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Fremont City Council

Dodge County Courthouse.

The Fremont City Council was presented a work-in-progress budget overview for 2020 and 2021 during a study session Tuesday evening.

Director of Finance Jody Sanders said sales taxes will continue to increase and utilities will see a shift in revenues.

Sanders said the budget still contained “budget busts,” or areas that still needed to be worked on. When the budget overview was last presented to the council, it stated that there would be no increase in health insurance or healthcare premiums for either year, something that has changed, she said.

“When we got to really looking at what was happening with our healthcare plan, we decided that we needed to increase the overall premium by 5%,” she said. “That increases the city’s portion by 5% and it increases the employees’ portion by 5%. So that’s something that’s a little bit different from what we mentioned before.”

Sanders said when updating the budget with refined numbers, the Finance Department tried as hard as it could not to rely so much on property taxes. She said this reliance will decrease in 2020 due to bond proceeds of $2 million that the city is anticipating for upgrades to the Fremont City Auditorium.

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The budget for the public safety account has kept well over $1 million a year, Sanders said. Some of the funding for this will come from the city’s purchase of a rental property on 16th and Union streets.

“So as we are receiving rental income and have any expenses related to the house, you’ll see those come through on that same one so that the gain, hopefully, if there is some, would remain with this fund until it’s time to go to public safety in spending.”

The budget also included the infrastructure fund, which will be used for improvements not related specifically to streets, and KENO income, which Sanders said is growing.

Sanders thanked the city staff for all the input they provided for the budget.

“They were very generous with their time when we wanted to visit with them and had good, knowledgeable answers when we were asking those questions,” she said. “It’s really a pleasure to work with a group that comes prepared like that.”

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