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Clear Lake council approves second reading of changing Sunset School zoning, hear about next fiscal year’s budget

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council Monday night approved the second of three readings of an ordinance to rezone the former Sunset Elementary School building so it can be used by the Clear Lake Classical private school as their new building.

The building’s owner Dolly James LLC of Cedar Falls requested that the property be rezoned from public to medium-density single-family residential so it could be used as a private school. The city’s Planning & Zoning Commission late last month voted to recommend the change to the council.

The council last night approved the second reading unanimously without comment. The final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the council’s March 1st meeting.

The Clear Lake Classical School must also apply for a conditional use permit with the city’s Board of Adjustment to operate the facility. 


== The tax rate for City of Clear Lake property owners would remain the same under the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022 which begins on July 1st

City Administrator Scott Flory says the proposed tax rate for Fiscal Year 2022 will remain at $9.70 per $1000 taxable valuation, meaning city property owners will have not seen a raise in the tax rate in six years.  He says, “For Fiscal Year 2017, the city tax rate decreased from $10.54 to $10.04; for FY 2018, the tax rate was decreased from $10.04 to $9.80; and for FY 2019 the tax rate was decreased from $9.80 to $9.70, where it has remained since.”

Flory says there would be $14.9 million in expenditures among various programs.   “$9.7 million is directed towards operations and maintenance; $4.5 million toward capital; and roughly $700,000 in debt service.”

Flory says the projected ending cash balance at the end of Fiscal Year 2022 would be $5 million.   “I was watching Mason City’s budget presentation the other night and they are right at $5 million in their general fund. So that gives you an indication of where we are at when we are at the same level of a community that has a budget about three times our size. $5 million ending cash balance in the general fund is something significant.”

The council last night approved setting their March 1st meeting to conduct the public hearing to adopt the city’s Maximum Property Tax Dollars Resolution, and set for their March 15th meeting the public hearing prior to adopting the new budget.  

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