Luverne council approves budget

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Customers of Luverne Power may be surprised when they open their power bills next month.

Effective in October, the Luverne Electric Board will increase its rates from $4.50 per meter to $5 per meter and 5.8 cents per kilowatt-hour to 5.9 cents per kilowatt-hour up to 1,000 hours. The increase in rates has upped the city's budget by just over $1 million.

"Last year, we budgeted $3.2 million in the electric department and this year we've got about $4.2 million budgeted," Sport said. "That's about a million dollars difference right there. The other is just general increase in services, employee insurances and raises."

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Monday afternoon, the council unanimously approved its $7,310,215 budget. Mayor Joe Rex Sport seemed satisfied with the new budget.

"We're satisfied with our budget," Mayor Joe Rex Sport said. "The budget is just a standard operating budget, which covers most of the expenses in our various departments. We also did include in it about $100,000 for capital outlay for new vehicles, to equip the fire department and a three percent salary wage for our employees. The increases in general operating expenses have also been included."

Although the increase in the city's budget is a result of the increase in electric charges, Sport said the increase was necessary because the city's rates for power went up. He said a slight increase should be noticed.

"It will noticed some, but it's not going to be a substantial thing because there's not going to be that much of an increase," he said. "The city's cost for electricity is going to increase at the first of the month."

Expenses included in the $7.3 million budget included:

n Water Board: $220,500

n Sewer Board: $273,300

n Street Department: $515,200

n Police Department: $608, 910

n Sundry/miscellaneous: $703,850

n Administrative: $306,040

n Sanitation Department: $262,500

n Recreation Department: $175,000

n Fire Department: $66,750

Within the administrative department budget are the salaries of city employees, including $33,000 for payment to the mayor and council, $88,140 for the city's engineer contract and $68,200 for clerk costs. Professional services are scheduled to cost $23,000, travel $1,500 and $35,000 for office, printing and publication.

Salaries for the police department total $370,000. Also included in the police department budget is $17,000 for gas and oil, $7,500 for repairs and $4,000 for tires, batteries and other auto expenses. Materials and supplies are expected to cost $15,000 and uniforms $2,500.

A capital outlay expenditure of $18,500 has also been budgeted for the police department to help in the purchase of a new vehicle.

Salaries for the Luverne Volunteer Fire Department total $12,000. There is also $9,000 set aside of materials and supplies as well as auto expenses totaling $5,250.

The fire department also has a capital outlay expenditure of $25,000 to purchase a body for the used fire truck that was purchased.

Included in the city's sundry budget is $120,500 for the rescue department. Of that amount includes

$110,000 in salaries.

The Luverne Street Department's salaries total $185,500. Material and supplies are scheduled to run $35,000 and $39,000 has been allotted for auto expenses.

As with the police and fire departments, the street department also has a capital outlay expense of $60,000 for the possible purchase of new vehicles.

As for the Sanitation Department, salaries total $175,000, while materials and supplies total $7,500. Auto Expenses total $26,000, while landfill expenses are budgeted $50,000.

The Recreation Department is budgeted $68,000 for salaries as well as $25,000 for materials and supplies and $22,500 for uniforms and equipment. A total of $4,250 has been budgeted for auto expenses, but the other big expenditures within the department include $17,000 for concessions and drink box and $16,000 for umpires, scorekeepers, concession help and officials.

Included in the sundry budget is $18,200 for the city's nutrition program; $82,450, including $62,5000 in salaries; and $16,7000 for the airport maintenance and utilities.