SL Council Approves City Budget

The Storm Lake city council Monday afternoon approved the budget for next fiscal year… which includes an increase in property taxes.

City clerk Justin Yavosevich says the budget increases the levy rate from $13.02 to $13.60 per thousand dollar valuation… or a six-percent increase. The budget includes maintaining existing service levels… but no new services. It also includes a five-percent water rate increase and a nine-percent sewer rate hike.

Funding is reduced for Upper Des Moines Opportunity and the Witter Gallery, while the same funding continues for Community Education, Storm Lake United, and Lakes Corridor Development.

The budget includes some reductions in operations… including reducing the summer park ranger program to one ranger… eliminating the community development director position at the end of 2015… and reducing seasonal employees for the parks department and golf course. Yarosevich says it includes an average two-percent wage hike for city employees.

The council also approved the five-year capital improvement plan. Several major capital improvements are planned for next fiscal year… including the North Central Storm Water project, estimated at 2.6 million dollars… the Expansion Boulevard Storm Water project, at 1.6 million… and the West Milwaukee widening project, at 1.2 million dollars.