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Rochester City Council approves 2020 budget, salary raise

Miguel Octavio
Updated: December 02, 2019 11:51 PM
Created: December 02, 2019 11:27 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- The Rochester City Council decided on key issues during Monday night's meeting.

The council adopted the 2020 budget which adds up to roughly $393 million. 

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Property taxes in the city will rise by about 6%. The city has set the maximum property tax levy to about $80 million.

Officials say the rise will help the city meet its growing needs.

Some people raised concerns about the impact it could have on small business owners and people on a fixed income during the public hearing. Although some people disagreed with the budget, some also praised the council for its transparency throughout the planning process.

The 2020 budget is about $100 million more than in 2019. 

The council also voted to fund the North Broadway reconstruction project with state aid. Work, which includes added bike and bus lanes, is slated to begin in 2020. 

The city had a $19 million construction plan for the corridor from Civic Center Drive to the Silver Lake Dam for years but the project was delayed after property and business owners along the street appealed their assessments -- some of which were tens of thousands of dollars. 

The city lowered the cost of construction but needed $1.2 million in funding. 

Council members also voted 6-1 to increase salaries for officials. The new annual salary differ between the mayor, council president and council members at a varying rate of Olmsted County's area median income. 

Rochester council members currently earn roughly $22,000 a year.

The mayor, whose job is technically slated as part-time, pays about $37,000 right now.

Olmsted County's 2019 AMI is $65,700, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

The mayor's annual salary will be $78,840, the council president at $60,444, and council members at $52,560. 


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