Grafton city budget calls for mill levy increase
Road projects no longer funded
GRAFTON – The Grafton City Council will be holding a special meeting Monday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. at city hall. The purpose of the meeting is to hold a public hearing concerning the 2014 budget and the tax increase according to state law.
The first reading of the budget was approved at the council’s regular meeting held Sept. 9.
The taxable valuation of the city of Grafton is estimated at $5,830,806 for the current year and won’t be finalized until October. The estimated cost of a mill for 2014 is $5,730.
The proposed budget includes a mill levy of 126.28 mills, an increase of 1.47 mills. The increase translates to $3.31 per month for a resident with a home valued at $50,000.
Part of the reason for the increase is due to proposed road projects. Grafton City Administrator Nick Ziegelmann said federal road improvement funds are no longer available since Grafton’s population recently dropped below 5,000.
“It’s a new ballgame as far as roads are concerned,” he said. “In the past road construction was funded 80 percent with federal dollars.”
The biggest project is a mill and overlay on Western Avenue between 12th and 16th Street. That project includes curb and gutter and the estimated cost is $332,500.
The budget is broken into 15 different funds this year.
The shared special assessment will increase from .25 mills to 1.92 mills. The 1.47 mills levied each of the next 10 years represents approximately 20 percent of proposed road construction next year.
The Social Security and Retirement Fund will increase from 24.01 mills to 25.65. This fund pays for the city’s social security/medicare match and retirement form General and Armory fund employees. The city’s share of retirement has increased 1 percent each year in 2012 and 2013 and will increase another 1 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2014.
The Cemetery Fund will see an increase of .75 mills.
The 2012 Highway General Obligation Bond is a debt service fund and will see a decrease in mills this year from 11.11 to 9.77. The mill levy for the 8th Street and Griggs Avenue/6th Street projects was estimated for the 2013 budget before the bonds were sold. Since interest rates came in lower than anticipated, the levy has been reduced from $62,000 to $56,000 for 2014.
Following the required public hearing at the Sept. 23 special meeting the city council is expected to approve the second reading of the 2014 budget.