ATWATER -- The preliminary levy for Atwater will increase 4.83 percent in 2009.
At its meeting last week, the City Council approved a $337,427 levy and a general fund budget of $742,006.
The council trimmed both the levy and budget during a line-by-line review.
The proposed general fund budget was cut by $31,500, including eliminating a $10,000 allocation for a housing redevelopment project that would've allowed the city to purchase and remove dilapidated homes and then sell the property. Funding had been allocated for the last several years but no action had ever been taken, according to City Clerk Goldie Smith.
Other cuts were made in street improvement and park capital funds.
The budget cuts allowed the city to approve a levy that was $15,553 more than in 2008, or an increase of 4.83 percent.
Smith said the City Council wanted to keep the levy increase below 5 percent.
The preliminary levy is also below the maximum levy amount which means the City Council will not be required to hold a truth in taxation hearing in December.
The council heard a request from Lynda Behm, city librarian, to increase the library budget by $10,000 to allow the library to be open an additional eight hours a week.
The library is currently open 22 hours a week.
No action was taken on the request. Although it is too late to increase the budget for 2009, the council could shift funds from one area to the library fund in the future.
Besides the general fund, the City Council also approved the debt service fund at $205,315; storm sewer fund at $1,000; water fund at $89825; and the sewer fund at $ 62,270 for a total budget of $1,131,916.