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Afton reduces 2013 budget and levy

Afton City Council was able to trim some of the fat from its 2013 budget.

Afton City Council approved nearly $10,000 in reductions during a special meeting on Dec. 12.

"I'm trying to decrease the levy," Mayor Pat Snyder said, "and I feel good about this."

During last Wednesday's special meeting, City Council went through a number of line items and discussed possible areas it could trim.

The first cut came in the form of $3,600 related to the city administrator compensation to reflect the approval of City Administrator Ron Moorse's employment agreement.

The next cut came from the City Council Contingency Fund.

The fund currently has a balance of $14,252, which carries over from year to year

The budget is proposing to add an additional $8,000 to the fund.

Given that the City Council spent a small amount out of that fund in 2012, City Council members said they felt that was an area that could be cut.

City Council opted not to add the additional $8,000 to the contingency fund. Rather, members opted to add $4,500 to the city's Building and Land Capital Fund, thus eliminating $5,500 from the budget.

The final reduction of $500 came out of the Well Monitoring Program.

In addition to making budget cuts, Afton City Council also approved an expenditure of $1,000 from the City Council Contingency Fund, to be donated to the Washington County Historical Society, which will go toward a planned Heritage Center.

The new budget is proposed to be $1,059,117.

Afton City Council was scheduled to hold its Truth-in-Taxation hearing, and approve the 2013 budget and levy, during ins Dec. 18 meeting after the Bulletin went to press.

Afton approved its preliminary budget and levy in September.

The preliminary budget was set at $1,068,717, an increase of $22,791 - or 2.2 percent - over this year's budget.

The preliminary 2013 general fund levy is set at $882,007, an increase of $22,766 -or 2.6 percent - over the 2012 general fund levy.

The total levy, which includes the general fund levy and the debt service and transfer levies, is proposed to be $1,617,375. That increase is a $44,053, or 2.8 percent, increase over 2012.

Based on the proposed levy, the city's tax rate would increase by 1.6 percent.

The proposed budget and tax levy would result in the city's share of property taxes on a home valued at $200,000 being $552.74, an increase of $7.73, or 1.4 percent.

For a home valued at $400,000 the city's share of property taxes would be $1,219.21 - an increase of $17.29, or 1.4 percent.

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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