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St. Cloud Mayor Proposes Creation of ‘Clean Team’ in 2018 Budget

Wooded land at Heritage Park, photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice
Wooded land at Heritage Park, photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

ST. CLOUD – More staff, additional maintenance, and a group dedicated to cleaning-up problem areas are all included in St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis’ 2018 preliminary budget.

During Monday night’s city council meeting the mayor laid out his budget proposal. He wants to add three new full-time staff members; one in the police department, one in the parks department, and one in the IT department.  The IT person’s salary would be paid for through a grant. The city currently has over 450 employees.

The mayor also wants to spend additional dollars on road maintenance, park maintenance, and reorganizing the police department.

Kleis also is planning to create a ‘clean team’ made up of staff members from various city departments and volunteers. It would be a group that goes out on a weekly basis and makes sure the city’s main corridors, parks and trails are looking their best. That includes the grass mowed, weeds are pulled in the sidewalks, there’s no trash and no graffiti. Kleis says he doesn’t want to wait to start this initiative until next year, and he’s hoping roll it out later this year.

The mayor says his budget proposal does not have a property tax rate increase. He says, adjusting for inflation, the 2018 budget is actually less than the 2008 budget. When it comes to Local Government Aid, the city is receiving $1 million less in 2018 than it did in 2002.  All of the LGA money the city gets is spent on public safety.

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