The Blair City Council approved a $49.8 million budget during its regular meeting Tuesday at the Blair Public Library and Technology Center.

The 2020-21 operating budget is $45.3 million with $4.5 million in necessary cash reserves. The operating budget is a 24% increase over the previous year. The largest portion of the increase, City Administrator Rod Storm said, is $15 million for the new water treatment plan intake project, for which the city will receive State Revolving Loan Funding with 15 percent loan forgiveness.

Taxpayers will see a slight decrease in the property tax levy, which was set at 35.6 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

The property tax asking is $2.3 million, up from $2.11 million a year ago.

Council member Marty Shepard voted against setting the levy.

The council also approved the additional budget lid exception of 1% to 3.5%. Shepard also voted against it.

Highlights from the budget include:

• $48,000 for a new Blair police patrol vehicle

• $120,000 for records software for Blair police

• $20,000 to straighten headstones in the Blair Cemetery

• $50,000 to renovate shelter at Steyer Park

• $300,000 for Optimist Park bot ramp and dock improvements

• $350,000 for the development of a park at Civic Drive (half would be funded through donations)

• $71,378 for the city to manage the city pool if Blair Family YMCA opts not to

• $30,000 for a new slide at the Blair pool

• $100,000 for brick street improvements

• $210,000 for traffic signal at U.S. Highway 30 and Industrial Road

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