LOWELL | After three years of a spartan budget, the Town Council is poised to give municipal employees a 3 percent pay raise.
"I think the most important thing for me is we'll be able to give an increase to our employees," council President Phillip Kuiper, D-4th, said following the first public hearing on the 2013 budget. There have been no employee pay raises for three years.
The council gave preliminary approval to a $2.5 million operating budget that will need a levy of $2.1 million to fund it.
The total advertised budget for 2013 is $4,544,550, which would require $3,207,930 be levied.
The second and final public hearing on the new budget will be held in October.
Greg Guerretaz of Financial Solutions Group gave a lesson in budget basics for new council members. He focused on the operating budget known as the general fund, the area over which the council has more regular control.
Still, Guerretaz said state-imposed rules and regulations limit municipalities in Lake County.
"Lake County technically has no growth," he said.