ST. CLOUD -- The city of St. Cloud will continue to tighten its belt in 2012.

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis presented a general overview of next year's budget during tonight's (Monday) City Council meeting.
He's calling for an overall budget of $71.9 million, about 2% less than this year.

Kleis pointed out the city will be receiving about $4 million less in Local Government Aid from the state, and will also be taking in about $2 million less in local property taxes.  Property taxes are the largest revenue source for the city, however that tax base has been steadily declining since 2005.

St. Cloud has been under a hiring freeze since February of 2008, resulting in 49 unfilled positions.  City employees have also had no raises, cost of living, or step increases since 2008.

The City Council will now begin to work on putting a detailed budget together, with their first meeting on Monday, August 15th.  They must approve a preliminary budget by early September, and the final 2012 budget has to be approved in December.