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City's pre-certified levy represents 7.3 percent increase

WORTHINGTON--The Worthington City Council recommended the pre-certification of a 7.3 percent levy increase for the 2017 budget during a special Tuesday afternoon meeting.

WORTHINGTON--The Worthington City Council recommended the pre-certification of a 7.3 percent levy increase for the 2017 budget during a special Tuesday afternoon meeting.

The final version of the budget presented to council members Tuesday showed a total net levy of $3,693.604. According to Worthington City Administrator Steve Robinson, wages and benefits will have a total impact on the budget of about 6 percent.

The official vote for the pre-certification is set for the next regular council meeting, which will take place Monday.

Robinson explained the pre-certification will set the maximum increase in the budget. Council members will still have three more months to work on the final budget, which is due Dec.1.  

“What we wanted to accomplish tonight … is to say ‘here is where we are at with the budget, are we in the right area for your approval?’,” Robinson said.

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One suggestion made by Councilman Rod Sankey pertained to the cost of new civil defense sirens. Sankey described the sirens as “pricey” and questioned the need, suggesting the city postpone their replacement.

“Because we are tight this year, we need to be tight on our budget,” Sankey said.

In a previous meeting, council members discussed replacing five sirens over a period of eight years. However, the new budget set their replacement over a 10-year span.

The council also discussed the replacement of Worthington Police Department vehicles. Robinson said the city won't purchase all of the needed vehicles in the same year, so there won't be a significant impact on the levy.

“We know that the final reserve goal that we would need for these trucks is higher than what they were. … We can spread those increases over a few more years so there is not quite the levy impact as one time,” Robinson said.

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