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Afton City Council approves 2013 budget and levy

Afton City Council has set the stage for 2013.

City Council held its Truth-in-Taxation hearing during its Dec. 18 meeting after which it approved the 2013 budget and levy.

The 2013 budget is $1,738,153, an increase of $29,972, or 1.75 percent, over 2012.

The $1,602,769 2013 tax levy represents a 1.87 percent, or $29,446, increase from this year.

Based on the levy, the city's tax rate would increase from 30.078 percent to 30.104 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 $543.81, which is a reduction of $1.03, or 0.2 percent.

For a $400,000 home, the city's share of property taxes would be $1,197.84, a reduction of $1.67 or .14 percent.

"The reduction is possible because we've had some growth in our tax base because of new construction," City Administrator Ron Moorse said.

The final budget and levy reflects a total of $14,606 in reductions that City Council has made since the preliminary budget and levy was approved in September.

"I think we did a really good job of getting it down," Mayor Pat Snyder.

Some of the key items affecting the general fund expenditures include:

-- Expenditures related to the city administrator salary are up $17,000 to reflect the current pay level. T

-- Expenditures related to general liability insurance have been reduced by $18,000 due to a substantial reduction in the level of claims.

-- Fire and ambulance expenditures are up $10,156, or 5.4 percent, per the 2013 fire service budget.

-- Street maintenance/sweeping/pothole repair expenditures are proposed to increase from $10,000 to $21,000, an increase of $11,000 or 110 percent, to reflect actual maintenance needs and cots.

Transfers affecting the 2013 budget and levy are:

-- The levy and transfer to the Road Debt Service Fund is increasing by $10,000, or 3.5 percent, reflect increasing debt service amounts on the road paving bonds per the debt service schedule.

-- The levy and transfer to the Street Improvement Fund is at $190,000, an increase of $19,000 or 11.1 percent.

-- The levy and transfer to the Audit and Legal Reserve Fund is reduced from $20,000 to $1,000 due to the elimination of the need to fund legal expenses.

-- The levy and transfer to the City Council Contingency Fund is reduced from $8,000 to $0.

-- The levy and transfer to the Land and Buildings Capital Fund is increased from $2,500 to $5,000 to provide funding for current and future repair and maintenance.

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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