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Property taxes will go up slightly in 2015

Staff writer

After five years of creating budgets that kept mill levies flat to provide property tax relief to local residents, Peabody City Council proposed a budget for 2015 on Monday evening that increases the mill levy by four mills.

One mill raises $4,233 for city expenses; a four-mill increase would amount to $16,932 more in the budget than in 2014.

A person who owns a house in Peabody with an appraised value of $75,000 would see his taxes go up by about $35.00 a year.

Previous councils have made a concerted effort to keep the mill levy the same for five years although the amount of money generated by a single mill varies from year to year according to the city’s valuation.

The council discussed trying to keep the mill levy flat one more year, but worried about deteriorating infrastructure and shrinking cash reserves.

The special budget meeting drew only a couple of people interested in how the city would spend its funds. Neither of them addressed the council during the meeting.

Final approval of the proposed budget will come after it is published in the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin and the city has a public hearing to approve it.

Former City Administrator Mac Manning was hired by the city to prepare the 2015 budget.

In other business:

  • After discussion with pool manager Beth Peter, all parties agreed to extend the pool season until August 18. The pool also will be open weekends, including Saturdays, and will close for winter after Labor Day weekend.
  • City Clerk Stephanie Ax told council members that one of two water meters that serves Peabody Care Center has not been reading water consumption correctly for several months. Ronnie Harms is getting information on costs of the meter, which is a great deal larger than residential meters, for presentation at the next meeting. Ax said lost revenue from this meter is about $1,000 per month.
  • Council members cancelled the city’s agreement with Spur Ridge Veterinary Clinic for board, medical, and euthanasia services for lost or abandoned animals. The city will contract with Country Aid Vet Service near Whitewater.
  • Mayor Larry Larsen will meet with a representative of Wray Roofing Thursday afternoon to review the roofing bid for the Baker buildings.
  • Council members heard that three applicants for a full-time position with the public works department will be interviewed Thursday morning.
  • Ax reported that contracts for service and maintenance had been signed with AT&T and Denny’s Heating and Cooling.

The next council meeting will be at 7 p.m. August 11 in the city building.

Last modified July 31, 2014

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