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Mabton budget adopted for 2013

MABTON - The city of Mabton now has its 2013 budget squared away.

As a continuation of the Nov. 27 council meeting, council members last night adopted next year's $2,012,858 budget. The 2013 year's expenditures are approximately $700 less than anticipated revenues.

Mayor Angel Reyna says the budget has been balanced largely due to the approval of a 1 percent ad valorem property tax increase, allowed under state law. Those funds are slated to go towards general fund purposes.

Councilman Mario Martinez says the council is allowed by state law to increase property taxes by 1 percent without a public vote. In addition, $15,129 of the property taxes collected will go towards the cemetery fund to help balance the cemetery's budget.

Reyna says the city is in good financial shape, and likes where the city is headed.

Mabton residents will not see utility taxes increase in 2013. Reyna says utility bills will stay at 20 percent. The slight increases Mabton residents will notice are the 1 percent property tax increase and a 6 percent hike in phone, cable, lights and cell phones taxes.

There will still be a $20 tax when Mabton residents renew their vehicle licenses, and Reyna says those funds will go towards street improvements.

Also reflective in the 2013 budget is an added fulltime employee at the wastewater treatment facility.

"Personnel changes in the budget include a fulltime wastewater operator," he noted. "This will bring the staff to 11 fulltime people."

In addition, Reyna noted they also plan to add two more police reserves to its force in 2013, making a total of five reserves.

Reyna noted the fire and police budgets have increased for 2013, due to increased fuel costs. They've also budgeted to repair the roof at the police department.

Reyna also noted that the general fund saw some increases budgeted for council members and city employees to attend trainings.

"It is very important to be brought up to date and to be kept up to date during these changing times."

Reyna also said the city will continue to work on its existing projects, such as finding tenants for the abandoned high school, completing the Mabton Community Park's irrigation system and to find ways to renovate the civic center.

"I am excited about the turnaround that is already visible in our city, and look forward to the new year," Reyna concluded in a letter to the Mabton City Council as a request to adopt the 2013 Mabton budget.

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