Budget approved for 2003
It didn't take long for the Baldwin City Council to approve the 2003 budget Monday night.
Because most of the budget work had already been done at previous meetings, the council members had little to decide.
So after a brief public hearing, it didn't take the council long to approve, in a 4-0 vote, a budget that's a little more than $20 million and 38.468 mills. Council Member George McCrary was absent.
"I think the budget we're recommending is solid," City Administrator Larry Paine said. "It's not extravagant, but it meets the needs of the community."
The 2003 budget looks similar to the current one, but there are a few changes, such as the addition of an administrative assistant.
In addition to the new position, money has also been allocated in the 2003 budget for city Web site development, the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce and a fire department grant for new gear and communication equipment for the Baldwin City Fire Department.
One noticeable increase that has occurred during the past two budgets, including 2003, has been with capital improvements. The increases are to cover Baldwin's electric generation projects, infrastructure improvements and water tower construction.
But despite these additions to the budget, the mill levy is lower than the current levy because of the increase in assessed value, Paine said.
Council Member Marilyn Pearse said she was happy with the final budget.
"I'm real pleased with the way the (finance) committee worked together to try to iron out the budget," Pearse said. "The council as a whole worked to get it down even further."
Council Member Todd Cohen said the lower mill levy was beneficial to Baldwin.
"It puts us in line with other towns," Cohen said. "I think we're getting to the point where we're in good company with other towns our size. I think being under 40 is a big thing for the city to accomplish."