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Common Council approves preliminary 2014 budget
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The Boscobel Common Council has approved a preliminary 2014 city budget of just over $2.5 million, a 4 percent increase over last year. Due to a decrease in state revenues, the net city tax will be $965,898—or 6.3 percent higher than last year.

However, the gross city tax of $2,536,925 is the lowest it’s been in the past six yeas, except for 2012 when it was $2,535,488.

“Everyone pretty much remained within their budget,” City Administrator Arlie Harris said of department requests.

While the overall city budget was up 4.0 percent when compared to the 2013 budget, some departments were up slightly more than that. The police budget rose 5.2 percent from $518,034 to $544,794. The only area of spending higher than that was public works, up 0.8 percent to $605,890.

The library budget rose 6.1 percent to $112,618, while the parks budget increased by 4.7 percent to $67,500.

A public hearing on the 2014 budget will be held at city hall on Monday, Dec. 9 beginning at 7 p.m. It is the only meeting the Council has scheduled for next month.

Health insurance

On Monday, the Council approved a 35-cent per hour wage increase for city employees in 2014. It also voted to pass on increased health insurance costs to its employees beginning next year.

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, city employees will no longer pay a set amount for health insurance, but rather 10 percent of their premiums.

This year, city employees paid $50 per month for family coverage and $25 for single coverage. In 2014 that cost will increase to $152 and $61 per month, respectively. City employees will also be contributing more for their retirement, from 6.65 percent of their income to 7.0 percent.