The St. Paul City Council is expected to approve its 2013 budget on Wednesday, including a few last-minute tweaks setting aside an additional $1 million for the city's troubled crime lab and $205,000 to keep the Central Library open on Mondays.
The budget, just over $500 million, will be financed in part with a property tax levy boosted by 1.9 percent for next year. Many homeowners should see their property tax bills drop anyway due to a tax shift, because more homes are estimated to have lost value than commercial and apartment buildings.
Mayor Chris Coleman recommended nearly $3 million in changes in all. Other changes include $724,000 for six more food inspectors at grocery stores and restaurants and $500,000 for outside counsel and to cover settlements in liability cases.
Coleman also proposed a strategy to fund the additional items. About a third of the money comes from funds the city isn't spending as planned on Ramsey County's aborted fiber optics project.