The New Ulm City Council approved the city’s budget and property tax levy for 2014 Tuesday evening. The city’s tax levy next year will be increasing by around 3%. The $21-million New Ulm budget for 2014 includes a 2% wage increase for non-union, full-time city employees. In other business, the council received a report on recycling and shredder operations in other Minnesota cities, and how those communities deal with noise issues. The data was requested following complaints of explosions and other noise coming from the metal shredder at New Ulm Steel and Recycling. Owner Josh Luneberg told the council Tuesday that they’ve taken several steps to make the equipment safer, including installing noise-dampening systems and fencing to catch any debris. There had been at least 3 reports of explosions at the facility since the shredder was installed this past Spring, but none in recent months. New Ulm Steel and Recycling does meet all current city noise ordinances, but the council will re-evaluate the issue during a meeting in February.