Smithville property taxes and water and sewer rates will remain the same for another year.
The Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday morning voted unanimously to adopt the new 2014-15 budget on second and final reading following a public hearing.
The new budget totals $6-million 504-thousand 600 dollars. Under the new spending plan, the property tax rate will remain the same at .6490 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Water and sewer rates are to remain the same. City water customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons of usage. Rates for customers outside the city limits are $7.50 per thousand gallons. The rate the city charges the DeKalb Utility District remains at $2.67 per thousand gallons.
City sewer customers will continue to pay $5.00 per thousand gallons plus the flat usage rate of $3.62.
Hourly and salaried city employees will get a 1.5% cost of living pay raise except for police officers who are due to get a raise under the eight step wage scale for all hourly employees in the department.
The aldermen voted to give the Smithville-DeKalb County Rescue Squad an additional $2,000 just for this year to help them finish their new building near Greenbrook Park. The city annually budgets $1,500. This year, the rescue squad will get $3,500 from the city. The idea was proposed during the last meeting two weeks ago by Alderman Tim Stribling.
Since the city did not spend it's budgeted amount for paving, $150,000, an amendment was adopted reflecting that in the 2013-14 budget. Because of that , the actual general fund deficit by the end of this fiscal year 2013-14 (June 30th) should be less than the projection of $365,112, according to City Administrator Hunter Hendrixson. "We took out $150,000 we had put in for paving which isn't going to happen before July 1. When you take that out and a few other things we have the projections down to a little over $200,000 in the red for this fiscal year but we have a good cash surplus in the general fund and water and sewer," he said. The city has budgeted $100,000 for street paving in the new budget
Proposed capital outlay expenditures in the general fund for the new year come to $1,002,000 but $904,000 of that is for airport projects, which are largely funded by grants.
Specific projects are as follows: Legislative- $5,000; Parks and Recreation- $5,000; Public Works-Buildings and Grounds (unspecified)-$10,000; City Hall Building (Unspecified) $10,000; Fire Protection (Pagers) $10,000; Street Department (Unspecified) $25,000; Police Department (Police Car)$28,000; Animal Shelter-$5,000; and Airport-Lighting Rehabilitation $427,500, Fuel Farm $330,500, Hangar Door $50,000, and Land Acquisition $96,000 for a total of $904,000.
According to Hendrixson, a home near the airport is in the flight path and will eventually have to be removed. The state provides grant funds to the city to help acquire the property. "There's a house (currently being rented by the owner) on Allen's Chapel Road that is in our flight path according to the FAA. The state funds monies to municipalities to go out and acquire properties (such as this). We'll have to demolish the house once it's been acquired through the state and it will become city property. The state is in the appraisal phase and then the property has to be surveyed," said Hendrixson.
Proposed water and sewer fund capital outlay expenditures include $55,000 for a water service truck, $150,000 for sewer plant improvement design fees, $410,000 for the automatic meter readers project, which will be funded largely through a loan/grant program
Although these capital outlay projects are budgeted, they all may not be funded during the year.