Lake Station officials looking at another lean budget for 2014

2013-08-03T19:15:00Z 2013-10-17T20:59:08Z Lake Station officials looking at another lean budget for 2014Deborah Laverty deborah.laverty@nwi.com, (219) 762-1397, ext. 2223 nwitimes.com

LAKE STATION | The proposed 2014 city budget is shaping up to be a near repeat of the current one, Mayor Keith Soderquist said.

"For the most part, we are mirroring the lean proposed budget of last year," he said.

Soderquist and other officials met for an hour Thursday, after the City Council meeting, to begin budget discussions.

The proposed budget discussions will continue next at a 7 p.m. Aug. 15 work session at the municipal complex, 1969 Central Ave.

The workshops are open to the public, Soderquist said.

Later this fall, the City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget prior to taking a final vote on it.

Soderquist said officials have decided not to incorporate into the 2014 proposed budget the estimated $1 million the city will receive from the 1.5 percent tax on personal income.

The tax was approved earlier this year by the Lake County Council with collection scheduled beginning Oct. 1.

"We want to see the income in first then in 2015 we'll know how much money is coming in. ... It sounds very good and we are happy and excited about it. There is a light at the end of the tunnel," Soderquist said.

The total proposed 2014 budget is around $12 million. The proposed general budget is approximately $4.8 million. 

Although city officials aren't anticipating they will be able to provide raises to city employees, the possibility of a slight increase was discussed, Soderquist said.

"We talked about the possibility of providing a 1-2 percent increase to keep up with inflation," Soderquist said.

The bottom line for Soderquist is to maintain a balanced budget.

"I'm proposing a budget within our revenue stream and we're slowly reducing our deficit," Soderquist said.

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