consultants are sandburs

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Andover's budget for 2014.

ABC Newspapers, here:

Andover approves 2014 budget, levy
By Eric Hagen -- December 18, 2013 at 4:00 pm

The Andover City Council Tuesday, Dec. 17 unanimously approved the 2014 budget and a levy that results in a 2 percent tax increase.

The total levy in 2014 is $10,843,925. Approximately 68.57 percent of this goes to the general fund for day-to-day operations, 19.1 percent will be dedicated to pay debt service most notably for the Andover YMCA/Community Center, and 12.33 percent is for capital equipment purchases and the watershed levy.

The 2013 amount was $10,631,299, which was the same amount as 2012. The 2014 levy is still slightly less than the 2010 and 2011 levies as well, the city of Andover pointed out.

Expenditures for the general fund will be increasing from $9,619,929 in 2013 to $9,996,375 in 2014, which is a 3.9 percent increase.

Two residents asked questions about the budget and levy before the council approved it.

Jim Junker wondered, “how many millions are we in debt and how are we going to pay for it?”

City Administrator Jim Dickinson said the city currently has over $40 million in debt, but about $18 million of that will be off the books by the end of 2014, in part due to the council’s previous actions to refinance the community center debt.

Although a property tax levy will be paying for some of the community center debt until 2034, Dickinson said the remainder is scheduled to be retired in less than 10 years. The YMCA also contributes $635,000 annually and revenue collected at the facility offsets some of the costs.

Thankfully, Ramsey so far has dodged that "community center" stupidity. Ben Dover has that to smile about, where it seemed Ramsey's council's talk that way quelled when John Dehen left council after being elected to his judgeship. I sure like him better in the black robe with the hammer, than when he was talking up community center from Ramsey's council table.

Hopefully, nobody else pushes that as a hot-button want, definitely not a need, and if it ever gets done to us, I hope there's a gym and perhaps an over-70 basketball league, or something similar, i.e., of any value whatsoever to me.

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