Franchise Fee language upheld by Charter Commission

The Ramsey Charter Commission held a meeting on Thursday, August 27th, and on the agenda was an amendment to severely limit the city’s use of the franchise fees. The Commissioners voted after much debate, and the amendment failed on a 5 to 3 vote.

I would like to applaud those Charter Commission members who saw through the weak argument of the amendment and voted for keeping the charter language as is.

Some people running for office this year are trying to argue that the Ramsey City Council has not prioritized our roads. I find this confusing, because a Road Pavement Plan has been in place for the last 5 years. In addition, the city’s Capital Improvement Plan details future road improvements through 2029.

Because of the action we took in starting the franchise fee, the city now has a stable funding source for road maintenance and repair. The new system has many advantages:

  • Eliminates costly assessments on families that can least afford them
  • Availability of a franchise fee rebate program for those who paid assessments in the last 5 years
  • Eliminates interest on road funding bonds
  • Allows projects planned by city engineers to proceed on schedule
  • Has a 5 year sunset in place for the council to review

I believe in this plan because it is fair for all Ramsey residents. As I’ve said before, your support is an investment in our shared future, and I humbly ask for your vote on November 3rd.

If you would like to vote by mail, you can receive your ballot by visiting or calling 763-324-1300.

Ramsey Road Pavement Management Program

I'd like to address the comments being made about the conditions of our roads. Some candidates are implying that the current council has not adequately funded our road maintenance, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

Ramsey has 180 miles of roads, and they are one of our biggest assets. Because of their importance, the council implemented a 5 year Pavement Management Program that started in 2015. This program provided $500,000 per year for crackseal, sealcoat, and overlay projects. In addition, the city allocated another $8.78 million worth of projects above and beyond the per year spending by bonding, assessments, MSA funds, and other sources. If you would like to read about the complete spending breakdown of this 5 year project, you can find the details on the City of Ramsey 2015-2019 Pavement Management Program Summary.

Moving forward, the Council has included in the CIP (Capital Improvement Program) for 2020-2029 an updated Pavement Management Program (starts on page 181). This program, which you can read on the city website, provides detailed information about where and when specific roads in our community will be improved. We will continue to spend $500,000 per year for maintenance and overlays, plus an additional $1.9 million per year with the funds generated from the franchise fee. As with all projects, the suggested improvements might change based on updated information from our city planners, who rate the roads using the Paser scale.