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Park Rapids levy to increase by a modest 2 percent

General fund expenditures

The Park Rapids City Council is looking to increase its 2012 levy by about 2 percent.

"This year's proposed budget is very similar to 2011 and 2010," said City Administrator Bill Smith at Tuesday's Truth in Taxation meeting.

For 2012, there was no annual levy limitation from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. But, Smith said, city staff worked on the budget with the assumption that the economy will be static.

The total levy is proposed at $2,157,073 compared to $2,113,061 in 2011. The 2012 proposed tax rate is 65.18 percent, up from 60.265 percent in 2011.

Smith outlined a few city projects scheduled in 2012.

The city will be replacing its computers at a cost of approximately $25,000. Staff is using replacement computers from the library and they are on their last leg, Smith said.

Other expenditures in 2012 will include roof repairs for the fire hall, washing and resealing the decorative concrete on Main Avenue, purchasing radios for Public Works that will be compatible with law enforcement and emergency workers, street maintenance and fuel.

The police department has several new officers and will see a decrease in wages for 2012.

Rod Nordberg, one of just two members of the public who attended the meeting, asked if the additional storm water fees the city is collecting will work to help lower the cost of utility projects in the city.

He was told that the money is being put in a separate fund for use on future projects.

Dick Rutherford, the second member of the public to attend the meeting, said his taxes went up 32 percent this year.

"I want to thank you for punishing me," he told the council.

The final levy will be approved at the Dec. 13 council meeting and then sent to the Hubbard County Auditor.