NEW RICHMOND - Following a brief public hearing Nov. 27, New Richmond City Council members unanimously approved the 2020 budget of $7,192,345 with a total levy of $5,969,998.

The budget represents an increase of $531,100 or 12.39%.

The 2020 levy -- which includes the general fund, debt service, capital replacement and tax-increment finances -- represents an increase of $309,559 or 5.47%.

The 2020 mill rate of $8.88 per $1,000 of assessed value, represents a reduction of $0.01 or .11% from 2019.

Ahead of the 2020 budget public hearing, council members needed to make a decision as to how they were going to fund the capital replacement budget.

They considered three options.

Option 1: sell 40 acres of city owned property at GG/140th St. and apply a portion of the sale proceeds, $200,000, to the capital replacement budget. The balance of the proceeds could be used to pay down debt or fund capital projects.

Option 2: reduce the capital replacement levy from $192,340 to $114,509 and shift $337,000 worth of capital projects to future years. This option would allow the City’s mill rate to remain flat.

Option 3: levy $306,858 to fully fund capital replacement needs without the sale of the GG/140th St. property. This would require raising the City’s mill rate from $8.89 to $9.16 (per $1,000 of assessed value).

To better evaluate Option 1, the council directed staff to obtain an appraisal for the 40 acre property located at GG/140th Street An appraisal was executed by JC Norby and Associates, delivered to the council and evaluated Nov. 25 As a result , the city reduced the replacement levy to $114,509 and deferred $200,000 in capital projects until the property is sold.

A PDF providing an in-depth look at the projects the council decided to fund in 2020 is available on the city’s website at: 2020_Capital_Plan_Adopted.pdf.

The city has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify developers interested in potentially developing the GG property.

A detailed copy of the 2020 Budget is available in PDf format at: 2020_Budget_in_Brief_Adopted.pdf.