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Afton's budget will increase 1.2 percent in 2010

The Afton City Council approved its 2010 budget and tax levy at its Dec. 15 meeting after receiving few comments during the public hearing.

The budget was approved at $1,652,519, an increase of 1.2 percent over the 2009 budget. The tax levy was approved at $1,516,258, a 3.9 percent increase over the 2009 levy.

The biggest increase to the budget came from adding $178,000 to the Audit Legal Reserve Fund to aid the city in covering its legal fees.

During the public hearing on the budget, Afton resident and charter commissioner Mike Frichol spoke to the council about whether or not they budgeted enough to cover legal expenses.

Council member Joe Richter assured Frichol that the city's legal expenses are slowly dissipating with the settlement of FOC LLC & Atomic Properties, the completion of the Jeffrey Walker case and the win in the GJ&M lawsuit.

"I feel it's a very responsible budget," he said.

The city currently still has one outstanding lawsuit. It involves Riverbank Exchange, LLC, or more commonly known as Grand Garage.

"The city is closing in on being litigation free," interim city administrator Jim Norman said.

Charter commissioner Kate McGinn also spoke during the public hearing, but only to question an oversight on the FICA/Medicare line item where the salary increases were not factored in. The city's accountant addressed this and said that the line item is off by about $800. However, the accountant did state that the oversight will not have an adverse effect as they overestimated.

No other public comments were made.

To view the 2010 Afton budget, go to the city's Web site at

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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