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Afton truth-in-taxation hearing recessed due to incomplete details

Monday's truth-in-taxation hearing in Afton became a tense one when several residents voiced discontent over not receiving the full city budget before the meeting. Some also contended that the budget summary they did receive was riddled with errors.

"I think it's important citizens to look at a full budget, not one of these summaries," said Charlie Devine, former Afton mayor. "This is not something that is acceptable -- this does not meet the expectations of our citizens."

Residents weren't the only ones unhappy with the hearing proceedings -- and the budget in general. Council member Nick Mucciacciaro expressed his frustration about the fact that the budget did not include any information about fund balances or a special reserve balance.

Both Mayor Julia Welter and interim city administrator Jim Norman reminded Mucciacciaro that fund balances and the special reserve fund was not why they were meeting that evening and encouraged him to save his concerns for a different time.

"I thought we were discussing and explaining so the residents understand," Mucciacciaro said. "It's called 'truth in taxation.'"

The council concluded that the pubic hearing should be recessed because of the concerns raised by residents. Residents will be mailed a copy of the budget, with a list of fund balances attached, prior to the rescheduled public hearing to be held Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. The accountant will also be present to clarify any further questions.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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