Kicking off this week’s Granite Falls City Council meeting was the legally mandated Truth in Taxation public hearing. The hearing began a half hour before the start of the regular Council meeting and provided local residents with the chance to learn about the proposed 2020 budget currently being considered by the Council.

According to City Administrator Crystal Johnson, the proposed tax levy for Granite Falls is set to decline by $50,435, or by 4.33%. The budget expects a slight increase in the amount of Local Government Aid, which is budgeted at $1,034,117. This accounts for roughly 33% of the total general revenue fund budget for the municipal government and an increase of $54,142 over the previous year.

The total debt services levy is set at $81,300, also higher than it was last year. The total levy for taxes payable (after combining the debt services levy with the General Fund levy) is $2,109,201 - or, an increase of $100,734.

Several other noteworthy highlights are as follows: Police Pension Aid is budgeted at $40,000 - the same as 2019.

The proposed budget includes $50,000 representing reimbursement from the YME School District for the School Resource officer.

The city will continue to receive airport maintenance and operation aid from the state government equaling 75% of these costs. Next year, that figure is projected to total $27,658.

Total expenditures for 2020 will increase by $124,046, or 4.16%

Police Department costs decreased by $18,165 due to reduced salary expenses for new officers and lower insurance contributions.

Transit costs have decreased $105,425 as a result of the Prairie Five Merger (which will happen in March of next year).