Newport budget shows $600,000 surplus

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 7, 2012 - 6:09 PM

For the second year in a row, the blue-collar suburb has been in the black.

The proposed 2013 budget in Newport is looking quite green, with a $600,000 surplus.

If the budget as it currently stands is approved, it would mark the second straight year that revenues would outpace expenses, said City Administrator Brian Anderson.

"I think we've done a fairly good job," Anderson said. "I think we have our financial house in order."

The proposed $2.4 million budget for 2013 won't become final until after a Truth in Taxation hearing in December, which will allow the public to weigh in. It also will have to be approved by the City Council.

Anderson said the extra money will be used to beef up the city's general funds and to spur economic development. It also will allow the city to set aside money for future projects and build up the city's reserve fund that could be tapped if the state doesn't come through with Local Government Aid dollars or cuts the amount it sends to Newport.

For taxpayers, the budget should allow the city to hold taxes relatively flat, Anderson said.

Anderson attributed the surplus to a variety of reasons, including staffing cuts, shifting one employee's salary to the sewer and water fund, not offering cost-of-living raises to city employees this year and benefits from capturing revenue from a Tax Increment Financing District that was decertified.

In the budget, the surplus was assigned to various funds, including money for park maintenance and capital projects, cash to buy snow plows, lawn mowers and other equipment, without having to finance those purchases. Money also could be used for future upgrades and economic development in the city and around a commuter bus station slated to open on Maxwell Avenue.

Next year's budget also includes money to pay for a pavement management program in 2013. That includes overlays on streets that need minor repairs and reconstruction of those streets with more serious defects. It also has money to help the city plan for longer-term expenses, such as possible redevelopment along Hastings Avenue.

Tim Harlow • 651-925-5039 • Twitter: @timstrib

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