ARMSTRONG?-?The Armstrong City Council Monday night held a public hearing and approved a proposed 2014-15 budget estimate of $1,094,307.
The budget includes a tax levy rate of 11.18507 and an ag levy of 3.00375. Primary revenue sources would be:
n Property taxes - $264,710.
n TIF revenues - $20,000.
n Other city taxes - $148,972.
n Licenses and permits - $500.
n Use of money and property - $20,500.
n Intergovernmental - $106,736.
n Charges for fees and service - $397,000.
n Miscellaneous - $50,000.
n - Other financing sources - $85,889.
Spending, which will total $966,699, will include:
n Public safety - $95,000.
n Public works - $145,750.
n Health and social services - $870.
n Culture and recreation - $139,150.
n Community and economic development - $85,054.
n General government - $43,476.
n Debt service - $74,510.
n Business type/enterprises - $297,000.
n Transfers out - $85,889.
The budget strives to raise the fund balance which was at $134,897 July 1, 2013 to $262,505 this June 30. The city is trying to build up its fund balance to make future improvements to the city lagoon.
Also in Monday night's public hearing, the council approved a revised revenue purpose statement for a utility franchise tax increase from 2 percent to 5 percent for utilities doing business in the city.
The council also approved an ordinance amending sewer rates from a base of $4.75 to $24.75 and from 75 percent to 90 percent of water usage. Mayor Greg Buum noted the engineer's recommendation had been to raise the base rate to $50.
Under old business, the council discussed safety policies. City clerk Connie Thackery suggested that council members highlight any suggested policies they would like to address and return them to her by the last week of March and she would compile the results.
The council approved a loan agreement with Bank Midwest for $50,000 at 4.5 percent. The one-time repayment is due Aug. 15, but Mayor Greg Buum said the city could repay to loan at any time.
Under new business, the council approved a liquor license for Country Greens Golf Course with beer garden and Sunday sales. The council also approved a request by ABC that the city pay half the cost for the Armstrong website - $100 a year. Council members also discussed tree trimming and removal. Buum noted that city code does not specify who is responsible for paying to remove trees boulevards.
The board approved Lacey Martin as a volunteer on the Community Center Board.
Thackery also noted that at least one and possibly two parties were interested in building on lots on the golf course.
In another matter, Buum noted the city will be paying for two months of dispatching with Emmet County for June and July 2012.
The council also discussed a number of items with public works director Tom Leach.
One was a portable handicap lift for the city pool, for which Thackery said she had applied for an Emmet County Community Foundation grant.
The council also discussed the I&S Group lagoon study. Buum said I&S said it would provide a review at no additional cost.
The council approved buying a three-inch pump for between the second and third cells of the lagoon for $475.
Members also discussed the water tower and iron filter. Buum said Maguire Iron of Sioux Falls, S.D. was going to come and thaw out the water tower. Leach said Maguire needed to put forms up to pour concrete for the iron filter, a project Buum said he thought was to have been done by last Christmas.
Leach said there was still 15 feet in the water tower and that everything was fine. He said he had bypassed the iron filter and that he thought Maguire Iron would be on site by this past Tuesday.