Hamburg council discusses budget

With time running out to set a final budget for 2013, Hamburg City Council members discussed a number of budget items during their meeting on Nov. 27.

Hamburg taxpayers won’t see any surprises when the budget is finalized later this month since the preliminary budget indicated a zero percent tax increase and the council can not raise that figure in the final budget.

Fees could be a different story, as the council discussed a number of utility rate changes that, while not yet final, indicated an increase of three percent in water rates, a decrease in sewer rates of 10 percent, and an increase in storm water rates of 50 percent.

One item of good news regarding the budget was that a 10 percent increase in the cost of insurance coverage for city staff had initially been budgeted for, but actual costs will only rise 5.3 percent.

The council was scheduled to adopt the final 2013 tax levy and budget during its meeting this past Tuesday, Dec. 11.

In other business, the council:
• Learned that city staff televised about 12,000 feet of sewer lines between William Street and Brad Street and found one break in a 12-inch main. That break has already been repaired and was not considered a major problem.

• Approved a $50 annual increase in contributions to the Hamburg Fire Department Relief Association, increasing the total yearly contribution per member from $1,450 to $1,500.

• Learned that the fire department recently named officers, and the only change from the current officer setup was that Chris Petz is taking over as the training officer.

• Approved a lawful gambling permit for the Green Isle CPA banquet on Jan. 26, 2013.