Council sets levy, pledges development funding
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Approval of the maximum property tax for the upcoming fiscal year, a continuing pledge to support efforts by the Ringgold County Development Corporation, and raising yearly lease rates for lots at Loch Ayr were primary topics of discussion at the Qmeeting of the Mount Ayr city council.
Following a public hearing, the council passed a resolution approving in the maximum property tax dollars for FY 2021.
The maximum property tax allowed will be $49,817,442, up from $44,023,252 in the current fiscal year.
However, due to a $5 million increase in property valuation, the city’s maximum property tax levy will decrease from $12.257 per thousand valuation this year to $11.400 next year.
The property tax levy does not include the additional $5.419 per thousand valuation for the debt service levy.
Kim Greenland and Brandi Shay met with the council to ask for continuing support for the Ringgold County Development Corporation (RCDC).
In their presentation to the council, Shay reviewed the accomplishments of the RCDC over the past year.
Topping that list was the hiring of Jodie Geist as economic development director effective July 1.
Other accomplishments included a coordinated marketing campaign, the development of a social media presence, and making connections with other economic development agencies both regionally and at the state level.
Last year the council had pledged $10,000 to aid the RCDC in their efforts to hire a county economic director.
This time around the council approved a contribution of $12,000 each year for the next two years.
Loch Ayr rates
The council approved the raising of lot rents at Loch Ayr to $500 per year, up from the current $440 annually.
City treasurer Amanda Cannon reported that the $440 lot rent allows the city to break even with revenues offset by costs for property tax, liability insurance, gravel, and the maintenance contract with the Sportsman’s Club.
In addition, city superintendent Brent Wise reminded the council that the spillway at the lake will need some significant maintenance in the near future. He recommended the council find a way to set aside funds to build a reserve earmarked for that purpose.
The increase in lot rents will generate approximately $3,600 per year in additional revenue for the spillway if other costs remain unchanged.
In other business the council:
• withheld approval for seeking a loan from the State Revolving Fund for planning and design for repairs at the waste water treatment plant.
The council wanted further information comparing costs for repairs versus replacement of various components.
• balked at a quote from engineers with ISG to provide a series of conceptual drawings and plans for various sites for a potential new swimming pool.
The quote was for $14,500.
The plans had been requested by Stone Planning to complete its feasibility study for a new pool.
Councilman Brent Ricker said he was not interested in different sites and didn’t understand the need to pay for multiple plans.
Superintendent Wise said he would confer with ISG and Stone and report back to the council.