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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • City predicts small tax increase for 2015

  • The city has estimated about a .3 mill tax increase will be needed in 2015.
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  • The city has estimated about a .3 mill tax increase will be needed in 2015.
    The city is working to finalize its budget this week. Officials need to put the numbers into a state form, but as of Monday, the city’s general fund budget for 2015 was set at $2,271,130 compared to $1,921,764 for 2014.
    The city’s early projections are the mill levy will go from 51.022 in 2014 to 51.322 in 2015.
    Mayor Tom Brown said the city has done its best to try to keep the budget and the mill levy stable.
    The city had several challenges to address in the 2015 budget, including budgeting for increases in gasoline costs, state mandated increases in KPERS payments, and cost of living increases, said Mark Moffitt, the city’s director of finance.
    Moffitt said the budget might change slightly this week as the final numbers are calculated, but officials did not estimate any significant changes.
    The city commission is set to approve the budget for publication on Monday. Once the budget is published, the city can spend less, but it can’t spend more without publishing another budget.
    The public hearing on the budget will be Aug. 4.
    Construction update
    Jeff Woodward, public works director, gave the commission updates on several ongoing street projects at the city commission meeting Monday.
    Asphalt has been laid on both sides of Kansas Avenue from Hartup to Maxwell as a part of the KLINK repaving project. The project should be finished this week after stripping is done.
    A base has been laid on for the reconstruction of Chestnut Street from Avenue A to Avenue C. Concrete is set to be laid on Wednesday. That portion of the street remains closed to traffic.
    A grinder will be brought in this week to smooth out some bumps on First Street. Stripping is set to be done on First Street next week.
    The north half of Hill Street from Cherry to Hartup was paved on Friday. It will be two weeks before the second half of the street is ready to be paved. Work continues on the sanitary sewer in that area. Work also continues on sidewalks and driveways. The project is about 25 percent complete.
    In other business, the city commission:
    • Accepted the 2014 city audit report. There were no deficiencies identified in the report.
    • Agreed to allow the police department to dispose of firearms and computers.
    • Approved $1,800 to make repairs to the west K&O Woodside crossing.
    • Approved a project to make a left turn lane at First and Grimes. “No parking” signs will be installed on Grimes at the corner. “No parking” signs also will be placed at the corner of Avenue A and Oak Street.
    • Approved a $70,228 increase for the upper limit of the fees for CFS Engineers for services on the First Street Project. Woodward said the First Street Project is estimated to come in $200,000 under budget.
    • Approved a resolution declaring the city’s eligibility for the Safe Routes to School Program. If the city is approved for a grant, improvements will be made to walking an biking routes around Roosevelt Elementary School.
    • Approved a new Juvenile Detention Services Contract with Reno County.
    • Approved an addendum to the city prosecutor’s agreement that allows the city to pay the prosecutor more when he must spend an extraordinary time on a case, such as when there is an appeal.
    • Approved $10,162 to repair the pump on the fire department’s Tender 1 fire truck.
    • Approved $1,441 for testing the fire department’s air packs.
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