City budget hearing scheduled Tuesday

7/13/2013

By The Telegram

By The Telegram

The public will have an opportunity to ask questions, make comments, or raise concerns about next year's budget during Tuesday's Garden City Commission meeting.

The meeting begins at 1 p.m. on the second floor of the City Administrative Center, 301 N. Eighth St. The budget hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

Currently, the city's draft 2014 budget includes about a $202,300 increase in ad valorem taxes, representing about a 1.2 mill increase, which would raise the overall mill levy from 38.982 this year to 40.188 for 2014.

The draft budget includes about $84.78 million in expenditures and about $6.74 million proposed to come from property taxes.

After the hearing, the commission could decide to approve the budget as is, or make changes to reduce the mill levy further. However, the city cannot increase the budget.

Other items on the agenda include:

* A review with the city's financial advisor and bond counsel bids for the sale of $8.4 million in general obligation bonds.

* Three items related to tax increment financing and community improvement district financing for the water park, hotel and restaurant development being developed by local hotelier Amro Samy and planned southeast of the Schulman Avenue and bypass intersection. The commission will also set a public hearing for those items.

* Discussion of a proposed increase in permit and inspection fees charged by the inspections department. On average, residential fees would increase by about 5.77 percent, and commercial fees by about 22.88 percent, if the proposal is approved.

* Discussion of a revised tax abatement policy, and a new cash incentives for job creation policy, prepared by Finney County Economic Development Corp.

* Discussion of a request from CCS Properties, LLC, owner of property at 704 N. Main St., for a waiver of eligibility requirements to allow participation in the Neighborhood Revitalization Program.

* Consideration of purchasing 218 acres of land, and about 439 acre feet of water rights for more than $1.15 million. The property is located east of the bypass and south of the BNSF Railroad property, and extends south to the Arkansas River and east to Jennie Barker Road and the wastewater treatment plant with the majority of the land currently being used for crop production.

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