Albertville Council To Meet, Approve Preliminary Levy Tonight
Albertville will set its spending targets for 2012. Once the preliminary levy is approved, it cannot increase prior to approval in December.
The Albertville City Council meets tonight at 7 p.m. and is expected to vote on and approve a preliminary property tax levy of 2 percent and the preliminary 2013 budget.
One the council sets its prelimiary levy, it can't increase the levy under Minnesota statute. It can attempt to make more cuts prior to December's adoption date.
The preliminary property tax levy was originally proposed at 6.44 percent but after weeks of discussion and hours of studying, city staff brought down the increase to 2 percent.
This includes the entire firefighter back pay, 75 percent of the benchmark $100,000 that needs to be replenished to the general fund due to city administrator changes and a 2 percent cost of living increase for city staff.
At last Tuesday night's (Aug. 28) special meeting, the council voted 4-1 that they would approve the preliminary levy this week. John Vetsch was the only nay.
City administrator fallout a piece of the pie
The 2 percent property tax levy and proposed budget includes the proposal of a shared city administrator and city engineer position. At the special meeting last week, Jillian Hendrickson made a motion to promote within, meaning the combined role of city administrator and city engineer would be Adam Nafstad.
The combined position would alleviate some of the fallout created by the firing of former admin Larry Kruse.
Kruse is still collecting his severance from Albertville, on top of the new salary added in 2012 the council approved by moving Nafstad from consultant to full-time engineer. Add in a third salary with a new administrator, and that's where city staff was seeing large line-item increases for the 2013 budget.
The motion for a combined engineer/city admin spot passed 3 to 2 with Larry Sorenson and Dan Wagner voting nay. It was the same split between the council that occured last April when Kruse was terminated.
"I'm voting no because this is a chief admin position for our city, and I have wanted this posted and to look at other candidates," Sorenson said.
John Vetsch rebutted by saying, "this position is more than facts and figures–it's about someone knowing the lay of the land."
City attorney Mike Couri expects an administrator contract and transition plan to be presented for adoption at the Sept. 17 meeting.