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Blackduck City Council presented financial statement, supports Capitol Christmas tree

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news Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The city of Blackduck was presented its 2013 financial statement at the regular meeting of the Blackduck City Council on Monday.

Ashley Erickson of Miller McDonald Inc. was present to detail highlights of the past year to the council. Overall there was a decrease in the city’s revenues over expenditures of $72,450, which was mainly due to a decrease in revenue.

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Blackduck took in $462,878 and spent $535,328 in 2013 compared to 2012 when the city gained $552,223 and disbursed $539,776, making the excess of revenues of expenditures just $12,447 in 2012.

“Your expenditures were very stable, at least in the last three years it has been,” Erickson said. “So what changed from last year is that your property tax decreased and that’s just due to the allocation being different than in the prior years between the general fund and other funds.”

Charges for service also decreased by nearly $20,000 in 2013 compared to years prior.

The city did see an increase in revenues for water and sewer due to a rate increase in 2012 that took effect in 2013.

“So instead of having a $61,000 loss, you only had $13,500 and that’s for water, so the increase in rates have helped but they’re just not quite enough to be positive on that or to break even but they’re very close,” Erickson said. “Sewer is pretty much the same as water.”

The Blackduck Municipal Liquor Store had the best year out of the past five, making $318,819 for the city.

“Your gross profit on sales is outstanding,” Erickson said. “From the other cities that we audit, the average is about 25 to 30 percent and you guys are at 37.5 percent and it’s very consistent so that’s a really good thing.”

Christmas in July

Linda Burke of the Chippewa National Forest was present at the meeting to seek approval from the city of Blackduck to have an event honoring the Capitol Christmas Tree.

“The reason I’m here tonight is because this year the Chippewa National forest has been selected to provide the Chirstmas tree that sits in front of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. this holiday season,” Burke said.

The tree, which has not yet been selected, will be cut on Oct. 29 and stop in Blackduck on Nov. 4 on its way to Washington.

“I would like to have a one to two-hour event during school time so kids could come out and sign a big banner on the tree and have some music and whatever we can think of that will fit in that one to two hours,” Burke said.

Burke said that it has been difficult to find the perfect tree, but the Forest Service has several candidates and they will soon make the selection.

She asked the council if a city official could make a statement at the event to which they agreed and will also write a letter of support.

“Hopefully the city will be participating and the rest of the community and businesses, too,” Burke said.

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