At the city’s budget hearing, City Manager Boyles used pieces and parts of the city’s total budget to justify a claim that City Hall spending lags behind city growth plus inflation. We’ve been hearing that for years, but is it true?
I’ve been an ardent observer of City Hall spending since my last year on the council in 2001. The 2001 total spending budget (general fund, water, sewer, storm water and transit) was $10.1 million. The 2015 budget just approved is $31.6 million. That’s a 213-percent increase as compared to a combined cumulative increase for inflation plus population growth of only 83.4 percent. Simply stated, spending has increased by an average of 15.2 percent per year, while inflation and population combined have increased by an average of 5.96 percent per year. Maybe that explains why it will cost $4.25 million to service the debt (principal plus interest) next year as compared to just $725,000 in 2001. Please read more from the Prior Lake American