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Local

City taking a budget breather

No major projects this year as officials gear up for Main Street work to come

MORRISON – City Administrator Barry Dykhuizen did not get the city’s 2019-20 budget to balance exactly, but he came awfully close – and even landed in the black.

The $5.3 million budget passed at the recent City Council meeting shows about an equal amount in revenues and expenses, with just a small surplus of about $4,600.

It does not include many pricey projects – rather, most of the year will be spent preparing for bigger things to come.

“It’s kind of a breather year, so to speak,” Dykhuizen said. “We did just complete the new wastewater treatment plant last year, and that was the largest project the city has ever done.”

Much of money will be spent maintaining the status quo and planning for a $1.9 million Main Street reconstruction project next year.

That work will include road reconstruction, water main, storm water drainage, curb and gutter, and sidewalk work in a 5-block area from Orange to Clinton streets.

“We’ll be doing lots of design work, but really no major water or sewer projects,” Dykhuizen said. “It’s shaping up for 2020 to be a busy year for us. But this year we’re going to replenish some funds.”

Because the weather limits construction season to only a few months, city officials are going to spend most of their time this year planning, so projects like the Main Street renovation can start as soon as possible in 2020.

“It’s a relatively short construction season, so we need to have all of our ducks in a row and be ready to go next spring,” he said.

Other budget items of note: For the third year in a row, there will be no increases to the water and sewer rates, and the police department is getting a new 4-wheel drive patrol pickup.

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