Archive for Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rec complex drives city’s 2.99 mill increase

August 9, 2007

As promised when voters passed a $3.8 million bond issue to build the Eudora Aquatic and Recreation Center, the city's mill rate will go up.

For 2008 fiscal year, city leaders are looking to increase the mill levy by 2.99 mills.

The city promised voters it would pay for the bond by raising the tax levy 3 to 5 mills in addition to a half-cent sales tax increase.

The city's first budgetary goal was to keep the overall increase fewer than three mills, Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said.

"Our second goal was to infuse some capital money to our general fund budgets, which primarily our largest one being the police department," Beatty said. "We're going to accomplish that as well."

Before the council considers the 2008 budget's adoption, the community is invited comment on the document at a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St.

The city estimates an overall taxing authority of 24.167 mills. The total is up from 21.182 mills this year.

The city also will have a total operating 2008 budget of $12.19 million, down from $14.3 million in 2007. But this year, the city spent $3.3 million for the construction of the pool and recreation center.

"It's actually a slight increase in this year's budget rather than a decrease," Beatty said.

The city's assessed evaluation in the 2008 budget grew to $40.8 million from $39.022 million for 2007.

Next year, the new money in the city's general fund will go toward the purchase of new equipment for the police department for 2008 and in the coming years, Beatty said.

She kept a close eye on other cities when forming the budget, Beatty said. Maintaining a competitive tax rate is especially important as the city takes on major projects like the Eudora Recreation and Aquatic Center.

"That's all taken into consideration when we do the budgets," Beatty said.

According to a report prepared by the city, Eudora's proposed rate would still be lower than De Soto, which levied about 26-mills in 2006. It also would be lower than both Tonganoxie and Baldwin City. Both cities levied about 32-mills in 2006.

The 2008 budget also created separate funds for the Eudora Parks and Recreation Department. The city separated money for the general operation and maintenance for the department in one fund and set aside money going to the aquatic and recreation center in a different fund.

"This budget basically reflects how to address the funding and financing for our new recreation center, and securing funds for law enforcement," Beatty said.

The official publication of this year's budget appears in this issue of The Eudora News.

For information on the budget, call City Hall at 542-2153.

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