Preliminary 2013 budget discussed at Randall City Council meeting

By Tina SnellStaff Writer

A very preliminary budget was viewed and briefly discussed at Wednesday’s City Council meeting in Randall. More discussion will take place at a special meeting Thursday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m. at the Randall Fire Hall. No vote has been scheduled.

In 2012, the entire budgeted receipts are expected to reach $1.87 million. The 2013 budget increases that amount to $1.95 million, or $71,626 (3.8 percent) increase.

Budgeted disbursements in 2012 are $1.78 million and the city has budgeted an increase of 3.5 percent or $61,583 for 2013.

Broken down, in 2013, the receipts for the General Fund are proposed to decrease by $4,084 (1.4 percent) from $301,541 to $297,457. Disbursements are proposed to drop by $8,866 (2.9 percent) from $303,878 to $295,012.

Sewer and water receipts were increased in the preliminary report for 2013 by $11,710, or 8.5 percent. The fund’s disbursements also increased from $114,382 to $115,011, or 0.05 percent.

Natural gas receipts and disbursements are expected to fluctuate less than 1 percent either way.

Electric Fund receipts were combined with the garbage fund in 2012. Receipts were budgeted at $511,145 and the preliminary budget for 2013 has them decrease by $12,395, or 2.4 percent. The disbursement budget for both electric and garbage in 2012 was $486,660 and the Electric Fund is expected to decrease by $13,803, or 2.8 percent, in 2013.

The preliminary budget for the 2013 Garbage Fund are receipts of $55,145 and disbursements of $51,100.

This year, the Liquor Fund was budgeted for receipts of $626,500. That number is expected to increase by $21,400 to $647,900 in 2013, a 3.4 percent increase. The disbursements for the Liquor Fund were budgeted this year at $600,482. That number is also expected to increase by $31,112, or 5.2 percent.

Randall City Council briefs

Other business conducted by the Randall City Council Wednesday night included:

• Discussing a letter received from Morrison County Soil and Water concerning an erosion issue of a piece of property directly downstream from a parcel owned by the city. The letter spoke of installing erosion deterrents through grant money. City Manager Jerry Peterschick will look into the issue and report to the Council at the November meeting;

• Learning from Eric Engler of Cooperative Network Services LLC that the installation of fiber optic cable in town would not be finished until spring. He said that any questions from residents should be directed to him;

• Voting to write off a “paper entry” of $114,965 the sewer and water fund owed the liquor fund. It seems that years ago, when the city used separate checking accounts for each fund, all the payroll taxes were paid from the liquor fund and never reimbursed. The write-off was suggested by the city’s auditor;

• Hearing a report from Mayor Bob Riitters concerning the Revenue Recapture program with the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Cities may use this program to certify delinquent utility accounts and bad checks to future taxes. Another option discussed was certifying those delinquent accounts to property taxes;

• Learning the “City of Veterans Memorials” signs had been installed and that Yellow Ribbon City signs, at a cost of $63 each, would be installed next year. The number of those signs had yet to be determined;

• Discussing grant money available from the Department of Homeland Security for civil defense sirens. Randall will look into funds for a second siren;

• Setting Thursday, Nov. 15, at 10 a.m., in the Randall Fire Hall for a meeting to discuss the 2013 budget, wages, the 2013 appointments to city committees and to talk with department heads to get input on their jobs;

• Voting to accept a $100 donation from the Randall Cushing Lions for Halloween candy to be given out by the Randall/Cushing Little Elk Lions Club;

• Instructing Peterschick to contact David Drown, the city’s financial adviser, about refinancing the city bonds at a lower rate;

• Voting to place a 1/4 page ad in the Little Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau visitors guide at a cost of $490; and

• Informing residents that the city does not pick up stray cats. If someone has an issue with a cat, it is their responsibility to transport it to the Morrison County Animal Humane Society.

The next regular City Council meeting will be held at the Randall Fire Hall Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m.