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No levy increase for New York Mills

The New York Mills City council voted to maintain a flat levy rate of $389,000 for 2014 at the December council meeting.

The levy was last raised in 2012.

“We thought we could maybe lower it, but we had some surprises in the insurance expenses that are coming in, both from the league (League of Minnesota Cities) and our health-care carrier,” said City Clerk Darla Berry. “So we weren’t really able to grant the reduced levy. This is where we’re at.”

The insurance surprise was primarily because of a new way to rate risk.

Where, before, there were eight to 10 categories of hazards, in the future, there will be about six.

“One of the categories they have on the new bill was police,” said Berry. “They had, clearly, about a $6,500 premium assigned to the police department. In prior years’ bill, we had nothing in the police. So all of a sudden, the police department’s share of that hazard went up.”

The City of New York Mills expects revenue of $1,084,781 in the general fund in 2014.

A large portion of these funds, about $393,000, will come from the state, county, grants and other aid. Taxes and franchise fees (electric utilities) will also contribute nearly $240,000 to the general fund. Other revenue sources, including assorted permits, licenses, fees and payments, will make up the remaining amount of approximately $450,000.

General fund expenditures are dominated by payroll, insurance, operating expenses and utilities.

Overall, expenditures are expected to be $1,079,650 from the city’s general fund.

This means a net revenue of $5,431 is expected in the fund in 2014.

No members of the public commented on the levy rate or budget during the meeting.