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Claremont City Council mulls budget without any increases


CLAREMONT — The Claremont City Council started its review this week of City Manager Guy Santagate’s proposed $15.7 million city budget.

Santagate said Wednesday that he offered a $15,788,692 budget that would keep the city portion of the tax rate flat at $13.45 per $1,000.“We felt that we’re going to level fund because the school is renovating the high school and that’s going to cause a tax increase for the taxpayers, so we’ll mitigate some of that funding with a level tax rate,” Santagate said.The last time the City Council approved a budget, it was for 18 months and set at $22,872,379. It allowed the city to switch from operating on a calendar year budget to a fiscal year budget.

If the proposed $15.7million budget is approved by council members, the budget would run from July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015.

To keep the budget flat, Santagate said, the city is postponing some road paving and sidewalk improvements. While the city has for several years discussed the possibly of faster snow removal downtown and around city schools, that is a service that can’t be done without more money, he said.“You make sacrifices on the service side in order to level fund,” police, fire and public works services, he said.Budget hearings are planned to continue May 13 and May 20. Council members are expected to vote on the budget May 20.

mpierce@newstote.com

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