As an opening to the 2020 budget book, Patty Bjorklund, Interim City Administrator and City Clerk-Treasurer of the City of Amery said, “The submission of the annual budget to the Council is the City Administrator's responsibility.  Preparation of the Proposed Budget would not be possible without the cooperation of staff, especially Management Analyst- Deputy/Clerk, Benjamin Jansen; Human Resource/Court Clerk, Deb Trandum; Executive Assistant/Utilities Clerk, Linda Kuhn; and Department Managers, as well as the City Council and standing committees. Gratitude is expressed to Amery City Mayor, Paul Isakson and to the Finance/Personnel Committee chaired by Tim Strohbusch.”

“The Amery City Council is the policy-making body for the City of Amery. One of the most important policies that the Board establishes is the annual budget. It is the duty of Administration to carry out the policies established by the Council and to carry out the mission of the City of Amery which is: with integrity and in partnership with our community, we provide quality services and manage growth while supporting families and businesses. The Administrator, along with department managers, must communicate the policies created by the Council to all in City government to ensure compliance. In the case of the budget, each Department Manager provides valuable input during the budget process and, upon City Council adoption, is responsible for "living within" his or her budget. Effective managers seek budget input from and communicate budget expectations to their respective staff.”

“In short, all of the City's employees have a role in the budget process and the financial success of the City of Amery. A Review of 2020 Funding Priorities for the past several years, the City of Amery has utilized too many of the components of Priority Based Budgeting.  Once the budget is adopted by the City Council, the Annual Budget will be used as a guide for the coming year.”

The budget message said that once adopted by the City Council, the Annual Budget acts as a guide in establishing the direction for all City programs and services for the coming year and as a proposed vision for the future. It also acts to exemplify and support the community's values.

“The total of all property taxes collected is down by -11%; and the City Tax Rate for Amery Residence valued at $100,000 is down 1.67%.  The rate applied to Property Tax Bills for that value is $10.87.  The City of Amery qualifies for an Expenditure Restraint payment if property tax is at least five mills.  The tax rate is calculated by dividing the total levy for municipal purposes excluding tax incremental finance (TIF), levies by the total equalized value excluding TIF Incremental Value.”

“Additionally the City saw further changes in 2019 that will impact the 2020 Budget. The City’s assesses value increased by $2,801,622.00, which is an 1.70 percent increase.”

Bjorklund said, “In presenting the 2020 Budget to the City Council, I would like to express appreciation to the City Department Heads and staff for their assistance and hard work in a common-sense approach in reviewing department needs while also being mindful of the impact of the community and its taxpayers.”

At a public hearing held November 20, Bjorklund presented and said, “There is a zero percent change (to the city levy) because we are levying the same amount as we did last year, which is 1,825, 588.00. It actually went down 5.24 percent in revenue and expenditures.” Alderperson Strohbush made a motion to approve the budget and Chad Leonard seconded it. After no further discussion, the motion carried. 

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