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Continued: East Bethel City Council removes mayor from office after residency challenge

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Last update: January 9, 2014 - 7:26 PM

After the couple fell behind on payments, they lost their 2,200-square-foot home.

Sewer debt could be affected

The outcome of this dispute could have implications for a meeting Friday between city leaders and the Metropolitan Council about debt linked to the city’s controversial water and sewer treatment project.

The $48 million water treatment and sewer system was completed last year. Projected business growth was supposed to create the tax base to pay much of the bill, but the necessary growth has not occurred.

East Bethel residents face a 15.1 percent increase in the city portion of their property tax bill to pay interest on water and sewer bonds issued for the project. The city is also on the hook for $30 million owed to the Metropolitan Council for part of the project. City leaders and Met Council staffers will meet to discuss potential revisions to the project agreement in hopes of getting some financial relief.

This is the second squabble over residency in the north metro in recent months. St. Francis City Council Member Mike Haggard resigned in December after fielding questions about his residency. He sold his St. Francis home and said he was renting a room but also acknowledged spending time at a residence in Zimmerman.

He resigned at a December council meeting after fellow council members asked about the situation.

 

Shannon Prather • 612-673-4804

 

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  • East Bethel Mayor Richard Lawrence lost his home to foreclosure. He is now claiming an RV parked at a seasonal campground as his permanant residence. He is living outside the city during the winter months. A city council member has challenged his residency.

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