The Clarkfield City Council held their annual Truth in Taxation hearing and finalized their budget for 2013 during Tuesday night's council meeting.
After some final adjustments the council approved the 2013 budget and are expecting an $80,000 budget surplus. The city expects nearly $1,088,306 in revenues for 2013 and $999,960 in expenses. That should leave the city with an estimated $88,346 budget surplus in the city's general fund.
The preliminary property tax levy amount for 2013 was $326,480 and that amount remains unchanged with the passing of the final budget. $326,480 represents a 2.4 percent increase from last year's final levy amount of $318,766. Of that amount, $205,005 will be entered into the city's general fund, while $70,384 will go towards the water and sewer debt service. Another $51,091 will go to the debt service for the 2005 street bond.
Local Government Aid (LGA) for the city should amount to $344,785 in 2013. That amount remains unchanged for 2013 from 2012.
In the final ironing out of the budget the city council made several changes Tuesday night. Most significant among these was the council furthering funding for what the has been termed in the past as a community center, but may be better described as a meeting and events center. The council decided first to add another $5,000 to the 'community center' fund and then scrapped a proposed $7,000 that was being considered for the building of a tennis court and added it to the 'community center' funding. That equates to $12,000 of funding for the 'community center' in 2013. Already, there is roughly $19,500 in a fund earmarked for use on a community center.
So now the city will have $31,500 that they expect to use this year to continue with renovations to the 'old fire barn' garage space adjacent to city hall. There have already been minor improvements made to the building in the advancement of its re-purposing.
"Well, if that's it, I think we're doing pretty good," commented mayor Gene Kockelman on the budget.
At the end of the budget discussion, the council praised City Administrator Scott Weske on his work detailing and presenting the 2013 budget. This is Weske's second year in the post and his second time compiling the budget.
"I've been around here awhile," said councilmen Robert Schlenner. "This is the most detailed budget information I've ever received while on the council." Kockelman agreed, saying, "It's been better explained to me than I've ever had."
Schlenner and Staab
Tuesday's meeting marked the final meeting for outgoing councilmen Robert Schlenner and Francis Staab. Schlenner has served on the council several times on and off over the last couple of decades, while Staab has been on the council for the past six years.
The council made a motion to thank them for their service to the city and the residents of Clarkfield.