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City of Stewart implements 3% levy increase for 2015

The Stewart City Council approved will raise its levy 3 percent in 2015, it decided at its Monday night meeting. The city had proposed a 5 percent increase when it adopted its preliminary budget in September.
Mayor Jason Peirce said the levy increase will provide the city with another $11,270 in revenue.
Council Member Kevin Klucas made the motion to increase the levy by the 3 percent, noting that residents had given a favorable review to a mosquito control program the city had initiated this past summer.
The new 2015 budget will include $4,000 for mosquito control, and Klucas said the 3 percent levy increase will cover that cost “and other work we have to do.”
The 2015 budget also will include a 3 percent wage increase for employees, which the city will accomplish by removing the bottom step of its salary scale and adding another step to the top, rather than granting cost-of-living raises. Klucas said that will allow those already at the top of the scale to also receive wage increases.
In other budget business, the City Council voted to increase its water rates, which Peirce said was needed to cover a projected $42,000 deficit in the water fund.
Peirce said one way to adjust the water fund budget was to re-allocate the salaries that were assigned to for the city clerk.
Currently, Peirce said the clerk’s salary was divided among three funds, with 50 percent of her salary being paid from the general fund, 40 percent from the water fund and 10 percent from the sewer fund.

For more, see the Dec. 10 print edition of The Chronicle.