City certifies 2013 tax levy
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 5:19 AM
Spring Grove City Council members voted to send their final 2013 property tax levy to the Houston County Auditor's Office last week, following an unusually short Truth in Taxation hearing.
Even though over 150 citizens attended the Dec. 4 council meeting, none chose to speak at the hearing, opting instead to wait for an "Open Forum" session to make their views on the Main Street rebuild known after the taxation hearing closed.
Look elsewhere in this week's Herald for the full story on this portion of the meeting.
Anticipating a large turnout on that topic, the council held the meeting at the Fest Building.
The half-million dollar tax levy is .30 percent higher than 2012's $498,778, which topped 2011's $465,230. The city's general fund will receive $376,525, while debt service accounts will take the other $123,475.
Under the current accounting plan, no deficit spending will need to be covered by reserves.
The biggest lines in the expenditures column are $220,772 for streets, $167,017 for police, $141,387 for administration, $137,098 for the SWIM center, $103,098 for the library and $88,432 for the fire department.
Under debt service, the biggest expenditure is public project 2006A (the Aquatic Center) at $122,000.
LGA, Fire and PERA aid will contribute more towards the general fund than property taxes. They are anticipated to total $379,112. Total expenses for the entire city are $1,044,550.
Pool contract ratified
City Attorney Joe Hammell reported that USA Pools had agreed to all but one of his suggested changes to a sample contract with the city. The company made the offer to manage the city's Family SWIM Center last month.
The lone sticking point was USA Pools' liability over broken glass getting in the pool.
Hammell noted that glass is forbidden at the facility, and if it somehow gets in the pool the city has the authority to have it drained.
Under the contract, USA Pools would just need to inform city authorities and then drain it on their orders, Hammell said.
If Spring Grove doesn't add broken glass liability to the items that the company will insure against, their insurance rates won't go up. That was an important consideration for the contract bid.
The city of Spring Grove already has separate liability coverage for the pool, Hammell added. He then told the council that the amended contract had his blessing.
Members voted unanimously to accept the document in its present form, which is for a two-year term. The city will pay $68,740 per year under the pact.
Dump truck offer amended
The council approved a request from Public Utilities director Paul Morken to raise Spring Grove's offer on a replacement plowing/ sanding truck by $1,000 (from $50,000 to $51,000).
City Administrator Theresa Coleman said that Morken reported that the seller would not come any lower than that.
Parks Commission increased
The council voted to raise the number of Parks Commission members from five to seven.
Councilmember Lorilyn Dehning made the request, stating, "We've gotten a couple applications to the Parks and Recreation Board, and we'd like to accept them because we need all the workers and all the help we can get."
Other news from the council
When asked, Coleman reported that so far the city has received "a couple" of resumes for the position of part-time police officer.
The council did not take any further action on the hiring process.
In other personnel news, members voted to hold a closed session to discuss union negotiations currently underway for some city employees.