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Forum News Service, Published January 16 2013

Mayville votes to raise taxes; incumbents targeted for recall survive

MAYVILLE, N.D. - Voters here overwhelmingly agreed on Wednesday to a property tax hike to pay for a new fire engine and to keep two City Council members targeted by a recall effort.

Council member Mike Carr had 236 votes and council member Larry O’Brien had 202 votes in the special election, according to data from City Auditor Gail Olstad.

The nearest a challenger got to them was the 84 votes that Jeanette Zimprich had.

The 7-mill tax increase requested by the Fire and Rescue Department had 295 votes, or 81.5 percent; a 60-percent majority is the minimum needed for the tax increase.

This would bring the department’s tax levy up from 5 to 12 mills for five years. The $250,000 raised would pay for a replacement for the 1962 pumper truck still in use.

For the owner of a $100,000 home, the tax increase means another $31 a year in taxes.

Council members Carr and O’Brien had been under fire for voting in June to eliminate the position of city public works director, which led to the removal of longtime director Byron Kleven. The vote was 4-2.

The other council members who voted with them, Larry Young and Steve Hastings, did not seek re-election in June.

After petitions forced a recall vote on Carr and O’Brien, they were challenged by five people.

Besides Zimprich, the vote tally for the others are: Danny Hefta 20 votes; Joseph Henning 39 votes; Brian Pederson 48 votes; and Randal Stennes 57 votes.