Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - Mayor Don Ness called the budget he presented to the city council Monday night "dull" and "un–exciting," but a plan that makes sense.
"We had some big challenges going into this budget year," Ness said.
Ness said that for the fifth year in a row, it was not easy to balance the city books, but said he was satisfied with what he and city staff came up with for 2013.
"We really made an effort here to limit the impact on tax payers and bring forward a very modest increase in property taxes," he said.
The proposed budget aims to spend $73.7 million next year, or $1 million less than this year, and would mark the fifth consecutive year for decreases to general fund expenditures.
The budget requests a 1.6 percent levy increase, which would mean about $7 extra in property taxes a year for the average-priced home.
Six positions would be cut from the roster, including two from police, two from planning and construction, one from business development and one from public works.
Seven different positions will be transferred to other funds.
City councilors did not voice many objections or concerns regarding the budget shown to them Monday.
Mayor Ness said unlike past years, there is not much in the budget to be excited about, but that it is balanced and a sign things are moving down the right path.
"This is a budget that represents stability in city government. We're not increasing services, but we're not also cutting services at this point," Ness said. "That stability is so important for our community."
The city council will continue to discuss budget details and take a final vote on it in December.