Superior’s City Council will consider two budget proposals and a surplus spending plan when councilors meet Tuesday, Sept. 1.
After making changes to the city’s reserve fund policy earlier this year, it’s the first time a proposal for spending surplus revenue will be made.
“This is the most ambitious budget proposal of my administration,” Mayor Jim Paine said. “It contains several policy initiatives.”
Paine said the budget proposals include funding for the council’s top initiatives.
The operating budget proposal includes plans to hire a social worker for the Superior Police Department and increase spending for police training by $10,000.
It also calls for a larger park crew for trail construction and maintenance in the summer and to clear sidewalks along Superior’s safe routes to school in the winter. The proposed budget would also increase the library allocation to permanently remove late fees, which will allow hundreds of citizens to check out books again, Paine said.
Two weeks ago, Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander told councilors that adding a social worker to help people in crisis has been something he'd been considering for three years.
The capital improvement program plan would allocate nearly $5.7 million to park improvements. The proposal calls for increased funding for public safety equipment and investment in sidewalk snow removal equipment without cutting critical services such as street and building maintenance and park improvements.
“When kids need to get to school this winter, they’re not going to be walking in the street this year,” Paine said. “That’s our goal.”
Paine also recommended creating a strategic reserve using about $385,468 in revenue left over from the 2019 budget to improve the fiscal health of the city. It will eliminate deficits in the city’s liability insurance and illegal taxes funds, and seed them with $50,000 each, set aside revenue for a property revaluation fund and offset revenue lost in 2020 from the hotel/motel fund to support community services such as fireworks and the annual ice festival.
Paine said by investing in the fiscal stability of the city, officials can keep taxes from going up in future years, which benefits all of the citizens in Superior.
“This is the biggest policy we pass all year,” Paine said of the budget.
He doesn’t anticipate the council adopting the budgets Tuesday night because it will be the first time they see his proposals, he said.
The proposed budget will be presented at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Government Center boardroom.