Valley City  (CSi)  The Valley City Commission’s Budget Committee met for the second time, Wednesday morning at City Hall, continue discussing the first draft of 2021 Budget

All Commission members were present, in addition to City Administrator Gwen Crawford, and Finance Director, Avis Richter.


Avis pointed out the changes in the Preliminary  2021 budget.  Decreases and increases taken into account, the mill levy is 2.37 mills, or $43,000 over the zero mill increase.  Reductions for the budgert in the public works share of health insurance has a $23,000 reduction.

Clothing for city employees with the city logo has been added to the budget.

With the Auditor’s Department it was noted that the Administrative Assistance is now a full time position, to provide additional assistance to all departments.  The position will increase the employee salary increases.

With the City Assessor’s Office, software and maintenance items were small changes to the budget.

With the City Engineer’s  position $7,040 was included for expenditures.

City Attorney/HR position, subscription increases were noted.

With Valley City Fire Department, Fire Chief Scott Magnuson, requested an increase in the full time paid position salaries, included in the Cost of Living increases.  Other items included postage, for inspection follow ups.

He said for heating the fire hall, the gas furnace will be converted to natural gas from electric, as a cost savings.  Some electric heat will be retained.

The generator will be updated, with grant funds applied for.

A homeland security grant paid for cameras and installation.

He said with pagers and radios, state changes will necessitate equipment change overs, first wih turck radios then officers radios, at around $29,000 including the rebate.

With the city fire hall building addition, funding will come in part from Barnes County.

Over the last three years $30,000 per year has been set aside in the city budget, toward construction costs.  Annual installments at $10,000 per year.

Rent proceeds from the rural fire department will be included toward cost for the new addition, at $30,000 suggested.

Replacement of two sirens is estimated at $42,000 for louder sirens, under Emergency Services.

With the Police Department, Chief Phil Hatcher said an additional amount for an SRO  (School Security Officer) was adjusted to include an incentive to remain an SRO, and makes up for missing a salary step increase a few years ago.  He said an update on the policies and procedures manual is being updated. The software cost for the program is added to the budget.

The cost for two patrol unit rifles was put into the budget, as was veterinary and animal control items.

The drug task force budget was increased with another officer located in Valley City.  Other requests included minor building improvements.  $15,000 for window replacement.

With equipment replacement protective gear needs include batons gas masks, and other ballistic equipment needs, with funding at $3500.  A vehicle replacement other than patrol units was requested.

With economic development, sales taxes income was discussed,  Jennifer Feist said $60-million in on line sales taxes have been collected statewide the past two year.  In North Dakota sales taxes in general are down, stemming from the downtown from the COVID-19 slowdown. She requested $33,000 in annual funding from the city sales tax, for Valley City/Barnes County development.

Valley City Area Chamber of Commerce, Executive, Kay Vinje requested $12,000 in funding, noting an increase in membership.  She said the Chamber’s and Economic Development’s VC Strong Campaign supported additional sales in Valley City.

With City/Council Health, Adminstrator, Theresa Will broke down the percentage of services in the funding, requesting a five percent increase,  at the city’s share of the costs of $29,538.

The meeting was shown live on CSi Cable 68 followed by replays.

The next meeting is planned for Thursday July 30, 2020, at 7-a.m., at City Hall.