Waconia plans info meeting on 2014 budget

On Monday, Dec. 2, the city of Waconia will hold a Public Information Meeting on the proposed 2014 Budget.

The proposed 2014 budget keeps the tax rate flat from 2013. This means that any change in the city’s share of property taxes are a result of changes in market valuation on the property.

Overall, the community saw a 7 percent increase in taxable market value over 2013. Individuals wishing to learn more about the proposed budget are invited to attend the meeting or view the information that will be published to the city’s website before Thanksgiving. The meeting will be held on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers, located at 201 South Vine Street.

Highlights included in next year’s proposed budget include:

• A slight increase in law enforcement coverage, primarily nighttime and weekend coverage.

• An increase in annual wages for the Fire Department, primarily due a trend in a higher number calls for service over the past few years.

• Additional training funds for the Fire Department to assist with development of staff. As the average tenure of the department has dropped, the City is placing intentional development on the staff.

• A $10,000 reduction in the General Fund transfer to Safari Island fund.

• A $10 increase in annual membership rates for resident and non-resident memberships at Safari Island and a $5 increase in the 6 month senior membership rate.

• A $0.67 increase in the monthly residential storm water fee; due to additional maintenance costs and improvements to the overall system that are being planned including projects like pond dredging and cleaning.  Commercial customers will see a 10 percent increase in monthly fees based on impervious surface.

• A $0.06 increase in the monthly residential streetlight fee; mainly due to improvement projects and increasing electricity costs.  Commercial customers will see a 2 percent increase based on their based on acreage.

• Additional revenue and expense for the building inspection program, due to the increase in permit activity.