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Estherville budget hearing scheduled – Proposed budget shows 13.64 percent increase from 2007-08

By Staff | Feb 6, 2008

By unanimous decision, members of Estherville City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed city budget for the 2008-09 Fiscal Year which surpasses $15 million.

The open hearing will take place at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, 2008 in Estherville Council Chambers.

City Clerk Vaughn Brua told council at the regular Monday meeting the budget includes a rise in expenditures of $1,856,570.

That added sum brings the total to $15,471,527 and reflects a 13.64 percent increase from this past year.

Brua pointed out that about $900,000 of the increase is tied to projects with significant funding from RISE, FAA and Housing Rehabilitation grants. At this point in time, there is no way to foretell if these projects will proceed or not.

He noted, “The Proposed Road Use Tax Fund expenditures increased by approximately $720,000 of which $550,000 represents the city’s share of 2005 improvements to highway 4 and 9.”

Another appropriation of $250,000 for power plant repairs to generator unit 5 is also included.

A red flag materialized with the general fund portion of the budget which includes an increase in proposed expenditures of $171,200. Brua said, “The general fund budgeted ending balance declines to $502,866 on June 30, 2009. The declining balance is a concern.”

Turning attention to proposed property tax levy, it will remain at $16.50 per $1,000 of taxable valuation.

Another point of interest is that a water rate increase will be recommended effective June or July due to increasing expenses and necessary improvements at the water plant.

The proposed budget continues the current levels of contributions to various entities which provide needed services to residents of the community.

A cursory glance at the budget expenditure summary for 2008-09 shows the following percentage change:

n Police–+1.14 percent.

n Fire–+23.92 percent.

n Parks & Rec–+6.68 percent.

n Pool– -29.63 percent.

n Library–+10.07 percent.

n Solid Waste–+0.72 percent.

n Street Maintenance–+7.94 percent.

n Water (total)–+7.77 percent.

n Wastewater (total)– -11.73 percent.

n Electric (total)–+0.52 percent.

n Emergency Reserves Fund–+201.05 percent.

n Road Use Fund–$124.49 percent.

n Debt Service–+13.61 percent.

Contact Mary Ann Menendez at (712) 362-2622 or mmenendez@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com