Discussions regarding the overall 2024 budget took place Tuesday during the Manhattan City Commission’s work session.
Deputy City Manager Jason Hilgers presented how the proposed budget currently sits.
The proposed budget for 2024 is nearly a 20% increase from last year. Hilgers explained where some of this spike comes from.
Commissioner John Matta voiced concerns over this significant increase.
Hilgers explained the significant role the cash balance plays.
The proposed 2024 budget also includes a mill levy of 50.47, a 1.68 decrease from last year.
Commissioner Wynn Butler said, for him, this number is just a starting point.
Budget discussions will continue next month with a public hearing during the commission’s September 5th meeting.
Additionally on Tuesday, commissioners discussed the 2023 water, wastewater and stormwater utilities and updates to rates and charges for 2024.
Assistant Director of Public Works for Water and Wastewater Randy DeWitt suggested a 3% rate increase for wastewater and either a 4% or 6% jump for the water fund. He explains why he favors the higher percentage.
With the 4% increase, DeWitt noted the water fund balance will drop below the recommended level starting in 2026.
Commissioner Linda Morse said she favors moving ahead with just 4%.
The average resident would pay an additional $1.42 per month with the 3% wastewater increase and an additional $1.47 for the 4% water rate increase.
For stormwater utilities, public works staff suggests a $.50 base rate and $.25 levee surcharge increase for 2024, resulting in an additional $.75 per month for residents.