City of Willow Springs talks 2023 municipal budget

The Willow Springs Board of Aldermen reviewed a draft of the 2023 municipal budget. The plan discussed during the regular Nov. 17 was the product of a budget work session on Nov. 5.
The $7.17 million budget is an increase over the prior year due largely to inflated sales and use taxes. The 2022 budget was approximately $6.6 million, City Administrator Beverly Hicks confirmed. 
The most significant increase in expenses is in employee wages. The cost-of-living adjustment next year will be 8.7%, representing a cost increase of $122,000 to the City of Willow Springs.
"Many [city employees] are skilled workers, almost impossible to replace," Hicks commented Thursday night. "We have to invest in our people. I think it's a good reflection of what the public thinks we should be doing."
Revenues will also receive a small bump from increased rates for city services. The draft budget includes increases to airport, golf course, and sanitation fees. The rate increases will serve to help the city absorb the rising costs of providing the services, Hicks explained. 
A final draft of the 2023 budget will be presented in December for a vote. 
In other action:
-The aldermen voted to set dates for candidate filing from Dec. 6 through 27 during regular business hours at City Hall. Mayor Brook Fair's seat and two aldermen's seats currently filled by Danny Bradley and Phil Knott will be on the April 4 ballot.
-They unanimously voted to add $300,000 worth of supplemental insurance coverage through the Missouri Firefighters Critical Illness Trust and Pool (MFFCIT) for eligible firefighters with the Willow Springs Fire Department at the cost of $95 per eligible employee. The draft budget includes $480, which is enough to cover eight firefighters. 
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