South Washington County cities approve small levy increases
South Washington County cities passed 2018 budgets last week with small increases to the levy to fund various projects.
The 2018 levy is just over a 3 percent increase from 2017. The preliminary general fund balance is $13.3 million. The 2017 general fund was $13.2 million.
The increase will fund a full-time building inspector, a new ambulance and other public safety equipment, City Hall information technology improvements, two stormwater employees, public works equipment, parks machinery and kitchen improvements to the Eagles Bar and Grill.
The city has made no changes to the preliminary levy passed in September. The council passed the levy at the Dec. 6 meeting.
St. Paul Park
The St. Paul Park City Council voted on a 3 percent levy increase Dec. 4.
The preliminary levy is $3,221,431.
The increase will fund improvements to Dingle and Heritage parks. The city received 50/50 grants earlier this year that will fund half of the improvements in both parks.
The police department will also receive two new squad cars this year; the city generally purchases one. City Administrator Kevin Walsh said they are using this year to get back on track on a buying schedule for the vehicles after skipping some years around 2009 and 2010.
The vehicles are generally cycled out each 10 years.
The city council passed a 2.5 percent increase for the 2018 budget at the Dec. 7 meeting.
The preliminary general fund is $2.1 million, with a $2.4 million levy.
The median valued home in Newport increased nearly 10 percent over the last year. City Administrator Deb Hill said the increase on the median value home will be about $27.
The city had been looking at a 37 percent increase in their health insurance, but switched providers to save funds on the increase.
Capital Improvement plans for various improvements buildings need.