River Falls City Hall

River Falls City Hall

The River Falls City Council met on Nov. 9 to discuss the fiscal plan, special permits and more. 

1. Appropriate necessary funds for government and administrative operation

The council

  • Ratified the redistricting of wards and aldermanic districts resolution as passed on Oct. 12. 

  • Approved a change of agent for Tattersall Companies, LLC and Mainstreeter Bar & Grill LLC.

  • Approved the River Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau’s request for expansion of the open container exemption for River Dazzle.

  • Approved the creation of a bicycle and pedestrian plan steering committee.

  • Approved the shared ride taxi grant application to the State of Wisconsin DOT for operating assistance for 2022 and the 2022-2023 shared ride taxi operating contract and 2022 public transit lease agreement with Runnings Inc.

The council hosted a second reading, public hearing and disposition of the ordinance appropriating the necessary funds for the operation of the City of River Falls government and administration for the fiscal year 2022. As budget plans are done in a two-year cycle, no changes to the adopted budget were proposed since it’s first approval in 2021. The council approved and appropriated the necessary funds outlined in the ordinance. 

2. Long range fiscal plan and adoption of financial goals and policies 

The long range fiscal plan spans 2022-2026 and includes capital projects, revenue increases and decreases, insurance of debt and impacts of TIDs. It also allows for the prediction of the level of property tax revenue. 

Some changes brought forth from the council workshop outlined by City Administrator Scot Simpson included: 

  • Potential implementation of a wheel tax in 2023, which is associated revenue to be used for street maintenance.

  • Potential implementation of a street light utility in 2023. 

  • Increase of library levy in 2026 from $850,000 to $895,000. 

3. Special permits

The council addressed amending a municipal code on special permits to

include a sign shall be placed on the property for which the special use is being requested. The sign shall be prominently displayed, visible from a public street and securely placed thereon at least ten days prior to the scheduled plan commission at which the special use permit application will be acted upon. Said sign shall indicate the place and time of the proposed meeting, identifying the nature of the special use, all affected properties, and contact information for more information. The poster shall be removed within seven days of the last hearing listed on the sign.

Council member Sean Downing proposed an amendment adjusting that 300 feet be changed to 500 feet.

Council member Ben Plunkett also proposed an amendment to the municipal code, changing the verbiage of “property owners” to “property owners and residents,” to extend inclusion to those who may be renting in the area in receiving notification of special use permits. 

The original amendment was approved along with the two amendments. 

4. 34th safest college town in America

On Nov. 1, Safewise published the 50 Safest College Towns in America of 2021. River Falls, hosting the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, ranked 34 with a 0.8 violent crime rate and a 11.7 property crime rate. It made its way up the list from 2020, where River Falls landed at number 60.

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