City council gives initial approval to ’20 budget


The Seymour City Council plans to invest in people by funding two new positions and giving pay raises to current employees and elected officials in 2020.

There was little discussion Monday night at city hall as council members got their first official look at next year’s budget, which represents an overall 3.5% increase in spending.

The city is expecting general fund expenses to be $348,147 more in 2020, increasing from $13,945,322 this year to $14,293,469 in 2020.

The general fund receives local property tax revenue and is funded by a current tax rate of $1.31 per $100 of taxable property. Other funds that use local property tax dollars are debt service, park and recreation, motor vehicle highway and cumulative capital development.

Seymour has advertised an overall tax rate of $1.73 per $100 of taxable property, but that rate is inflated to protect the budget. Mayor Craig Luedeman said he expects it to drop to around $1.35, or 2 cents higher than this year’s rate of $1.33 when the budget is approved later this year by the state Department of Local Government Finance.

If the council approves and adopts the budget at its next meeting Oct. 28, the increase will be used to fund a new dispatch supervisor position at the Seymour Police Department and a fourth mechanic at the department of public works.

All employees, along with the mayor, clerk-treasurer and city council members, also are expected to get a 3% pay increase, which is the same increase they received this year. The mayor’s salary is proposed at $75,112, clerk-treasurer at $62,229 and the council’s annual pay at $6,198 each.

"We try to stay in line with what the county gives," Luedeman said of raises. "Three percent is about the max."

The budget includes about $1 million in funding for capital investments, which is less than half of the more than $2 million in requests made from department heads, Luedeman said.

He expects to save around $2 million in the 2020 budget by shifting the expenses of a new firetruck and eight new police vehicles to the Seymour Redevelopment Commission to fund with tax increment financing revenue.

The city is purchasing two new trash trucks next year with help from a grant, Luedeman said.

Although there was a significant wish list from DPW for new vehicles and equipment for 2020, those requests are going unfunded, but some, including a front loader and a backhoe, may be included in a capital bond the city issues next year, Luedeman said.

As for other major projects, including renovations to fire station headquarters on East Street, construction of a new fire station on the city’s east side and renovations to city hall, Luedeman said he is leaving those projects for the next mayor, who will take over in January.

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