The Spring Valley City Council plans no increase in its tax levy payable in 2014 as it set a budget with few changes during its meeting Monday, Sept. 9.

The levy proposal is $914,632, the same as in 2013. The levy jumped significantly in 2013 after remaining the same for the previous two years.

Generally, the preliminary 2014 budget is quite similar to 2013, with relatively low increases. An increase in local government aid (LGA) and the elimination of sales tax on purchases helps offset some of the minor budget increases.

The 2014 LGA balance is projected to be $860,781, which is an increase of $63,000 coming in from the state.

City administrator Deb Zimmer noted that the 2012 sales tax paid was $27,042.85. In 2014, the state has mandated that cities will be exempt from paying sales tax, so that is a savings.

Zimmer acknowledged that most of the increases for the departments are due to the rise in health insurance along with utility costs.

The police budget will increase as the city is planning to purchase new computers and, likely health insurance and contract increases, although Zimmer is still waiting to find out more exact information on these.

The street construction budget is showing an increase to $280,000, with $130,000 going toward the Main Street Project. This compares to $125,000 budgeted for construction in 2013.

There is a preliminary wage increase of 2.5 percent figured into the 2014 budget.

Zimmer also advised the council on the capital expenditures. These include the loader and snow blower for the street maintenance department, which is budgeted to be $240,000.

The construction of permanent bathrooms in South Park is being estimated at $70,000.

Zimmer told the council that this year's pool project saved an estimated $10,000 due to the help of Public Utilities and the maintenance department pitching in with the demo work and clearing of sand. Because of the savings, the city will be able to put new playground equipment in Grant Street Park next year.

In other matters, parks and rec director John Fenske addressed the council about an issue he is having with activities held at Kingsland facilities. For the last several years there has been a working agreement in which the school district and the city could use each other's facilities at no cost.

"We are hitting some speed bumps, to where we might have to pay to use the facilities for the programs, which I hope we can work out, because we really can't afford to pay to use the facilities. So, we may have to cancel those programs," explained Fenske. He will continue to work towards a written agreement with the school administration.

The council scheduled a budget workshop for next month so members can discuss the budget in depth.

In other business:

• The State of Minnesota joint powers agreement was approved by the council, which means the prosecuting attorney and police department can use systems and tools available over Minnesota's criminal justice data communications network.

• The council also approved a pay increase of $50 a month for Fillmore County deputy Tim Rasmussen. He has served at the Spring Valley policy coordinator for the last year. According to Zimmer, the city pays an additional amount above the regular deputy wages for the police coordinator job. The starting amount is $300 per month with it going to $350 per month after one year of service.

• The next council meeting will be Monday, Sept. 23.