Valley City  (CSi)  The Valley City Commission Thursday morning at City Hall, as the Budget Committee, approved the Preliminary 2021 Calendar Year Budget. Commissioner Mike Bishop voted against the budget.

All members were present, along with City Administrator, Gwen Crawford, City Finance Director, Avis Richter, and City Attorney/HR Martineck.

The Preliminary  2021 calendar year budget Mill Levy increase of 2 mills, would increase property taxes on a $150,000 house by $12 and by $44 on commercial property valued at $500,000.

Over 3-million dollars is in the General Fund Reserve Budget.

After the initial approval of the Preliminary Budget, the overall mills can be reduced but not increased, which can be accomplished by transferring funds.

A Public Hearing and First Reading of the Ordinance will be on September 15, 2020, with Adoption on October 16.


Highlights of Thursday’s meeting for budget requests:

The Valley City/Barnes County Public Library receives funding from the city, county and state.

The state funds are based on dollars received locally.

Hilda requested $145,700 or 8-mills, which would qualify the library for state funds.

She said the library has reopened on a safe basis with the pandemic.  She added that the library was closed during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.   She added that virtual events and activities were held.

She also presented requests from  the Bridges Arts Council that is requesting $1,000 for activities in 2021.   Also requested is $1,500 for the Community School for the Arts, supporting the Valley Voices Women’s Choir.

The Valley City Park District, requested, $20,000 for programs and activities for the recreation center.

Avis pointed out that Valley City Public Schools has increased the salary for the School Resource Officer, in conjunction with Valley City Police, to $35,000, and increase of another $5,000 in the city budget.

Sheyenne Valley Friends of Animals requested funding of $1,000.    The annual fundraiser was not held because of the pandemic, for a large funding source loss, an on line fundraiser is being planned.  The shelter’s services were outlined, for 2019 and 2020.

With The Barnes County Museum Wes Anderson said, the COVID-19 pandemic closed the Museum, for a few weeks, and required expenses for sanitizing and deep cleaning.  He said the museum typically attracts 5,000 visitors annually.  He said memberships need to be increased to add to funding.  The Museum receives .75 of a mill from Barnes County funding.

Wes added that the museum faces a shortfall of about $10,000, including less proceeds from the gift shop.

He pointed out that volunteers are welcome to be at the museum to assist visitors, along with additional donors.

The Museum will receive $1,000 more in the 2021 Calendar Year budget.

City Beatification requested $4,000 in funding, from the city sales tax funds.

With Convention and Visitors Bureau funds, from the three percent lodging tax the request was for an $80,000 budget.

South Central Adult Services will be funded one hundred percent from the NDDOT, and will not be requiring the annual $10,000 funds from the city in  2021.

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