City council sets preliminary levy at 7 percent
At the meeting held on Sept. 13, the city council resumed budget discussions. The councilors ultimately approved a 7.19 percent preliminary levy for next year.
A significant factor contributing to the preliminary levy is increased personnel expenses in 2024. The increases include a 4% increase in wages for the 2024 wage schedule and an estimated 8% to 20% increase in health insurance costs.
Leading up to the approval of the preliminary levy, the city council met with department heads and reviewed a draft three-year levy outlook by City Administrator Mike Roth. During the Aug. 30 work session, Roth said, “Right now, we’re looking at just over a 7% increase in next year’s levy. I think we can get that down.”
The levy can decrease after the preliminary figure is set but cannot exceed the 7 percent threshold.
“When we come back in December, that’s the actual number that you’re going to charge people,” Roth said during the Sept. 13 meeting. “Considering all the fairly large projects that we’re currently working on and the significant effects it can have on our operating budget next year, I think it’s worth holding on to that conservative viewpoint for a couple more months.”
While the city waits for final revenue numbers to roll in from the Recreation Park, Roth said the projected revenue looks promising. Currently, the estimated revenue from the Rec Park is $1,526,750.
Find the full Sept. 13 city council meeting here.