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Published September 07, 2010, 10:16 PM

GF City Council Looks At Utility Fee Increase, But No Property Tax Increase

Those in the city of Grand Forks could see a slight increase in utility fees next year.

Those in the city of Grand Forks could see a slight increase in utility fees next year.

Tuesday night the city council approved a preliminary budget for 2011.

The budget calls for a two percent increase in utility fees.

City officials say it's to cover a half a million dollar shortfall in revenue, but some council members think the city should look at making more cuts instead of increasing fees.

Others think the city should be more transparent, and instead of raising fees, they should increase property taxes by two mills.

Council Member Eliot Glassheim says, “When the mill levy goes up, everyone is aware of it and puts pressure upon us appropriately not to do too much of that. The utility fees seem to be fees rather than taxes.”

The budget calls for an average wage increase for city employees of 1.72 percent.

The city council will look at the budget further during future meetings before approving a final version.

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