City may have more money to work with
by Dolores Hamilton
Members of the city council learned that revenue from ad valorem taxes should be up slightly, when they met Monday night for the first of several workshops to put together the budget for 2012-13.
City Manager Mike Price said based on early estimates by the Wichita Appraisal District, the city could expect an increase in appraised property values of about $1,200,000 over the appraised values for 2011. “This would mean additional revenue of approximately $8,500 over last year.
The city will receive the certified appraised property value for 2012 around July 25.
According to Price, the city’s debt service will be about the same as last year, and a lot of the operational costs will be the same.
Price told of two new mandates by the federal government. One mandate requires that all of the city’s radios be in compliance with the narrowbanding rules by Jan. 1, 2013. The other requires that the city meet federal guidelines for traffic sign retroreflectivity by the end of 2018. “You have to be able to see in the dark, with just your headlights, what color the signs are,” Price said.
Developer Bill Swan is wanting to build a subdivision in the south part of town and is asking the city to help with the streets. The city has a Private Development Infrastructure Policy that says the city can provide labor, manpower and equipment to put streets in if the developer will pay for the materials.
Price said the city should be able to complete work on the entire list of streets that the council approved for this year.
Notification of a rate increase, effective Jan. 1, 2013, by I.E.S.I. for solid waste collection and disposal services was discussed. Members of the council thought the request was unreasonable, and questioned why other nearby cities were paying them a lower rate and receiving more services.
The council was asked what projects they would like to see undertaken. Sherrie Williams said a report from the salary and benefit committee had been turned in and would like to know if any of the ideas included are affordable. Others suggested RV pads at middle lake, getting involved with the state’s Main Street program, continue the lease/purchase method of replacing police cars, and developing a strategic plan. Mayor Dan Fears said with the large amount of use, the streets in the downtown area need to be re-done.
The next budget workshop will be held July 16, and the department heads have been asked to make their presentations at that time.
The Iowa Park 4A Economic Development Committee met in special session prior to the city’s budget workshop.
After meeting in closed session to deliberate an offer of a financial or other incentive to a business prospect, no action was taken by the board.