Bonner Springs council agrees to increase levy by .974 mills
During a second special workshop for the 2011 budget, the Bonner Springs City Council made decisions on both what to do with a surplus of funds and how to handle a decrease in funds.
Through such actions as reducing the contingency funds down to 4 percent from 5.13 percent and reducing all general fund department budgets a little more than 2 percent, the city’s 2011 general fund budget will see a surplus of $134,082.
On how to use this additional funding, city manager John “Jack” Helin recommended during a meeting last week that a 1 percent increase in salaries be maintained and also that merit bonuses for city employees be reinstated.
In addition, during the most recent meeting, Helin added the recommendations that $16,500 should go toward replacing the cemetery maintenance building and that the contingency should be raised up to 4.7 percent.
Helin said the council gave its positive consensus for all of these recommendations.
As to how to handle a 5 percent decrease, or a total decrease of $100,575, in the budget due to reduced property valuations, the city gave its positive consensus to raise the mill levy by .974 mills.
One mill equals $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.
Helin said the city had opted not to use the surplus in the general fund to offset the decrease in valuations because of the areas of the budget that surplus will now benefit.
“We felt those were a higher value than the reduced valuations,” he said.
The raise in the mill levy, Helin said, would not amount to an increase in property taxes for Bonner Springs homeowners because the valuation on the average home in Bonner dropped about 3.5 percent. That drop, he said, would balance out the higher tax rate of less than one mill.
“It’s actually 66 cents less (that they will pay) than last year,” he said.
The city also gave its consensus to add $58,172 generated from the property tax the city receives to the general fund for the street maintenance budget.
Helin said the council felt this was “a reasonable thing” to do as it would help keep up maintenance of roads throughout the city, which he said he expected Bonner Springs taxpayers to be in agreement with.
Also during the workshop, the council looked at special revenue and enterprise budgets of those areas of the city including the library, emergency medical services, the Senior Center and the Tiblow Transit.
A budget hearing and final approval of the budget is expected to happen during the Monday, Aug. 9, city council meeting, pending approval of the budget hearing notice at the next meeting, which will be Monday, July 26.