HOLCOMB — Following a public hearing during which no one spoke, the Holcomb City Council approved the city’s $5.4 million 2018 budget.

Holcomb’s budget includes a 44.523 mill levy, a reduction from the 2017 levy of 47.156 mills.

Holcomb’s total assessed valuation grew to $12.48 million, about a $500,000 increase from last year. Under next year’s proposed budget, Holcomb would need about $555,524 in property taxes to support the budget, about an $11,000 increase over the 2017 budget.

The owner of a $150,000 home in Holcomb would pay about $768 in property taxes next year, or about $45 less than this year.

A Holcomb homeowner’s property tax bill also includes levies from Holcomb USD 363, Finney County and Garden City Community College.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, Mayor Gary Newman said the decrease in the mill levy follows a trend that has been set by past and present commissioners.

“That goes to each of the home owners and reduces the property tax on it,” Newman said of the mill levy decrease. “I think that the council, we really followed in the trend that we’ve tried to practice year after year with being conservative, but still allowing us to plan ahead.”

In other business:

• The governing body was updated on the City’s disposal service agreement with Waste Connections Inc. The City’s agreement ends Dec. 31, 2026, and the rate per ton disposal schedule increases every three years. The next rate increase will go into effect Jan. 1, 2018. The current rate is $45.24 and will increase to $47.04 in 2018.

• The governing body approved a $330,000 bid from Bryant & Bryant Construction, Inc., Halstead, for sidewalk and pedestrian improvements in Holcomb as part of the Safe Routes to School project.

The project is intended to provide safe zones around schools. Safe Routes to School is a federal reimbursement program from the Kansas Department of Transportation that provides funding for infrastructural projects and educational activities that assist cities, counties and school districts in their efforts to create opportunities for children to walk or bike to school more safely. Newman said he and city officials would have to get with the Holcomb USD 363 to let them know a new project could be on the horizon.

• The city of Holcomb was presented a dividend check for $7,150.39 from EMC Insurance, which provides insurance to Holcomb and other municipalities in the state.

Contact Josh Harbour at jharbour@gctelegram.com