City presents 2022 budget for public review

LEAD — Lead’s 2022 budget includes a lower property tax, a higher budget for sales tax, and more money to be put toward special projects, Mayor Ron Everett said Tuesday.

Following a month of weekly meetings, discussions and crunching numbers, the Lead City Commission presented its 2022 budget for its first of two necessary approvals. A public hearing and anticipated final approval is scheduled for the next commission meeting, Sept. 20.

Everett said highlights in the budget include lowering the city’s property tax mill levy from 8.4 to 8.25 mills, and the city is counting on nearly $1.2 million in property taxes from residents. The rest of the city’s budget will come from other sources, including an increased budgeted amount of $1 million from city sales tax.

Last year the city planned for $900,000 in sales tax, and established a Development Reserve Fund for any extra tax receipts. City officials did not expect that fund to grow to more than $700,000 by the third quarter.

Property and sales taxes comprise the majority of the city’s budget. Other funding sources include building permit fees, grants, and miscellaneous fees.

The 2022 budget also includes three major city projects, including the $739,000 project to separate storm and sanitary sewer on Mill Street. Funding for that is expected to come from a Community Development Block Grant of $400,000, with additional funds from the American Rescue Plan. The second project will be placing water and sewer lines and replacing Miners Avenue, at an estimated cost of $657,000, with $328,000 coming from the Department of Transportation and the Lead-Deadwood Sanitary District, $100,000 coming from Homestake and the American Rescue Plan. The third major project will be installing a water line at the Thunder Ridge Loop, at a cost of $30,000.

Additionally, Everett said the city plans to buy a $400,000 water tank, with valves and meters to help with the management of the city water supply.

“So there will be a lot of spending,” Everett said.

Visible projects in 2022, Everett said, will include constructing a new, constant movement skatepark at its current location, at a cost of between $300,000 to $400,000, with more than $150,000 in donated funds. The city is also considering building a better structure that could more easily handle festivals and entertainment in Manuel Brother’s Park. Repairs and improvements at Parkhorse Park, otherwise known as the “purple park” are also planned.

Other highlights for the budget include a 3.5% wage increase for city employees.

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