NORTON — The city’s proposed budget for fiscal 2019-20 includes a 35-cent increase in the base rate for water service.

No other rate or tax increases are proposed.

City council will hold a public hearing on the municipal budget June 4. At that meeting, council also will vote on approving the Norton School Board budget.

Both budgets will take effect July 1.

City Manager Fred Ramey briefed council on details of the municipal budget proposal May 21.

The proposed utility fund is more than $3.26 million, an increase of roughly $54,400 compared to the current year.

While the water service base rate will increase, no changes are proposed to the water improvement fee structure or the percentages used to calculate sewer bills.

Factors affecting water and sewer include reduced income because of decreasing water consumption, fewer customers and a slight increase in debt payments, Ramey explained.

Also, employee pay and benefit costs will increase by $12,800.

Under the proposal, a minimum monthly water bill for the first 2,000 gallons will increase from $17.40 to $18.10 inside city limits, or increase from $26.10 to $27.15 outside city limits.

A minimum water and sewer bill will increase by $1.93 inside city limits and by $3.15 outside the city. An average water and sewer bill, based on using 4,200 gallons of water, will increase by $4.04 inside city limits and by $7.77 outside the city.

The proposed general fund is more than $10.28 million, an increase of more than $611,000 compared to the current budget. Balancing the general fund will require pulling $300,000 from surplus funds to help pay for capital projects.

All city employees in both the general fund and the utility fund will get a pay boost — a 3 percent cost of living increase for state-supported jobs and a 4 percent cost of living increase for non-supported jobs.

Qualifying employees also will get a step increase.

Other factors affecting the general fund include a decrease in school debt costs; an increase in school textbook funding; increased funding for schools based on average daily membership of 775 students; increased city debt service funding; increased funding for paving projects and capital projects; a decrease in the regional jail contribution; increased costs for juvenile detention; and setting aside funds for an upcoming property reassessment.

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