August City Council Update

Council’s next regular  meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 10th at 7:00p.m. at the Municipal Building. Significant items include:

– Waiving of the competitive bid process for over $1.6 million of various contracts/awarding of over $200,000 for various bid contracts

– Ordinance increasing the monthly residential refuse fee from $7 to $10.50

– Various ordinance amendments regarding motor vehicle provisions (motorcycle helmets, seat belts, driver’s license address change notification, license plate lights)

See the agenda packet here for complete details. All citizens are afforded a minimum of 3 minutes to speak to council at the beginning of the meeting to any subject not on the agenda. All citizens are also afforded a minimum of 3 minutes to speak to each and every item on the agenda.

Missing from the initially published agenda is a report that I will present on behalf of a Special Events Advisory Task Force highlighting recommended changes to the Secret City Festival. That report is located here. Council will take no action on the report during this meeting but will discuss in detail at our August 18th work session.

Results from the July 13th and July 27th meetings are found here and here. Council finalized the FY16 budget on August 3rd with the second approval of a tax rate. Details of the budget deliberations are found in the July 27th minutes but the highlights are as follows:

  • Council adopted a property tax rate of $2.52, the same as the state certified rate but more than the revenues/expenditures of the FY15 rate of $2.39. This is NOT a flat budget since it increases spending.
  • Council moved $335,000 onto the trash collection bill meaning that rate payers will now pay an additional $3.50 per month for refuse collection. Council held onto those dollars by not reducing the budget.
  • Council approved providing the schools with an additional $326,302 (3.8 cents equivalent on the tax rate) thereby permanently obligating us to a higher MOE rate.

Airport

Many of you have inquired about ongoing efforts to develop an airport on the west end.  City Council has yet to be formally included in the decision making process of this project but I intend to ask our city manager for clarification on our role, if any, in the future. As reported on here, a public information session is scheduled for August 19th regarding the transfer of land for a proposed airport on the west end.

Friendship Bell

There are ongoing efforts to raise funds and lobby for city funds to design and replace a structure to house the Friendship Bell. A community input session is scheduled for August 13th   More details are found here.

Though I am not always able to respond to every communication, I welcome your questions and feedback. Feel free to share these update emails with anyone who may be interested in staying abreast of city issues.

 

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