Clayton Town Council unanimously approved the 2013 budget Monday night, which includes no increases to town fees or property taxes for residents in the upcoming year.

The $4.33 million spending plan is slightly increased from last year's $4.16 million budget.

Councilman Dave Letterman, who chairs the budget committee, said the budget came out to a zero balance.

Earlier in the budget process, Letterman said the town had faced a $220,000 paper deficit, but the committee made enough cuts so that the town had a possible $28,000 surplus. This possible surplus was negated when council approved in November to upgrade the town clerk to office manager and the part-time clerk to full-time starting in January, leaving the town with a zero balance.

Under the 2013 budget, the property tax in Clayton will remain 65-cents per $100 of assessed value. The property tax hasn't changed since 1988.

The town's electric rate will stay at $11.94 for the first 45 kilowatts. The water rate remains at $9.50 for the first 2,000 gallons. The sewer rate will stay at $16.50 for the first 2,000 gallons. Trash pick up is still $21.20 per month.

There's not much going on in 2013 with no major projects expected for the town. A backhoe was going to be ordered in 2013, but a used $40,000 backhoe was instead ordered in 2012.

Letterman said they will order new computer equipment for the front office.

Prior to council voting on the budget, Letterman did have one comment to make in reference to a possible carry over of revenue from 2012 to 2013.

"I'd like to see how much [carry over] we have and put a portion of that into the pension fund for the employees," Letterman said. "We'd have to determine that after the audit's finished but I just wanted to give a heads up, give everybody something to think about."

After the meeting, Mayor Tom Horn gave regard to the individuals who helped put together the budget.

"Kudos out to all three department heads and Councilman Dave Letterman for his diligence in working with everybody as well as the rest of the council," Horn said.

Employees to be given Christmas gifts

Town Council passed a motion to give town employees a Christmas gift.

Horn started talks on the gift, stating the town has given some sort of Christmas gift/bonus to town employees for years. He said he couldn't remember the amount but he knew everyone got a little bonus.

Police Chief Brian Hill said employees have always gotten $100 for a Christmas bonus.

Therefore, a motion was made to proceed with Christmas bonuses as the town did last year and council approved.

Last year, full-time employees were given $100 while part-time employees were given $50.

Fire department donation

Town Council approved for the town to donate $10,000 to the Clayton Fire Company.

Letterman said the donation was already budgeted for in 2013 and made a motion to donate $10,000 to the fire department "for all they do and so they can maintain their costs." Council approved the motion.

Planning & Zoning meeting

The Planning and Zoning committee will meet Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall to discuss the possible subdivision of the land at St. Joseph's.

Town Foreman Jeff Hurlock said the committee will review a preliminary plan that would take the St. Joseph's property and subdivide it into four or five parcels.

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