Most of the Glasgow City Council met for a sometimes dreaded annual event. While budget meetings might not start with a bang, they could end with a sigh of frustration this year. Property values have dropped this year, causing a drop in tax revenues.
The first meeting for the city budget took place on Thursday, Aug. 21. Council members viewed and reviewed the upcoming budget requests and what they are facing for cuts. City Clerk-Treasurer Stacey Amundsen told the council that they haven't raised property tax mills for several year, but she suggested this might be the year the city council should look at raising it to help compensate for losses.
The loss had several members in agreement to look at the full mill increase this year.
Mayor Becky Erickson totaled out the cost on her property, and it added around $2 a month. It might not seem like a huge jump, but Councilman Stan Ozark argued that with increases in gas and electric, along with the school bond, those pennies add up. He also suggested if they raise the full mill they should revisit a 35 cent raise for city employees.
Erickson had concerns with cutting raises for employees as the city is competing with jobs from the Bakken, and the city has been finding it difficult to keep good help. A very rough estimate for the raise would cost the city an additional $12,000 annually.
After the discussion, much of the city council agreed to the raise in mills, but Ozark said a 10 percent cut in general funds would be recommended.
Council members also reviewed contracts and billing with T&R trucking, and they reviewed the cash reserves in several different funds. Several of the cash reserves were from grants.
The next city council budget meeting will be Sept. 28..