Dodge City commissioners approved a resolution to authorize the amount of property tax to be levied to exceed the revenue neutral rate on Sept. 7.
The meeting was held that Tuesday in observance of Monday, Sept. 6 being Labor Day.
According to City Finance director Nicole May, the revenue neutral rate established for the city is 44.297 mills and the anticipated preliminary mill levy for the 2022 budget is 44.355
“This is .058 mills above the revenue neutral rate,” May said. “These are new items beginning this year. Back in March the Legislature approved a Senate Bill 13 which requires any taxing subdivision that intends to exceed their Revenue Neutral Rate to have a public hearing and adopt this resolution prior to their 2022 budget.”
Commissioner Kent Smoll asked when the public hearing took place where the revenue neutral rate was approved and where was the budget approval.
“We’ll do it next meeting,” May said.
Commissioner Joseph Nuci asked why the Dodge City Public Library and debt service were raised mill levies.
“Could we not have lowered one of those,” Nuci said. “The library went up .126 and the debt service went up .548.”
May answered they could have lowered those mills but they looked at more of the total mill levy and it was not necessarily a bad thing to have the hearing.
“Especially in a growing community like ours,” May said.
City manager Nick Hernandez affirmed commissioners they have the option to lower which mill levy they saw fit. Nuci pushed for a lowering for the library.
“The problem is we really don’t go through the library expenditures right and left,” Smoll said. “They have their own separate board and yeah this is what their board says they need and are probably within the state statute limitations. There’s only so many mills that a library can levy, they’re still within that so. I think for us to sit here and tell them they can’t do it.”
Nuci added, “It’s not the library’s fault at all I’m just saying it’s an easy cut to get the revenue neutral rate.”
The resolution passed with a 4-1 vote with Nuci being the nay vote.
Commissioners approved unanimously, a request from the Community Housing Association of Dodge City to apply for Moderate Income Housing (MIH) grant as a partnership with the City of Dodge City.
Assistant Director of Dodge City/Ford County Economic Development Mollea Wainscott, explained the approval of the resolution will allow the developer to apply for funding through the MIH program offered through the KHRC for development of housing targeted towards moderate income units.
The housing association will be looking for three new renovations to take place in Dodge City.
A bid from Kansas Golf and Turf was also approved unanimously, for 10 new golf cars for $50,000.
A quote for Well 25 repairs from Wichita-based Layne Christensen Company in the amount of $36,311 was presented to the commission.
Public Works director Corey Keller stated a few years ago, Well 25 developed a cavitation issue causing air to be forced into the water system. Subsequently, the well was allowed to sit unpumped for some time to see if it would recover on its own.
Tests done on Well 25 determined a well rehab was needed.
The city had allocated $$175,000 to the 2021 budget for well rehabs.
The rehab of Well 25 was approved unanimously for the $36,311 bid price.
According to the city, Mariah Hills Golf Course numbers are up, and the purchase will reduce the need for rental cars for events.
With the purchase, the parks department will move back its purchase of $30,000 tee mowers and will not purchase a pull behind mower that had been previously budgeted, and which led to no need for extra money to be used towards the golf cars purchase.