City valuation increases help hold line on taxes
In a few weeks, the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed 2001 budget for the city of Tonganoxie.
Monday night, city council members received copies of the proposed budget. A public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Aug. 14, the date of the council's next meeting. At that meeting, the council is expected to adopt the budget.
The proposed budget for 2001 is set at $3,109,596. That compares with a 2000 budget of $3,744, 026.
Next year's proposed budget is lower than this year's budget because the 2000 document included about $870,000 for the downtown renovation project, which former city administrator Chris Eppley had wanted included as a safety net. Part of that amount will be carried over this year, and into future years, according to Tom Singleton, certified public accountant for Schehrer, Bennett and Lowenthal, based in Lawrence.
Growth and higher-priced real estate played a role in this year's mill levy.
Increases in assessed property valuation allowed a decrease in the mill levy, Singleton said. The valuation increased from $12,929,167 in 2000 to $14,562,211 for 2001, which allowed the city to lower the mill rate from 33.712 to 33.106, Singleton said. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.
"Information has been somewhat limited in preparing the budget without a city administrator on staff to flush out some of the details," Singleton said.
The city anticipates two major expenditures for 2001 for sewer and water projects, Karen Daniels, deputy city clerk, said. Water expenditures are projected at $768,915 and the city believes it will spend about $391,724 on sewer costs. The sewer interceptor project and the future water project play a role in the increased estimated expenditures for the two categories.
In other business Monday, council members:
o Talked for about 50 minutes in executive session about purchasing property from Pamela Cooper for Tonganoxie's new water source.
"We're still working on it," Mayor John Franiuk said. "But we're getting closer to it."
o Heard that applications for city clerk will be reviewed one more time, Franiuk said. The council is waiting for the arrival of Chris Clark, the new city administrator, before proceeding with interviews. Franiuk said the city will be interviewing three or four of the applicants. Franiuk said Clark should have a say in who he would be working with.
The city received 14 applications for the position. Most of the applicants live within 15 miles of Tonganoxie.
Franiuk also proclaimed Aug. 8 as Arbor Day in the city of Tonganoxie. The Tonganoxie Tree Board plans to plant a tree at 3 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds as part of the Arbor Day celebration. The tree is being donated by Dave Beck of Davensons Nursery Inc., 15380 Evans Road.