The Karlstad City Council finalized the budget at the Truth in Taxation meeting on December 20, setting the levy at $220,000.
The council had initially proposed $230,000, but after multiple budget meetings, the council found ways to work out the budget with the lesser amount, and still exceed expenses by $2,674.
This is the first increase for local taxpayers in three years.
The majority of the expenses incurred this year came from repairs at the Karlstad Clinic, where the city faced the expenses of a new heating and cooling system and roof repairs.
Other unexpected expenses came from repairs to heating and cooling at the Community Center, $30,000 in street repairs, and changes in staff.
The proposed city budget estimates $594,489 in income, and expenses at $591,815.
In discussion on the proposed 2019 budget, Councilman Mike Wade disagreed with the proposed increase to what councilmembers are paid for special meetings. The proposed amount was $75 per meeting, up from $50. According to the mayor and city clerk, the increase was consistent with what other area cities pay for special meetings.
After some discussion, the council amended the proposed budget to keep the pay at $50 per special meeting per council member.
For more, see this week’s North Star News!