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City budget for 2014 up 9.2%

The Hudson City Council on Monday night approved a 2014 general fund operations and debt service budget of $7,186,284.

It’s an increase of 9.2 percent over 2013 spending, largely because of increased borrowing for street projects.

The tax levy for debt service is up 23.9 percent from this year, to a total of $1,775,928.

The levy for general fund operations will rise a more modest 4.3 percent, to $5,410,356 for 2014.

The impact to property owners will be an increase of 32 cents per $1,000 of equalized property value on the city portion of their tax bill. The city mill rate for 2014 will be $4.82 per $1,000 of property value, compared to $4.50 this year.

City property owners will see a smaller increase of just less than 7 cents per $1,000 of property value on their total tax bill. That is because some of the taxing districts, including St. Croix County, have reduced their mill rates for 2014.

The total tax rate for city residents is expected to be about $19.10 per $1,000 of property value.

The mill rate will be reduced by the school levy tax credit, which the state hasn’t released numbers on yet. Last year, the credit was $1.35 per $1,000 of valuation.

In addition, tax bills will be reduced by the lottery and first-dollar tax credits.

City Administrator Devin Willi reported in a written summary that $302,317 of the $379,333 increase in operating expenditures is related to personnel costs.

The budget provides for a 2 percent wage increase for all city employees.

Other personnel adjustments include:

--Creation of a full-time fire chief/fire inspector position,

--Adding a patrol detective position in the police department,

--Adding a part-time public works employee,

--Eliminating the full-time executive secretary position for City Hall, and replacing it with a part-time administrative assistant position,

--Creating a half-time assistant building inspector position,

--Increasing the information technology support position from half-time to full-time,

--Eliminating the fire inspector/compliance officer position upon the retirement of current Fire Inspector Dave Krupich in May 2014, and

--Increasing the fire department account clerk position from 24 hours per week to 28 hours per week.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

(715) 426-1066