The Osseo City Council approved its 2020 proposed budget and tax levy at its Monday, Sept. 9, meeting.

The council also heard about the participation this past year in the adult recreation programs at City Hall.

2020 PROPOSED BUDGET

The City Council first began reviewing the current 2019 budget in July. The council started working on the 2020 budget in August.

City Administrator Riley Grams said the 2020 city budget shows a fully balanced budget between expenditures and revenue.

The total proposed expenditures budget for 2020 is $2,878,612, which represents an increase of 9.75% over the 2019 adopted budget, or an increase of $252,510.

The largest increases in the budget were in: general government (8.72%), public safety (16.20%), public works (11.30%), and parks and recreation (9.73%).

Some of the larger increases were due to: staff salary increases ($44,000), elections in 2020 ($8,000), added cost of IT costs from cable fund to general fund ($11,000), new full-time police officer position ($83,000), increase in state aid for fire department ($10,000), fire department past training catch up ($10,000), and increase snow management costs ($8,000).

“The biggest item in the budget the is addition of the new full-time police officer,” Grams said. “That is something that the council talked about at the last work session.”

Councilor Harold Johnson suggested someone speak to why a new police officer position was recommended.

“The Osseo Police Department does as many calls per officer, per shift as any of the larger cities,” said Larry Stelmach, who is on the HR Committee. “The reality is that there have been some elements that have been identified in our over-night shifts that there is only one officer on. If that officer is on a traffic stop, they’re going to be busy with [that] while maybe something else is going on, [such as] a heart attack.”

Councilor Mark Schulz, another member of the HR Committee, gave some stats from the police department. “Safety is important for the residents of Osseo above, pretty much, anything else,” he said. Last year, there were eight sexual assaults, 16 physical assaults, 74 property thefts (not including bike thefts or car break ins), 23 narcotics complaints, and 41 domestic disputes.

There are some revenue changes from 2019 to 2020. These include building permits rising, Local Government Aid increased by $19,324, increased fines/forfeitures with additional police officer, and modest increases to Community Center rentals and Youth Recreation fees.

The council also needs to approve the general fund levy. In 2020, a 16.265 increase was proposed. This means that in order for the city to have a fully balanced budget, it asks property owners to $236,564 more in taxes to cover all the services the city offers.

“We can’t raise the tax levy anymore, we can only go down,” Grams added. “I’d say 99.9% of the time we are going to lower it.”

The council then approved the 2020 budget and property tax levy. The council also approved reducing the debt service tax levies for 2020.

A truth and taxation hearing will be on Dec. 9, and then he council will adopt the final 2020 budget and tax levy.

ADULT RECREATION PARTICIPATION

Also during the meeting, the council reviewed the adult recreation participation for September 2018 to August 2019.

Dee Bonn presented the council with attendance information for the jazzercise and yoga classes offered at the Osseo Community Center.

“We will be starting our sixth year,” she said. “We have had a very good year.”

The totals for the jazzercise class was 3,257 attendees during this time. There were 96 classes, with an average of 34 students per class. There are 68 current active members in this class.

The totals for the yoga class was 1,321 attendees. There were 49 classes, with an average of 27 attendees per class. There are 40 active members in this class.

The grand total attendance for both classes is 4,758, which is down a little from last year’s high of 4,673.

“One way to keep the people exercising is to keep it fun,” Bonn said. “We’re having a ball. The social aspect is one of our biggest points. Conversation with good humor is at the top of the list.

She added this was a great group of people they are working with.

OTHER

In other action, the council:

APPROVED about 40 bikes as surplus and authorized staff to enter an agreement with an nonprofit. These bikes have been recovered within the city and no one has claimed them over the past 90-plus days.

ACCEPTED Juliana Hultstrom’s resignation from the Planning Commission.

APPOINTED two new people to the Planning Commission. Dan Penny’s term will end in 2020 and Ashlee Thostenson’s term will end in 2021.

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