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City levy increases 9.4 percent

The Osakis City Council approved a property tax levy increase of 9.4 percent for 2018.

Before taking the unanimous action at its Dec. 12 meeting, the council held a Truth in Taxation hearing but no one from the public spoke.

The levy was set at $716,000 — a $62,000 increase from this year's levy of $654,000.

The city's total budget for next year is $3,219,621 — an increase of less than 1 percent from 2017's actual budget of $3,192,375.

Next year's general fund calls for expenditures of $1,254,490 and revenues of $1,260,711, leaving the city with a surplus of $6,221.

Expenditures in next year's general fund and how those amounts compare to this year include:

Police — $387,216, an increase of 7 percent.

Streets — $353,019, a decrease of 0.6 percent.

City clerk (includes City Hall budget) — $155,300, an increase of 22.9 percent.

Miscellaneous items (mostly insurance and firefighter benefits) — $121,700, an increase of 9.2 percent.

Fire department — $40,055, a decrease of 8 percent.

Community Center — $31,530, a decrease of 2.8 percent.

General fund — $26,100, a decrease of 0.2 percent.

Lodging tax advertising — $22,000, a decease of 13.7 percent.

City attorney — $20,000, an increase of 11 percent.

First responders — $19,550, more than double last year's budget of $8,250. This happened because members will now receive a stipend once they are members for a year, participate with calls, attend meetings, complete run sheets and fulfill other obligations. All members that go on a call with a rig or show up at the scene before the arriving ambulance will split $100 per call.

Mayor/council — $17,100, a decrease of 3.4 percent.

Parks — $13,650, an increase of 29.9 percent. This will help pay for extended summer help.

Public beach — $13,050, an increase of 30.5 percent. Equipment is being added.

Cemetery — $8,200, a decrease of 10.9 percent.

Building inspections — $8,200, a decrease of 36.9 percent. This amount fluctuates depending on how many inspections are made.

Visitor Center — $7,050, nearly four times last year's budget of $1,800. This is for ongoing staffing at the center.

Elections — $5,570, up significantly from 2017's non-election year total of $900.

Civil defense — $3,600, a decrease of 2.7 percent.

Trail — $1,600, no change.

Two revenue sources account for more than 80 percent of the projected revenues:

County taxes — $573,000, an increase of 9.5 percent from this year.

Local government aid from the state — $458,501, a 2.9 percent increase.

Liquor store budget

Through November of this year, income from the city-owned liquor store was $4,510 short of its off-sale budget and $4,521 short of its on-sale budget.

The city also transferred $25,250 from both the on and off-sale proceeds into the general fund and spent $5,077 on a capital outlay for the off-sale business, leaving the off-sale business with a shortfall of $34,837 and the on-sale business with a shortfall of $29,771.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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