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Road, sewer and water budgets introduced

Fort Dodge will continue equipment purchases

Stable budgets for road maintenance and the water and sewer systems will enable Fort Dodge to continue replacing heavy machinery, City Council members learned Monday.

The council began its work on the proposed 2020-2021 spending plan Monday by reviewing proposed budgets for key infrastructure.

Although the next fiscal year doesn’t begin until July 1, 2020, state law requires cities to have their budgets approved by mid-March. That’s why the council started crunching the budget numbers this month.

The proposed Road Use Tax budget was the first one on Monday’s agenda. The Road Use Tax is the city’s share of gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees.

The proposed Road Use Tax budget is $3,293,585.

The biggest single portion of that budget is $910,840 for roadway maintenance. Another big component of the proposal is $449,760 for snow and ice removal.

Jeff Nemmers, the city clerk and finance director, said the proposal is a balanced budget in which the proposed expenditures will equal the anticipated revenue. He added that it will enable the city to continue its commitment to upgrading the equipment fleet.

Planned equipment purchases include a new lift truck for the city electrician, a loader, a dump truck and a street sweeper. The cost of some of those machines will be split between different city budget categories.

”It’s healthy,” Nemmers said of the proposal. ”I’m pleased with this budget.”

The current Road Use Tax budget is $3,357,534.

Operating the city’s sanitary sewer system will cost $11,498,815, according to the proposed budget.

That’s up from the current $11,222,715 budget.

The biggest single piece of the proposed sewer budget is $4,078,406 for operating the wastewater treatment plant on Avenue B.

Nemmers said the proposed sewer budget is in a ”very strong position.”

The proposed budget for the water system is $10,197,252.

That’s up from the present $9,440,053.

The proposed budget includes an additional $300,000 to pay for operating a new reverse osmosis system at the John W. Pray Water Facility. That system will reduce the hardness of the city’s water, but it will not produce true soft water.