p.m. City Council Work Sessions: Jan. 19, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. Citizen Advisory Commission Meetings: Jan. 12, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m. Human Rights Commission Meetings: Jan. 6, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. Planning Commission meetings: Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. Holidays (City Offices Closed): Jan. 1, New Year’s Day; Jan. 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day; Feb. 15, Presidents’ Day All activities are at City Hall, 4401 Xylon Ave. N. unless otherwise indicated. Agendas and minutes for meetings are available on the city’s website. Schedule is subject to change. Call 763.531.5100 for more information. Council Approves 2021 City Budget The New Hope City Council approved the 2021 city of New Hope budget and tax levy at its Dec. 14 meeting. The 2021 budget focuses on continuing to provide exist- ing services and programs with current resources and on public safety. The 2021 general fund budget is $15,936,977, which is an increase of $526,427, or 3.4%, over the 2020 budget. The tax levy for the entire 2021 budget is $17,417,601, which rep- resents a 3.4% or $572,885 increase over the 2020 levy of $16,844,716, which was a 10.08% increase. Although the tax levy is increasing, the city’s overall tax capacity has also increased and the estimated tax rate is expected to decrease from 64.7% in 2020 to 62.5% in 2021. Major changes in the budget for 2021 include: • Approximately $244,000 for wage and benefit increases; a 3% cost of living adjustment is budgeted for employees along with an increase in the city’s share of health insurance coverage; and a 3% increase in City Council salaries • Approximately $156,000 for phase one of police department body and squad camera purchases and deployment with phase two scheduled for 2022. This cost will be funded by the IT reserve fund in order to minimize impact to the general fund tax levy. • Approximately $85,000 for West Metro Fire-Rescue District due to an increase in New Hope’s share of the joint powers agreement and approximately $33,000 for replacement of the shared emergency generator between the fire district and the new police station/city hall facility. New Hope is scheduled to receive more than $865,000 in Local Government Aid from the state of Minnesota in 2021, an increase of nearly $50,000 from 2020. The revenue will be used to help cover general fund central garage equipment and building replacement costs, not general operations. Links to the complete 2021 budget and a presentation about the budget and tax levy are available at newhopemn.gov/finance. Snow Removal Tips T New Hope declares a snow emer- gency when there is an accumulating snowfall of two inches or more OR other warranting conditions. Vehicles must remain off the street until the pavement has been plowed to full width. T The city plows New Hope streets and treats intersections, hills and curves. To notify the city of concerns relating to snow removal on a side street in New Hope, call New Hope Public Works at 763.592.6777. T Hennepin County maintains sev- eral of the major streets in New Hope including 42nd Avenue, Bass Lake Road, Medicine Lake Road and Win- netka Avenue from Bass Lake Road to Medicine Lake Road. To report a winter maintenance concern on these streets, contact Hennepin County Public Works at 612.596.0300. T City ordinance prohibits shoveling or plowing of snow into the street, across the street or onto an adjacent neigh- bor’s property. T Property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property and clearing their mailbox. The city does plow sidewalks as time and resources allow, but not on weekends and not on an overtime basis. The city does not salt or sand sidewalks. T West Metro Fire-Rescue encourages residents to shovel out the fire hydrant near their home. Keeping fire hydrants free of snow reduces the time it takes firefighters to access a hydrant if a fire occurs. Thank you for your generosity! A special thank you to those who donated to the coat, food and toy drives. Your donations made the holidays much brighter for local families in need! Open Skating at New Hope Ice Arena The New Hope Ice Arena is available beginning Jan. 8 for open skating most Fridays, 6:30-8 p.m. and Sundays, 4-6 p.m. Preregistration is required. Call 763.531.5151 or register online through parks and recreation. Cost is $5/person. Skate rental is also available in sizes youth 8 through adult 13 for $3/pair. For a complete schedule visit newhopemn.gov/rec or call 763.531.5181. Adult Softball Registration Registration begins Feb. 8 for new teams to sign up for New Hope’s slow-pitch softball leagues. New Hope offers Men’s Upper D leagues on Tuesdays or Thursdays, Men’s Lower D and Men’s E leagues on Mondays or Wednesdays and Co-Rec D leagues on Sundays or Tuesdays (double-header). League play begins in late April or early May. Call for details. Community Gyms Available for Rental The New Hope Community Gyms, located on the north side of Cooper High School, 8230 47th Ave., are available for community use during non-school hours. The facility includes two gyms, each of which can be converted into a full-sized basketball or volleyball court. The gyms are available for community use on week- days after 6 p.m. during the school year and 24 hours a day on weekends, holidays, and during the summer months. Call 763.531.5155 for details or to reserve gym time. Youth Martial Arts Classes Youth will have various opportunities to learn more about martial arts in the different class options available. Little Tigers is for ages 3-5 to learn basic self- defense on Tuesdays, Jan. 19-Feb. 23 from 10-10:30 a.m. at the New Hope Ice Arena. Virtual Tae Kwon Do is for ages 5 and up to learn about kicks, punches and strikes on Tuesdays, Jan. 12-Feb. 16 from 6-6:45 p.m. virtually via Zoom. Lightsaber Star Wars Sword Play is for ages 5-14 to learn about strikes, blocks and stances using swords on Wednesdays, Feb. 3-17 from 6:30-7:15 p.m. at the Crystal Community Center. Snowman & Snow Sculpture Contest The Citizen Advisory Commission is sponsoring a snowman and snow sculp- ture contest this winter. Residents are encouraged to create a snowman or snow sculpture and email a photo of their masterpiece along with their name, address and a title to rec@newhopemn.gov through March 31. Prizes will be awarded after the contest ends. For more information about these programs or to register, call the New Hope Parks and Recreation office at 763.531.5151. Family Activity Packs Are you looking for something fun to do? Families can check out sports equipment, games and activities to enjoy at home or in any of our New Hope parks! There are also Valentine’s Day Craft Packs available for purchase. Packs may include snowshoes, winter sleds, basketballs, soccer balls, Spikeball game, American Ninja Warrior Course, puzzles, string art and more. Equip- ment can be checked out for up to two weeks and will be cleaned and sanitized between uses. For more information contact New Hope Parks & Recreation at 763.531.5151. City Council Approves 2021 Utility Rates At the Dec. 14 New Hope City Council Meeting, Council approved increases to multiple incremental utility rates for 2021. The total impact of the utility fee increases on an average residential util- ity customer (who uses 5,000 gallons of water per month) is estimated to be $4.34 per month. Sanitary sewer rates will increase by 5% in 2021. The minimum fee increased 44¢ to $9.34 (which includes the first 1,000 gallons). The volume rate increased 29¢ for each additional 1,000 gallons. Water rates will also increase by 5% in 2021. The base fee increased 45¢ to $9.32. New Hope has a graduated water rate scale to encourage conser- vation. The volume rate per 1,000 gal- lons for up to 10,000 gallons increased 33¢ to $6.87. Higher volume rates will also increase 5% over 2020 rates. The storm drainage fee increased by 5%, or 42¢ per residential unit each month, to $8.78. The street light fee also increased by 5%. There is no change in the recycling fee for 2021. Operation, maintenance and capital improvements to the city’s sanitary sewer, water and storm sewer utility systems are each funded by separate enterprise funds in New Hope’s budget. The revenue for each of those funds comes from the fees charged to the city’s utility customers. For additional information visit newhopemn.gov/utilitybill. Water Main Breaks Did you know that 85% of the city’s water main breaks happen in the winter months? This is due to cold tempera- tures causing frost deep in the ground which can cause breaks in aging util- ity pipes. If you suspect a water break, which typically looks like water com- ing up from the pavement and flowing down the street, contact public works at 763.592.6777 during business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday). If it is after hours, contact the police department non-emergency line at 763.531.5170. If there is no answer, call 911. Recreation Corner Carbon Monoxide Safety Winter is prime time for carbon mon- oxide poisoning as heating systems are turned on and cars are mistakingly warmed in garages. Carbon monox- ide is an odorless, colorless gas that often goes undetected, striking victims caught off guard. Make sure you install a battery-oper- ated carbon monoxide detector in your home near the bedrooms, and check or replace the battery at least once a year. If the alarm sounds, immediately move outside to fresh air and call 911.