BY COUNCILOR NESS:
The city council finds as follows:
(a) The city administration and council wish to establish a clear set of priorities with respect to legislative initiatives which the city supports in the 2007 legislative session; and
(b) The city administration and council have devoted meeting time and discussion to city legislative priorities; and
(c) The city administration and council choose to express support for legislative initiatives which are of vital interest to the community.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the city staff and elected officials will take the lead role in advancing the following legislative priorities for the 2007 legislative session:
(a) Seek statutory authorization for the city of Duluth to establish an irrevocable account to invest funds and generate investment earnings sufficient to meet post-retirement health insurance benefit obligations and a revocable account to invest funds and generate investment earnings sufficient to meet other city obligations from which city funds had been redirected to establish the irrevocable account. The Duluth-specific legislative proposal will establish the authority to create such accounts through the state board of investment. The city also supports initiatives which would grant this irrevocable account authority more broadly to local units of government;
(b) The city requests an allocation of state bond proceeds in the amount of $37,931,000 for improvements to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center including construction of a new arena facility. The bonding allocation will be matched by local funds generated by a .75 percent city food and beverage tax;
(c) The city seeks enactment of the .75 percent city food and be beverage tax increase with revenues committed to making principal and interest payments on city bonds issued for construction of the improvements to the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center;
(d) The city seeks the repeal of statutory requirements relating to lease terms for Northwest Airline’s lease of the Duluth aircraft maintenance facility. The repeal of those provisions, which relate to the maintenance of the lessee’s corporate headquarters in Minnesota and of a workforce of at least 350 employees, will facilitate the search for a new tenant should NWA reject the current lease.
FURTHER RESOLVED, that the city will support the following legislative initiatives in the 2007 legislative session:
(a) Support increased funding for the local government aid formula;
The city council further finds as follows:
(a) The city administration and council wish to provide guidance regarding legislative initiatives which may be considered during the 2008 legislative session; and
(b) The city administration and council have had preliminary discussions on certain capital investment project priorities.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the city staff and elected officials prepare language and seek the introduction of the following legislative proposals during the 2007 session - for consideration by the legislature during the 2008 legislative session:
(a) The city seeks draft legislation seeking state bond proceeds for the construction of wastewater containment facilities in order to ensure that the city remains in compliance with federal environmental protection agency requirements with respect to nondischarge of wastewater into Lake Superior;
(b) The city seeks draft language seeking state bond proceeds for improvements to Slip #2 on the Duluth Bayfront to provide docking facilities for passenger cruise line service which has been dislocated due to federal homeland security requirements.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution sets legislative priorities for the year 2007 and 2008.