City holds mill levy in 2009, plans for 4 mill increase in 2010
There was good news and bad news for Tonganoxie taxpayers at Monday night's city council meeting.
The good news: corrected valuation numbers from the Leavenworth County Clerk's Office put the city's valuation at $35,895,090. This $1,116,763 increase from last year's valuation means the expected mill levy for 2009 will match the estimated 2008 mill levy at 33.719. One mill is equivalent to $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed value.
The bad news: the addition of improvements for the first phase of East Street ($565,000) and expansion of the fire station ($800,000) could mean a 4.4 mill increase to pay for the city's debt service for the 2010 budget if the city is not careful.
Kathy Bard, Tonganoxie's assistant city administrator, said the city has about $100,000 in cash reserves that is used to offset future debts and will help bring down that mill increase.
"We've been using [the reserve fund] for the last four years because we've had a lot of debts that are coming up," Bard said Tuesday. "Keeping that fund helps offset the debt service each year."
Bard also said the city's portion of the 2000 general obligation bond that was used for improvements along Fourth Street will be paid off before 2010.
During the budget work session on July 14, the council asked city staff to put East Street on the budget in order to have a road for emergency vehicles to use while the Pleasant Street bridge is replaced. The bridge will be scheduled for replacement as soon as funding becomes available. The soonest funding available for the bridge replacement will be in 2010.
The 2009 budget also will include $10,000 for fireworks and entertainment expenses for the 2009 Tonganoxie Days.
A public hearing for the 2009 budget is scheduled for Aug. 4 during the scheduled city council meeting.
In other business, the council:
¢ Voted, 4-0, to accept a bid from King's Construction of Oskaloosa for $348,660 to construct three new baseball fields north of the Tonganoxie Recreation Commission ball fields at the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds. Contract approval would be contingent upon review by City Attorney Mike Kelly. Councilmember Tom Putthoff, who works for the recreation commission, abstained.
¢ Unanimously accepted a lease agreement from First Bank Lease for two new police vehicles.
¢ Tabled a request from the Tonganoxie Police Department to hire GPW & Associates to investigate air quality problems at the police station. The city council requested a formal amount be given before any agreement is reached.