City approves 2020 budget first reading

HURON — While they await final numbers for what health insurance coverage will cost in 2020, city commissioners on Monday approved first reading of a $33 million budget for next year, a 5 percent increase over the 2019 level of $31.5 million.
In her summary of budget figures as they stand right now – with final approval coming in a couple weeks – Finance Director Paullyn Carey noted that large street projects, water main work and sewer projects are scheduled for 2020.
“It has been a difficult budget year, trying to balance the revenue coming in and the expenditures going out,” she said.
Sales tax revenues are down, blamed at least in part on the struggling farm economy, and commissioners are budgeting for a 3 percent decrease next year.  
For now, new growth is set at .66 percent from the county auditor, with total property tax increases projected at just $154,000.
The salary package in the budget is also uncertain at this point as negotiations with the employee unions are still ongoing.
Workers’ compensation will show a 3 percent decrease as the city has worked hard on safety and reporting workers compensation issues, Carey said.
Health insurance is budgeted with a 10 percent increase over last year’s zero percent, but the city is waiting on final numbers which should come this week.
There will be a 2.4 percent cost of living increase for water, sewer and solid waste utilities. A water and sewer rate study approved last month will be reviewing all rates, including domestic and industry loads on the sewer system.
Meanwhile, commissioners:
• Approved the resignation of Dick Freske from the Community Improvement Committee and Marak Smith from the Historic Preservation Board.
• Approved a special event on-sale alcoholic beverage license filed by Shooters Saloon for a wedding reception Oct. 5 at the Campus Center.
• Approved the regular status of Officer Klay Min on completion of his probationary period.
• Approved the hiring of Shaun Davis as a volunteer firefighter.
• Approved the hiring of Jesse Hajek as golf course superintendent.
• Approved the hiring of Linda Skorheim as deputy accounting clerk.
• Approved a progress payment of  $219,322 to Olson Construction of Huron for water main replacement.
• Approved a request from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for permission to use shotguns at the Beadle County Izaak Walton League property for the 17th annual youth waterfowl hunt Sept. 20.
• Approved a quit claim deed to Greater Huron Development Corporation for two lots in the Southtown 2nd Addition, Block 1. A foundation is in place on the lots on Idaho Avenue Southeast in preparation for a duplex to be brought in.   
• Approved street vacation petitions filed by Gary and Shirley Nelson and William and Renada Cahill in Prairie Estates Addition. The petitions were presented again because of errors in the original request.
• Approved second and final reading of an ordinance that drops automobiles and trailers as conditional uses in general industrial districts because they are already included in another section of the code as permitted uses in those districts.
• Approved a recommendation from the Capital Asset Committee to purchase automatic external defibrillators. A maximum of $1,000 will be spent on the units.


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