The 2014 City Budget was unanimously approved by the City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Notable features of the budget include: no reduction in services, a new fire truck engine/pumper, and a two percent increase in wages for city employees.
City Administrator Lisa Kuss said the goal was to have a “status quo” budget this year to assure that services provided to the citizens stayed the same.
The city tax rate per $1,000 of equalized value is being estimated at $8.58, a decrease of nine cents from last year’s $8.67. Based on these figures, a property with a $100,000 valuation would see a decrease of $9 on the city portion of their tax bill this year.
Alderperson Mark Doornink made a motion to approve the budget without the fire department wages portion. That motion passed 10-0. Alderperson Mike Hankins then made a motion to approve the fire department wages, and that motion passed 9-0-1 with Doornink abstaining, as he is a member of the fire department.
Kuss reminded the council that options for a sewer rate increase would be presented soon, as well as a study on the city outdoor pool. She said both could lead to amendments to the 2014 budget. She also noted that any capital borrowing for 2014 would likely take place in January, February or March of 2014.
In other business, the council approved the following items:
• The first reading of Ordinance 1091 – Single Family (R1) Home Occupations Allowing a Conditional Use Permit;
• Suspending the rules and immediately adopting Ordinance 1092 – Number of Assistant Fire Chiefs. This ordinance provides a change in the number of assistant fire chiefs. There were two assistant fire chiefs in the past, but this ordinance allows for three assistant fire chiefs.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10. The council will meet at 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 30, to approve payment of miscellaneous year-end bills.