Blue River voters will decide on November 6 whether to raise their property taxes by $100,000 per year to pay for road improvements and maintenance and to build a second bridge on Mountain View Drive for emergency access.
If the ballot question passes, the town’s mill levy could be raised up to three mills to a maximum of 15.29 mills.
“This gives us the ability to use some of the money should we need it. That doesn’t mean we’re automatically going to raise it. It’ll be there if we need it,” Blue River Mayor Lindsay Backas said.
The Town of Blue River doesn’t have any commercial businesses, and therefore is not supported by sales tax. Instead, it relies almost solely on property taxes to pay for services for its residents, Backas said.
The town spends a third of its approximately $690,000 budget on public safety, a third on snow removal and plowing and a third on road grading in the summer, leaving little room for larger projects, she said.
One of the town’s priorities is fixing Blue River Road, which needs new culverts, that cost about $250,000. Another is building a new bridge to connect the subdivisions on the east side of the Blue River to Highway 9 to provide a second route for emergency access.