FOREST CITY | The City Council last week approved the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which includes a property tax rate decrease of $1.27 per $1,000 assessed valuation.
The levy for the fiscal year beginning July 1 will be $17.53 per $1,000.
The council also approved promoting police officers Bobby Snitzer and Mitch Bartelson to lieutenant, effective April 15.
Earlier this year the council appointed Tom Montgomery, who currently serves as assistant police chief, to succeed Doug Jenson as chief when he retires in May.
Montgomery requested the personnel structure be changed so instead of an assistant chief the department will have two lieutenants.
One of the lieutenants will work the day shift and the other the night shift, according to Montgomery.
He said the change in structure will make it easier to accommodate requests for time off.
Seven candidates were interviewed before the field was narrowed to four finalists, who were interviewed again on March 5.
Montgomery said Snitzer and Bartelson were the two best candidates.
Each lieutenant will receive a salary of just under $54,500.
Barb Smith, city administrator, said that amount was determined by taking what the assistant chief makes and what a patrol officer makes and averaging those two figures.
The police chief's salary will increase to $70,000, effective July 1, to match that of the Garner police chief.
Smith said the Garner chief currently makes $6,000 more than the one in Forest City even though the latter's department has a heavier workload.