The city of Superior has revenue and spending plans in place for 2022 after the council adopted the general fund, capital improvement program and revolving grants program budgets and 2020 budget surplus allocation Tuesday, Oct. 5.
Over the last two weeks, the budget has undergone some changes after the city’s oil pipeline terminal tax revenue came in $257,000 less than last year. Budgets presented by Mayor Jim Paine in early September anticipated growth in the terminal tax revenue.
- Capturing revenue from two closed tax increment districts in the general fund.
- Restoring $1.5 million in bonding for the capital improvement program.
- Reducing expenditures for police, fire and public works vehicle revolving funds by $70,000 annually over the next five years.
- Reducing street maintenance to the average amount spent annually.
- Reducing sidewalk funding in areas not eligible for Community Development Block Grant funds.
- Eliminating the neighborhood improvement fund allocation, which could be funded through American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
- Reducing funding for park improvement projects by $200,000 over five years.
- Shifting costs for Sustain Our Great Lakes (the Barker’s Island parking lot project) to the stormwater fund.
- Allocating $40,000 for a wage study.
- Cutting in half grant funding for public art, a new feature to the budget.
The last two proposals were changes made Oct. 1 by the council’s finance committee during a review.
“I guess it’s no secret that I feel strongly about public art,” councilor Lindsey Graskey said at Tuesday's meeting. “I do just want to stand a couple of points on the deduction, on the allocation being cut. I do feel it’s an investment in community pride for our city.”
Graskey proposed restoring $125,000 of the $250,000 cut by the finance committee to provide $375,000 in grant funding for public art.
Councilor Jack Sweeney said he would be inclined to eliminate the funding entirely because the council doesn’t have a mission statement, an arts board, a clear definition of what art is, nor does it have mechanisms for oversight or distributing the money.
The council voted to restore $125,000 for public arts grants before adopting the budgets and setting a public hearing to discuss the budget.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the budget at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 2 in the Government Center boardroom.
This story was updated at 1 :10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 7 to correct the headline. The finance committee cut public arts funding in half, and the council restored $125,000, making a 25% cut of the original $500,000 funding proposal. The story originally posted at 9:45 a.m. Oct. 7.