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City of Willmar, Minn., reallocates funds for car allowances

WILLMAR -- The City Council voted Monday night to reallocate $12,983 from the non-departmental budget to provide car allowances for three department directors to comply with car allowance obligations under the labor contract.

The funds were reallocated as follows: police chief -- $4,200; fire chief -- $4,261; and public works director -- $4,521.

The employees had been issued city-owned vehicles. But those vehicles were taken away when the council voted in February to cut 15 vehicles from the city's fleet. City Administrator Charlene Stevens said labor contracts require car allowance payments in lieu of vehicle use for affected employees.

Council member Ron Christianson asked if car allowances are figured into department directors' budgets. Stevens said yes, but the three allowances in question had not been calculated because the vehicles were reduced after the 2012 budget had been established.

In the future, she said, the allowances will be included in their budgets.

The council also voted Monday to transfer $4,756,711 in industrial park development revenues and expenditures from the 2012 budget to the 2013 budget. Officials had hoped to use the funds in 2012 to develop the old airport into an industrial park. But development has been delayed because the old airport land has not been released to the city by the state and federal governments.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150