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Committee continues budget work

The proposed budget for 2012 continues to take shape with a most recent adjustment of a $47,000 savings in health insurance costs.

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The 2012 budget, proposed by Mayor Eric Struemph, included an added expense of $47,268 to cover a potential 2 percent increase in health insurance costs. Finance Director Steve Schlueter said Tuesday that expense could now be eliminated after learning the costs will not rise and most likely will decrease if anything.

Other items discussed by the budget committee Tuesday included the proposal of eliminating funding for the city administrator position, which would save $184,910.

Last month, in a closed session vote, the City Council voted in a 5-4 decision to extend the interim city administrator position, currently held by City Counselor Nathan Nickolaus, to November 2012 and defer the search process for a permanent city administrator accordingly. Nickolaus has been the city counselor since 2003 and became the interim city administrator in May after the council terminated Steve Rasmussen.

After discussion, the council voted to leave a line item in the budget for the city administrator position but provide no funding for the position, which will remain unfilled throughout the next fiscal year.

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