City of Luverne passes $3M budget

Published 6:58 pm Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The city of Luverne passed a $3 million dollar budget for the new fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 Monday evening at its regular meeting.

The budget, $3,365,100, is approximately $98,000 more than last year’s budget.

Luverne Mayor Joe Rex Sport said there were several different factors causing the budget increase, including a 30 cents an hour pay raise for city employees across the board.

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“We’ve also added some to the capital outlay for next year,” Sport said.

The Luverne Police Department’s budget was up $36,000 from last year’s, Sport explained, with monies being added in for salaries, training, materials and supplies, repairs and maintenance of vehicles, and prison expenses, just to name a few.

Another change in the city’s budget includes an increase in health insurance premiums for city employees.

The city’s street and sanitation departments saw a decrease of $42,000 in one, and an increase of $20,000 in the other, primarily due to gas and oil, Sport said.

“We budgeted for $3 per gallon of gas, but gas prices have dropped, so that has helped,” he explained.

“We basically had a level funding budget.”

In other business, Mayor Sport reported that sales taxes for the city were down about $4,000 over the last two months as compared with this time last year.

“We’ve averaged about $68,000 a month in sales tax collections over the last ten months,” he said. “Right now, we’re only $35,000 away from meeting our current budget on sales taxes.”

During the meeting, the Council also approved the following motions:

To rezone Larry Coggins’ property behind the old Bonus Center from business to a residential area.

The Zoning Committee approved a request from Todd Pittman to rezone his land along Hwy. 331 for B-3 business/commercial. The Council approved this motion. A public hearing on the rezoning will be held on Monday, Oct. 12, at 4:30 p.m. at Luverne City Hall.

The Council approved a motion to abandon a portion of North Glenwood Avenue.

The next Luverne City Council meeting will be held on Monday, Sept. 28, beginning at 5 p.m.