CROSSLAKE -- It's taken at least 12 hours in four separate special sessions, but the Crosslake City Council has completed its 2006 preliminary budget.
City council members Wednesday concluded their work on the city's proposed 2006 budget and will vote on adopting the budget at their Sept. 10 regular city council meeting.
With the addition at Wednesday's meeting of the $15,000 proposed expenditure for fireworks and donation to the Brainerd Lakes Area Chambers of Commerce, city administrator Tom Swenson said the 2006 proposed budget is $3,354,238 with a proposed 4 percent levy increase on the existing tax base while the rest will be covered by the city's growth. The city's market value is estimated to increase by $33,325,700 and tax capacity will increase $343,264. This will generate about $92,671 in additional taxes. The city's 2006 levy would be based on a conservative growth of $80,000 in new construction, said Swenson.
Council member Dean Eggena told the council he would like to see a six-year replacement plan on police vehicles, not a five-year plan. But Crosslake Police Chief Bob Hartman told the council it could place his officers in jeopardy if their vehicles break down as they are involved in chases or other pursuits.
"I've done everything I can to make our budgets as low as I can," said Hartman, pointing out the donations he's received from area organizations for equipment. "I know it's budget time and cutting budgets and numbers is your job. It's my job to say I'm concerned about it for the safety of my officers. I'm very passionate about the squad car issue. If they're driving 75 to 95 miles an hour and a wheel bearing or ball joint goes out, it puts them in danger."
Mayor Jay Andolshek said he supports Hartman's argument for the five-year vehicle replacement plan. The mayor said increased maintenance problems for squad cars would mean the vehicles would be spending less time on patrol and more time being repaired.
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