After more than a dozen special meetings to work on the 2013 budget, Peabody City Council published its intent to hold a public budget hearing in the past week’s issue of the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin.
At the council meeting Monday evening, Tom Schmidt said he was pleased by the effort the council members, department heads, and City Administrator Mac Manning had made to keep the mill levy the same as it was in 2012.
“In fact, it came in just a little bit lower than 2012,” he said.
He shared information with the other council members that he had compiled comparing the mill levies of the county, USD 398, and the city for the past five years, 2007 to 2012.
While the city mill levy was lower by 1.792 mills, the county went up by 6.788 mills, and the Peabody-Burns School district took a 16.156 mill jump during the same time.
“None of us like to pay taxes,” he said. “But that is how we get the money to operate.
“I don’t know why the county and school district took the jumps they did, but I am proud of this group for holding the line on city taxes.”
In other business:
- Manning told the council the Hillsboro Water Department has not imposed any water restrictions in Hillsboro or Peabody. Manning said the Peabody has a water conservation plan it will implement if it becomes necessary. He also said he had visited with several farmers about purchasing water for their livestock if the drought continues. The city does have a provision to allow the sale of water for livestock, but the cost is high and Manning said there was no one wanting to contract for it yet.
- Samantha Weerts of Sammie Jo’s Shake n Bistro at 127 Walnut requested help from the council in regard to a $1300 water bill at her business. An existing water cooler used to cool the building for about 50 years malfunctioned and ran water through the system rather than recycling it. After discussion, the council agreed to waive any late fees and to leave the service connected while they review the case to find the city’s cost on the water and sewer service. They will meet with Weerts at the next council meeting, August 13. In the meantime, a new cooling unit is being installed in the restaurant.
- The council discussed the growth of branches obscuring several traffic signs. A city ordinance requires the city administrator to send a letter to the property owners, giving them a chance to do the trimming the way they want it done. If compliance is not forthcoming, city employees will do the work.
- Manning told the council that Peabody Economic Development had purchased the lots at 710 N. Walnut on July 26 in an eBay auction on line. The lot was purchased from an individual in Oklahoma for a bid of $526 plus $295 closing fees. The council voted to confirm and approve the purchase.
- Manning reminded the council the 2013 Budget Hearing will be at 6 p.m. on August 6 in the council room. He said he has placed copies of the budget on the front counter and residents may examine the budget there, or they may purchase a copy for $2.70, which is the cost of copying the information.
- Pickens told the council the ADA lift for the municipal swimming pool has arrived. He said that since the pool will close August 20, he and pool manager Beth Peter decided to wait until next season to install it.
The next regular meeting of Peabody City Council will be at 7 p.m., August 13 in the council room.