First piece of Grand Forks’ proposed 2022 budget: larger raises for city employees and a partial return to pre-pandemic spending

Mayor Brandon Bochenski’s preliminary budget would increase city salaries by 3.06% on average in 2022 with a $250-per-year minimum increase, which would bring the city’s total payroll to approximately $56.35 million, including insurance and other benefits. The budget he proposed – and City Council members approved – for the current year included uniform $1,000 raises for city workers or admission into a more generous pension plan for public safety employees, but not both.

“Accepting that $1,000 raise instead of the normal market raise was tough, and there was no promise that this year we were going to be able to get back to it,” Bochenski said. “And here we are, just a year later, and we’re able to do that.”

Those salary increases are part of a larger-scale spending plan Bochenski and other city administrators showed to City Council members on Tuesday. The mayor’s proposed $43.4 million general fund budget for 2022 would be 6.72% larger than the $40.6 million it is this year. Still to come are proposals for spending outside the general fund – large-scale infrastructure projects such as the multi-million-dollar upgrades at the city’s wastewater treatment plant – that can dwarf the day-to-day expenses encapsulated in the

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