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Atwater, Minn., approves 4 percent levy increase

ATWATER -- The Atwater City Council approved a 4 percent levy increase for 2012.

At its meeting this week, the council set the levy at $382,766, according to information from City Clerk Goldie Smith.

The council also agreed to spend $1,021,243 next year, which is $215,246 higher than this year. But the budget includes $330,000 to make vital purchases, including a $230,000 fire tanker, a $50,000 street sweeper and a police squad car and lawnmower that are both estimated to cost $28,000.

Money for the purchases is in reserve funds, but when the capital expenses are removed, the general operating budget is about $25,000 less than this year.

The budget includes a 3 percent salary increase but city employees will still be taking home less pay because of increases in their out-of-pocket health insurance that will cost employees an additional $200 a month for family coverage.

In other action, the council heard a request from Dale Gratz to remove 15 lots from the city limits and return them to Gennessee Township. The platted but undeveloped lots that his family owns are located on the north end of the city limits. He told the council the taxes on the property, which is farmland, are too expensive to keep in the city. The council took the request under advisement.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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