Archive for Thursday, August 17, 2006

Council OKs mill levy hike

August 17, 2006

The Eudora City Council approved the city's 2007 budget with a 2.13 mill overall increase.

The Monday action will fund salaries for new employees ---- including a staff detective for the police force ---- and set aside money for the city's effort to continue long-range planning.

"We've certainly brought all the funds back to a good point where we have a handle on them," Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

The budget pegs the city's property tax levy at 21.195 mills, up from 19.016 in 2006. The budget set expenditure levels not the mill levy, which will be set when the Douglas County Clerk applies final appraisal figures next month. The mill levy seldom varies significantly from that appearing on the approved budget.

At the new rate, the owner of a $150,000 home in Eudora would owe the city $365.61 in property taxes next year.

"The budgets didn't have any really major basic changes," Beatty said.

The city will be working with a general operating fund of $2,266,500.

The budget also accommodates several capital improvements listed in this year's budget.

"The major capital projects include the downtown improvement project, and we're looking at the storm drain project through bond funding on Main Street," Beatty said. "We're looking at

budget from some federal emergency management planning dollars and security for facility security."

Although the city will be embarking on several capital improvement projects, the scope will be limited.

"We've got a definite clear handle on our employee needs, and we didn't invest a lot of money on capital expenses because we will also be doing a long-term capital improvement plan for the city as well as citywide planning for growth," Beatty said.

Beatty crafted the 2007 budget to create an emergency fund for the city's utilities.

"The secondary goal was also to get reserve funds built up in all the utilities because we had no reserve funds," Beatty said. "We've established the fund, and we will have some money transferred from each utility."

Beatty and Eudora City Clerk Donna Oleson used a new system to draft the 2007 budget.

"We updated the budget system, so we have a good handle of monies coming in and going out on a consistent basis from budget to budget," Beatty said. "We'll do cost analysis within those budgets now to make sure we're changing expenditures to appropriate line items ---- so when we do the cost analysis we know where the money is going and why. That's going to be a real added plus."

Beatty and Oleson plan to use the same system to draft next year's budget.

"This year will be the first year we implement it, but next year you'll really be able to analyze the results," Beatty said.

Among the funds budgeted for 2007 will be $10,000 set aside for Eudora's sesquicentennial celebration.

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