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Finance committee approves preliminary budget

By Sue Sitter - | Aug 7, 2021

City of Rugby Finance Committee members Gary Kraft and Wayne Trottier reviewed a preliminary budget for 2022 in a special meeting at city hall July 29.

City Auditor Jennifer Stewart outlined transfers in, transfers out and requested levies for city accounts.

The preliminary budget represents a levy of 94.3 mills for the general fund, an increase from 88 mills in 2021. The city council had the option to levy a maximum of 105 mills. Revenues include a $6,000 contribution toward a fire station bond debt taken on in 2015. The contribution decreased the balance owed for the station to $38,800.

Budget estimates put the balance of the city’s general fund at $767,800 by the end of 2021. The balance represented a levy increase of $48,100 over 2021. Estimated revenues of $349,550, a funds transfer of $17,564 and requested 2022 levy of $760,000 would leave a balance of $576,820 after a transfer of $115,000 to cover a shortfall in the state public recreation fund and contribute toward the statewide SIRN 2020 emergency radio project, a police car, air packs for firefighters and repairs to the swimming pool building. Other estimated expenses, which would cover several projects to maintain the city’s water and sewer infrastructure, would total $1,203,094.

Stewart answered questions by Trottier and Kraft about how the money budgeted so far for infrastructure and work on city buildings such as the armory and swimming pool building was being spent. Stewart and Mayor Sue Steinke told the committee members work would start on the pool building soon. Work to identify problems in Rugby’s sewer lines and clear them out had taken place throughout a large portion of the city during July.

Steinke also presented an email from Souris Basin Planning Commission, an agency the city had hoped would be a possible funding source for the Rugby Armory. Steinke said Souris Basin would deny the city’s funding request unless the city agreed to refurbish the entire structure at an estimated cost of $2.9 million. The committee voted to table the project until other funding could be found.

The committee approved the preliminary budget with a unanimous vote.

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