TRUMAN– The Truman City Council talked about adding a few things to the 2024 budget during its meeting on Monday.
City Clerk Melissa Sirovy said that following previous budget discussions, $3,000 was added to the fire department budget for physicals and that the community building budget was also adjusted.
“Right now we’ve got $5,300 extra to keep the levy flat,” Sirovy said.
It was noted in the budget that the levy for the past six years has increased by about 5.56 percent on average.
Mayor Jake Ebert said he’s had some people contact him about issues at the community center building, specifically the flooring. He suggested putting some money in the 2024 budget to replace the carpet, but noted that the current carpet isn’t that old.
Street Superintendent John Bosshart confirmed that this past spring when the roof leaked a few times it ended up causing some damage to the flooring.
“It’s worth checking into,” Ebert said.
He also asked Utility Foreman Brent Brown whether he had included money in the budget to purchase a mini excavator. Brown said not for the 2024 budget but that he was planning to put it in the next year’s budget for 2025.
“It’s something that will be used by everybody,” Ebert said.
He asked what the impact of putting $20,000 in the budget would have on the levy. Sirovy said that with the $5,000 left over in the budget, a five percent levy increase would generate an additional $27,000.
Ebert asked about the potential to borrow in a lease to purchase option. Brown said he would look into the possibilities.
Sirovy pointed out that the preliminary levy approved by the council can be lowered but not raised.
“I think we should build it in there and if we don’t need it we can take it out,” Ebert said.
He added that he hoped before adoption the levy increase could get down to about 1 percent.
Council Member Ron Kelley made a motion to approve the 2023 proposed tax levy payable in 2024 at a six percent increase. The motion passed.
While looking at financials for the month of August, Sirovy said there were some concerns about the revenue from the swimming pool. She said that admissions were down a little over $12,000 from last year.
Council Member Patty Truax pointed out that a lot of that had to do with the absence of swimming lessons, which Sirovy acknowledged but said that even without swimming lessons, they were still down.
Council Member Chris Mosloski asked if they could do some sort of fundraiser and Truax said they’re working on something. She pointed out that this past season they offered midnight swims for $2 and that they were well-attended but next year they may have to raise the admission to $3 for the midnight swims.
In other business, the council heard from Brown, who said that he has submitted a grant with the DNR for funds to help address Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). He said the estimated cost for tree inventory and a management plan is $10,170.
“If that’s successful (in receiving the grant) we’ll do the inventory during the winter,” said Brown.
He said the grant will cover the cost of removal of the infested trees and stumps and also replacement.
Brown also said that there’s a planned power outage for most of the town, which will be overnight, for later this week.
“Because as of yet they haven’t give us a timeline for when they take the transformer out of service, if it’s going to be eight hours or two weeks. We don’t know,” Brown said.
In other action, the council:
— Approved a motion to purchase a lot for $7,000 for the purpose of a Habitat for Humanity house.
— Accepted a proposal from CEDA (Community and Economic Development Associates) to conduct a housing study for $10,206, as well as a grant to cover the full cost of the study.
— Set the Truth in Taxation meeting for 6 p.m. on Dec. 4.