2014 budget won't raise taxes, utility rates
Council OKs $1M in new spending
September 24. 2013 2:49PM
The 2014 budget for the City of Dell Rapids adopted by the council last week calls for $7.4 million in spending, but won’t raise taxes or utility rates.
The council whittled the budget down from a $8.25-million proposal that would have forced City officials to look to residents for increased revenue. But after Councilor Mark Crisp said he nor the taxpayers in Dell Rapids would appreciate another round of rate increases, the council went back to the drawing board to revise a few line items.
Savings were found by scaling back the utility extension project. The plan had called for $1.9 million to be spent on extending utility lines south of Centennial Avenue, but the council tempered its ambitions and allotted only $1.25 million for the project in 2014. The new plan nixed a lift station near Centennial Avenue and caps the extended utility lines just north of the Old Dutch Inn.
“In order to do this, it was necessary to cut $95,000 from the general fund budget,” said Justin Weiland, Dell Rapids City Administrator. “We did that pretty easily.”
The equipment replacement fund, used to pay for large, sometimes unexpected purchases, was slated to see a $118,000 bump to its current $300,000 level. However, the council cut about $65,000 from that line item.
The Dell Rapids Economic Development Corporation asked for about $60,000 in the 2014 budget to pay for some operating costs and interest payments on a loan the group has in the works.
“Instead of $60,000, they’re getting $45,000, so that’s an extra $15,000 that was cut,” Weiland said.
A portion of that $45,000 allotted to DREDC is from the third-penny sales tax with the remainder coming from the general fund.
The Chamber of Commerce had been facing a $5,500 cut from its 2013 funding levels, but those cuts were tempered at the eleventh hour. The chamber will receive $12,000 – a $1,500 cut.
The $7.4-million, 2014 budget is about $1 million more than the city is operating with this year; but Weiland said new revenue from the sale of City property – estimated to bring in about $300,000 – and sales tax from new stores like Casey’s General Store, Family Dollar and the expanded County Fair should help bridge the gap.
“At the end of the day, rates don’t go up and taxes stay the same,” Weiland said.