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Voter Guide: Moose Lake City Council

 

October 2, 2020

Greg Sarvela

Background

I grew up in Moose Lake. After Vietnam I became a master electrician and later returned. I’ve served on the Water and Light Commission, Liquor Board, EDA, Park Board and Zoning Board. In 2016 I became a member of the City Council and hope to continue service.

What made you decide to run for city council this year?

Moose Lake is an important part of my life, I want to see it continue in the right direction and complete unfinished projects.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the city and how would you go about tackling them?

Number 1 is Infrastructure. Moose Lake has a huge need for infrastructure updates. Updated sewers and water lines are top priority along with streets in need of repair. The current Council, for which I serve, has executed repair on some of the sewer system to eliminate ground water influx with new economical pipe lining. This effort has greatly reduced the load on the water treatment plant. Road repair is being tackled with a slow but steady pace. There is still much to be done. I look forward to working with Moose Lake’s new administrator on these continuing issues.

Number 2 issue is inadequate funding due to Moose Lake’s existing tax base. Moose Lake is in a precarious, unique position. Approx 78 percent of Moose Lake proper has tax exempt status. This creates a large burden on the approximately 22 percent that pay tax. We as council are obligated to look for other sources of funding, via grants, state and federal programs and creative thinking. We also need to attract and court new development. We are actively working with Moose Lake Community School to develop their property along Highway 73 to benefit both.

Elaborate on something you think the current city council has handled well over the past two years.

We were proud to secure funding for the $1.3 million dollar school walking path along Highway 73 (no local tax dollars spent). This was a greatly needed addition to our new school. We also are in the process of activating two new fresh water city wells to replace the aging existing water system.

Why should people vote for you?

Simply said, I appreciate my upbringing in this community and care about it. I want to give back with civic action and responsibility. To be part of the solution to make Moose Lake grow and prosper is my goal.

*****

James Michalski

Background

I have lived in the City of Moose Lake for 30 years, I previously was on the Moose Lake City Council for six years, I have also been a member of the Moose Lake Area Fire District for nearly 30 years with over 20 years in leadership roles.

What made you decide to run for the city council this year?

I believe if one doesn't agree with things that are being done then it is time to get more involved.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the city and how would you go about tackling them?

Lack of single family housing is one issue. With the city having so many large employers that do not pay property taxes, but ARE a vital role in the community, many of their employees can not find housing within the city limits. Having these employees finding places to live elsewhere takes away from the much needed tax base and supporting the local businesses.

The second issue would be to continue the updating and maintaining of our city streets and infrastructures while limiting the tax impacts.

Elaborate on something you think the current city council has handled well over the past two years.

I believe that the current city council has handled the pandemic that we are currently involved in very well. But not without the help of all of the other departments involvement.

Why should people vote for you?

I am not a follower or a yes man. I am not afraid to ask questions or give my viewpoint when asked. I am willing to listen to any other viewpoints or concerns of the citizens of Moose Lake.

*****

Kristin Heaton Huso

Background

I am a Moose Lake High School graduate. My term on the council started Jan. 1, 2001. I ran for the council at that time as a small business owner. I wanted to make a difference; revitalizing the downtown area as well as promoting Moose Lake as a destination area.

What made you decide to run for city council this year?

There are many projects I would like to see through to conclusion. We have more work to do and Moose Lake is important to me.

What do you think are the top two issues facing the city and how would you go about tackling them?

Taxes are always a concern. Moose Lake is 71.15 percent tax exempt, leaving 28.85 percent of the citizens paying taxes. This is a unique situation. We have been able to keep Moose Lake’s property tax levy at zero percent for the last two years. It is impressive what the city has been able to do with a zero percent tax increase. We have been successful in receiving grant monies as well as

other funding that has been applied for and received for projects we are currently working on or planning for in the near future.

Roads and infrastructure. Deteriorating roads and infrastructure continues to be a problem. Our sale’s tax monies are designated for roads. As that fund grows we will start repairing roads in order of condition. The sales tax was designed as Moose Lake is unique in the way that we have hundreds of people coming into town each day to work at the large state and medical facilities and leaving each night. During the summer months, the town explodes with tourists using the same roads. We have been able to capture monies through the sales tax to help pay for road improvements as everyone uses the roads.

Elaborate on something you think the current city council has handled well over the past two years.

Moose Lake was able to secure four different grants for a Highway 73 Trail Extension that will provide a safe, dedicated place for our children, citizens, and visitors to walk, bike, or rollerblade. Because we were able to secure these different sources of funding, the trail extension will not affect the property tax levy.

Why should people vote for you?

As in the past, I will continue to do my best to represent the citizens of Moose Lake. I will continuing my work to create a thriving community in Moose Lake and I will work hard to keep taxes down for our residents to the best of my ability.

 
 

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