The Austin City Council approved the proposed tax levy and budget for the city for 2024 at their regularly scheduled meeting at the Austin City Council chambers Monday evening.

Based on decisions made at their September 5th work session, the council was able to lower the initial 11.18% levy increase from 2023 to 9.93%, and since that time, other reductions in the city’s budget for 2024, including a $318,000 reduction in contingency funding lowered the proposed tax levy for 2024 to $8,752,000, or 5.66%.  A motion to lower the tax levy for 2024 to $8,622,000, or 4.09% failed on a vote of 4-3, with councilmembers Geoff Baker, Jason Baskin and Jeff Austin voting in favor of the motion, and councilmembers Laura Helle, Mike Postma, Paul Fischer and Joyce Poshusta voting against.  An ensuing motion to approve the 5.66% levy figure for 2024 passed on a vote of 4-3, with councilmembers Joyce Poshusta, Paul Fischer, Mike Postman and Laura Helle voting in favor of the motion, and councilmembers Jason Baskin, Jeff Austin and Geoff Baker voting against.  The proposed budget for the city of Austin for 2024 will total $46,378,105, as cities in Minnesota need to approve and submit a proposed budget and tax levy to the state by September 30th.  After that time, the proposed levy can be lowered, but not raised before the city’s final budget and tax levy for 2024 are approved by the council at their final meeting for 2023 in mid-December.

In other business at their meeting Monday evening, the Austin City Council approved the placement of a stop sign on the westbound service road at the intersection of Oakland Avenue West and 22nd St. NW, and they also approved the city’s fall yard waste program to run from September 23rd to November 26th.  The council also approved change order number 1 with Rice Lake Construction Group for the wastewater  treatment plant project, with a $31,154 cost increase to the project’s domestic budget, and a $273,541 cost decrease to the project’s industrial budget.  

The next regularly scheduled meeting for the Austin City Council is scheduled for Monday, October 2nd at 5:30 p.m. at the City Council chambers.  

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