MUNSTER | The Town Council has approved the 2014 municipal budget of nearly $20 million.
As required by state law, the council’s approval followed two publications of the proposed budget in the newspaper, a public hearing on Oct. 14 during which there were no remonstrators and review by Lake County.
Following the adoption of the budget ordinance, the 2014 budget was submitted to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance through a Gateway website, said David F. Shafer, Munster clerk-treasurer. That allows the public to access the information.
“Because the final, certified budget can never be higher than what was advertised, the budget estimates we advertised for 2014 are purposely overstated,” Shafer said.
“It serves our citizens no useful purpose to underestimate the budget and risk curtailment of essential services,” he said.
“However, it is anticipated that the final, certified budget will be less than what will be adopted, and the Town Council is ultimately responsible for finding that balance between providing adequate service and not exceeding statutory spending limits,” according to Shafer.
“We don't know what the final numbers (that will be approved by the DLGF) in October. Those numbers will be available by Feb. 15,” he said.
The $19,975,667 budget includes $6.7 million for the general fund, nearly $2.16 million for debt service, $815,700 for the police pension fund, $308,000 for local roads and streets and $3.122 million for the parks and recreation department.
Munster’s adopted tax levy for 2014 is $13,848,812 and the adopted property tax rate is $1.1855 per $100 of assessed value.