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New city budget features one percent increase

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HARTINGTON — City leaders are asking for only a one percent increase in this year’s property tax request.

The city will need $637,000 in property tax receipts in order to support its new $4,074,794 operating budget.

Last year, the city requested $630,000 in property taxes.

The 2020-21 operating budget is $75,180 higher than last year’s budget.

The small increase, combined with a $1 million increase in valuation, will cause the property tax levy to go down slightly. It was .6997 and will go down to .6904.

The increase was minimal on purpose, said Mayor Mark Becker. It reflects the cost of inflation and increases in wages and insurance costs, but little else, he said.

Becker said the valuation increase and a city utility rate increase helped keep the levy low.

He said this year’s budget keeps property taxes in line, yet provides the city with enough funds to update some equipment and do a few projects.

The budget should provide enough funds for some needed city improvements next year.

The city will need to upgrade some equipment, such as a payloader, a city garbage truck and fire truck because they are getting up in years and will need to be replaced.

It is hoped the payloader can be replaced this budget year, Becker said.

The city is also looking at doing some street and storm sewer improvements and some more work on the road around Felber Park.

The city will also be taking on a big street improvement project next year. A section of North Madision Avenue will need to be replaced and the storm sewer system upgraded near Carhart Lumber.

The street and storm sewer on South Broadway between Carkoski Field and the old Jerry’s Service station will need to be updated next year, too.

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