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The Mount Ayr city council met Monday, July 25 for a special work session to discuss revenue challenges facing the city.
City administrator Brent Wise opened the meeting by sharing a pair of charts detailing the impact of declining amounts of state funding to back fill recent property tax rollbacks.
Last fiscal year the city received $27,979.94 in state back fill dollars. That amount decreases to $22,383.95 in the current fiscal year. The amount lowers to $16,787.96 in FY24, $11,191.98 in FY25, and $5,595.99 in FY26 before it disappears entirely in FT27.
The continual loss of this revenue coupled with the ever-increasing costs to operate city services has the council examining a variety of options to maintain those services.
For example, the city’s garbage service has run a deficit for each of the past three years.
As of May 2022, fuel costs alone were already 151 percent over budget with one month to go in FY 22. In comparison, fuel costs at the same point last year had consumed only 83 percent of the budgeted amount.
Fuel costs are not the only item driving increased pressure on city services.
The costs for pipe and pumps in the city water and sewer services have skyrocketed as have costs to repair vehicles and equipment. Landfill fees are increasing as are fees to dispose of the city’s recycling collection.
At Monday’s meeting council members discussed several options, including decreasing services, increasing fees, or changing the fee structures for vacant properties.
However, no action was taken at the work session.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Wise said he would provide additional information regarding the break-even point for maintaining existing services along with a variety of options for reaching that point.
Other items of discussion included changing requirements for building permits and regulations regarding rental properties within the city limits.