Dilworth must trim $86,767 from its budget
Most Dilworth residents won't notice the $86,767 the City Council must cut from this year's budget. City staff and service levels will be maintained despite a 6.8 percent reduction in state aid from Dilworth's $1.26 million general fund budget. I...
Most Dilworth residents won't notice the $86,767 the City Council must cut from this year's budget.
City staff and service levels will be maintained despite a 6.8 percent reduction in state aid from Dilworth's $1.26 million general fund budget.
It's the $152,796 the city must cut next year that has Mayor Keith Coalwell worried.
"This year it will be things people probably won't notice quite as much," he said. Existing park equipment, for example, might not get replaced as planned this year, he said.
"Next year (everything) is going to be on the table," Coalwell said.
The council, which discussed budget scenarios briefly at Monday's meeting, is expected to finalize cuts at its June 23 meeting.
The Legislature cut $191 million from state payments sent to cities with low property tax collection potential as part of a plan to solve Minnesota's $4.2 billion budget shortfall. Dilworth will receive $591,934 in government aid this year compared with the $678,701 that the council had expected.
One option the council is exploring would save the city about $77,953 via changes that include the following cuts and fee increases:
About $15,000 from the Parks Department budget; $7,550 from the Police Department; and $4,000 from the Maintenance Department.
Officials also plan to take about $15,000 from a fund established for replacement and upkeep of equipment and buildings.
Swimming pool admission and lesson fees will increase as well as rates to rent the Train Depot and Community Center, City Administrator Ken Parke said.
A summer swimming pass for families will increase from $50 to $70 and lessons fees from $15 to $25, he said.
"A lot of the major service cuts will happen next year," Coalwell said. "We are pretty much to the bone right now. It has to be service and staff cuts from now on."
Next year, Dilworth will be able to increase the amount it can levy in property taxes by about $90,000.
That translates to a $56 tax bump for a $65,000 home; $87 for a $100,000 home and $130 for a $150,000 home, should the council elect to levy the full amount.
But Coalwell is concerned raising property taxes could put the city at a disadvantage.
"With the growth we have out here we don't want to scare anyone off," he said. "I think we are competitive with (Moorhead, Fargo and West Fargo) right now."
"There will be a tax increase," he said. "It's really hard to tighten your belt when you're strapped to the bone."
Readers can reach Forum reporter Jeff Baird at (701) 241-5535