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FD council OKs $93M budget for 2020-21

Trims property tax rate slightly

The roughly $93 million budget for Fort Dodge in 2020-2021 was approved by the City Council Monday.

Totalling $93,699, 279, the budget maintains local government services at their current levels.

It also trims the property tax rate slightly, to $20.17 per $1,000 of taxable value.

The budget is for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2020.

Councilman Terry Moehnke thanked City Manager David Fierke and the city staff for preparing a budget that “reduces the tax rate slightly and enables us to move into the next year.”

Fierke replied that Jeff Nemmers, the city clerk and finance director, did most of the work.

The council approved the budget unanimously during a meeting that was held electronically.

The budget approved Monday marks a decrease in spending from the current year’s $118, 010,125.

The current fiscal year’s property tax rate is $20.42 per $1,000 of taxable value.

The decrease in the property tax rate was made possible by switching from a fully self-insured employee health care plan to one managed by the Iowa Governmental Health Care Plan Trust, according to city officials.

Operating the sanitary sewer system, including the wastewater treatment plant, will account for the biggest operational expense in the 2020-2021 budget, with a total of $6,661,480.

The water system, including wells and the John W. Pray Water Facility, is the next biggest expenditure category, at $5,499, 593.

The sanitary sewer and water systems are paid for with monthly fees for services, not property taxes.

Other major expenditure categories include:

• Police Department — $4,217,617.

• Fire Department — $3,341,265.

• Recreation — $1,493,634.

• Road maintenance — $1,438,123.

• Solid waste collection — $1,419,162.

• Ambulance service provided by Fire Department — $951,160.

• Fort Dodge Public Library — $799,100.

• Fort Dodge Regional Airport — $652,013.

• Snow removal — $449,750.

• Blanden Memorial Art Museum — $273,00.

The property tax levy of $20.17 per $1,000 of taxable value is for the city government only. Webster County, the Fort Dodge Community School District and Iowa Central Community College levy their own property taxes.

The city’s levy is divided up in this way:

• $8.10 for the general fund, which pays for police and fire protection, the library, the museum and many other government functions.

• $5.91 to pay for employee benefits.

• $4.28 to pay off general obligation bond debt.

• 62 cents to support Webster County Emergency Management.

• 47 cents for liability and property insurance.

• 36 cents for Dodger Area Rapid Transit.

• 27 cents to help support the general fund.

• 12 cents for Citizens Central.

• 5 cents for the Karl L. King Municipal Band.

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