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City of Luverne passes $3M budget

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.

“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.