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Budget talks for 2013 underway

West Fargo City Commissioners held their first round of 2013 budget talks Monday night following their regularly scheduled commission meeting at West Fargo City Hall.

As in past years, it is the intent of the commission with the preliminary budget to try and hold the mill levy steady and not increase taxes for the citizens of West Fargo.

On that note, the total proposed budget for the 2013 year has been set at $34,738,938 which is a $2,547,014 increase over last year's budget. Even with the increase, the figures still reflect a zero percent increase for the mill rate for the total budget.

Other points of the proposed preliminary budget include: a 1 1/2 percent cost of living salary increase and a step for eligible employees as rated by evaluations; a NDPERS 2 percent increase; as well as the addition of new staff members: one for the finance area, two for the police department - an SRO officer and police officer; two for the street department; one in sewer and water; and three in sanitation, all necessary because of the new growth and development in the city.

The next round of budget talks will take place Monday, Aug. 6, following the regular commission meeting that will take place at 5:30 p.m. at West Fargo City Hall.

The preliminary budget will be approved in early September, with the finalized budget required to be adopted in early October.

All budget meetings are open to the public.