Council Sets Mill Levy For Budget Publication

During the formal actions part of the agenda at the Beloit City Council meeting Tuesday night, the council voted five to three to leave the mill levy for their notice of publication for fiscal year 2014 at 48.0 which is the same as it was last year.

City Administrator, Glenn Rodden gave a power point presentation showing three options they could set as the mill levy for the fiscal year 2014 notice of publication they could approve at the meeting Tuesday night. Option One showed the city holding the mill levy at the current level. Option Two showed the mill levy increasing by three mills to cover increases in operating expenses and Option Three showed an increase of 20 mills that would include all budget requests made by all city departments.

The mill levy has stayed between the three mills for a long time now, Rodden said. By publishing this amount, he told the Council by law they can reset the mill-levy amount lower but they can't exceed this amount. The formal budget hearing will be held at the Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 meeting. Rodden also presented a five-year capital improvement budget that includes projects that have been discussed during the council's goal-setting sessions during the past three years.

The assessed evaluation of Mitchell County in 2013 for the 2014 budget is over Twenty-Three million dollars. Unlike some counties, Mitchell County property values have gone steadily higher.

The Council members had questions about various expenditures listed in the budget summary and lively discussions resulted. The Administrator said, basically three costs in the budget have gone up including wages and salaries, health insurance and KPERS which will go up again the first of this coming year.

Councilman Kent Miller and Mayor Tom Naasz, both felt enough money should be provided in the budget to include the $10,000 the have pledged to the Solomon Valley Transportation project. Hospital Administrator, David Dick was present and spoke of the need the Solomon Valley Transportation system has for the funds that were pledged. Following the vote many of the council were looking for ways to decrease other items in the proposed budget so this pledge could be kept.

Councilman Lloyd Littrell and several other councilmen voiced the opinion the council was not getting enough information to be expected to approve this budget at this time. Rodden reiterated again they were not being asked to vote on the complete budget; they were just setting the mill levy for their notice of publication. Mayor Naasz called for a roll call vote on the motion that was before the governing body that had all ready been seconded. A five to three vote resulted with Council members Robert Peterson, Bob Richard, Frank Delka, Lloyd Littrell and Matt Otte voting yes and Council members Kent Miller, Pat Struble and Rick Brown voting no on the issue.

The City of Beloit Transportation Department submitted a request to the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) to make the intersection of 8th Street and Independence Avenue a four-way stop. The KDOT engineer approved the request and Adm. Rodden agreed with the engineers recommendation because they are hoping to prevent accidents at this intersection and feel that a four-way stop would be the best approach to do that. After discussion the council voted 8 to 0 not to approve this ordinance.

A public Hearing was held for the Housing Grant they will be applying for. This grant is aimed at demolishing or rehabilitating dilapidated homes inside the city limits. Heather Hartman, Community Development Director, spoke to the group. She said her office has had thirty-five applicants so far which is a huge amount of interest in this project. This is great but she does think all the applications will be accepted.

The Kansas Department of Commerce (KDOC) requires all grand recipients adopt a code of conduct in procurement. Council voted to approve the update code that was presented 8 to 0. The KDOC also requires specific purchase rules and regulations in order to qualify for block grants The council voted 8 to 0 to approve the change in the city's current policy which is the addition of criteria for qualified bidders. They will be applying for the $400,000 grant. Carol Torkelson, of the Regional Planning Commission, was present and discussed what would happen when the money is granted. If they get the money in January they will have to start all over and put together a plan and re-submit it to the KDOC. The hearing concluded.

Administrator Rodden recommended the council approve the lease of a Bobcat from Bobcat of Salina presented by Henry Eilert, Power Plant Operations Foreman and Ron Sporleader, Director of Electric Operations. They requested the city enter into a year-to-year lease agreement with Salina Bobcat to replace an aging piece of equipment at the power plant at a cost of $1,450 a year with a new machine replacing the old one each year. Sporleader said they would plan to sell the old machine at auction. The council approved the purchase.

During Mayor and Council Reports, Bob Richard said he was asked to discuss placing an alley warning sign south of the Farmway Credit Union Building to protect pedestrians walking across the alley from vehicles coming out of the parking lot. He also asked how many ATV licenses have been purchased. Rodden said there had been eight or nine sold. It as felt all ATV's should purchase a license if they haven't done so.

Councilman Otte asked about how delinquent City bills are handled and when they are considered delinquent. City Attorney Katie Cheney explained how these are handled. Otte also wanted to know who is replacing the furnace at the old Port Library Building. Rodden said he thought the Hospice folks were paying to have that done.

During the Administrator's report Rodden said, the Kyle Railroad workers would start working on the railroad tracks south of town this Wednesday. The catalytic converters have been installed at the water plant. Since some towns have been having problems with the converters overheating he has asked a company representative to come and address the council about this problem at the next council meeting even though there haven't been any problems here. He said the City's Annual Audit is finished and looks good. The K-14 overlay project was started this past Monday.

Since there weren't any discussion items for the work session agenda the meeting was adjourned.

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