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Afton finally has a budget

Afton's city council and a number of its residents met on Dec. 18 to discuss the proposed 2009 budget and tax levy, after the first truth-in-taxation hearing in Afton was rescheduled because of residents frustration and disappointment over incomplete and incorrect information provided to them.

The 2009 budget and tax levy was ultimately approved by the city council.

The proposed 2009 budget is $1,638,930, which is a 2.26-percent increase from 2008. The proposed 2009 property taxes will be $1,457,069, which is a 4.48-percent increase from 2008.

However, the council was again met with frustration from residents over the misinformation that was provided to them.

Claire Eisinger aired concerns in an e-mail sent to the city over being provided a "2008 amended budget" rather than the "actual 2008 budget. "This is deceptive if not an outright lie, you are purposely misleading the citizens of Afton," she wrote. "Your 'doctored' budget is deceptive, misleading and downright wrong and I object."

Former mayor Charlie Devine voiced similar concerns during the hearing over receiving the 2008 amended budget rather than the adopted 2008 budget.

Devine also had concerns regarding the budgeted amount for the city's legal fees, Devine said he felt the budgeted amount was far too low because of the legal woes Afton has endured over the last year.

"The costs are out of sight," he said.

City council members discussed the possibility of setting up a legal fees reserve fund so that they would have the money needed if any other legal troubles should arise.

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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