WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     Westbrook — Jeff Buesing of Western Community Action presented a proposal for a Small Cities Development Program.

    The purpose of this proposal would be to write a single-purpose  Small Cities Development grant for the city of Westbrook. The grant would help low to moderate income persons to rehabilitate their homes.

    Buesing said it has been 14 years since your last grant which was written in 2000.

    Western Community Action proposes to write the grant application. Buesing listed the things that WCA would do , and what the city is expected to do. The grant would be administered through the Economic Development Association.

    One of the council persons asked if the grant could be used to rehabilitate rental property. Buesing said that could be included in the grant, but the requirements for the grant would be different than the owner occupied grants.

    The loan part of the grant would be a deferred loan at 0 percent  interest for 10 years, with 10 percent of the loan being forgiven each year.

    Buesing said the city would be responsible for distributing the pre-application and interest surveys that WCA creates.

    Mayor Dennis Phelps said he would have to arrange for an EDA meeting to formally approve proceeding with the grant. The cost of writing the grant would be a flat fee of $2,500.

    Buesing  said they really need to get after it soon in order to get everything done this fall in order to apply for the grant. He also noted it is very important that the city identify and help people in filling out the surveys.

    The council members voted to proceed with applying for a Small Cities Grant. The council members agreed  that there is definitely a need for such a grant.

    Mayor Phelps and City Clerk Katie Steen had done a preliminary review of the upcoming budget levy.

    Phelps said, “we have been getting by pretty good the past few years with lower levy increases, but with significant increases in our commodities we purchase, it looks like we will have about a 14 percent increase in the levy.”  Phelps also stated that just because the levy increases by 14 percent it does not  mean your taxes will go up by that amount. There are many other  factors that are figured into your real estate taxes.

    Steen gave the council members a copy of the proposed budget with recommended changes, to study before the next meeting when they adopt the budget.

    Utilities superintendent Dennis Jutting told the council the sewer project may not cost as much as originally thought. The city is still waiting for some proposals from area companies that work on sewers.

    Mayor Phelps told the council we have enough money in the sewer fund to take care of this. He thought maybe it could be done this fall, but Jutting said it would be too late, so the project was put on hold for another year.

    There have been some complaints from residents about the gravel along their yards where underground boring was done this year. Alan Wahl told the council they are going back and widening the alleys noting that some had become very narrow. He said some are only about eight feet wide and they should be 16 feet wide. There also are problems in some of the alleys with tree encroachment.

    There has been a request for stop signs to be installed on the two corners east of the hospital and Peterson Estates. The council approved the installation.

    The council approved the following election judges: Rob Adams, Katie Steen,  Daryl Hrdlicka, John Madson, Sue Olsem, Sharon Timgren, Helen Peterson, and Marlys Erickson.

    Two building permits were approved.

• Justin and Cassie Dieter will be building a new house on East Fourth Street.

• Keith Burns to add a concrete pad to their hot tub area.

July Police Report:

    Issued two tickets, made one arrest, one county assist,  and two funeral escorts.