Board OKs recreation mill increase
The Baldwin City Recreation Commission is raising its budget about $40,000 by increasing the property taxes it levies by 1 mill.
Monte Ezell, director of the recreation commission, said it has been about four years since the commission has sought to increase its mill levy. The commission is seeking an increase from 2.5 mills to 3.5 mills. The recreation commission board approved the increase and held a public hearing on July 20.
The increase is needed for additional programs and undertakings, Ezell said. He said an average household would be paying $7-11 more a year in property taxes with the increase.
About 40 percent of the 1 mill increase will be applied to operating expenses of the city swimming pool, which the recreation commission started managing this summer. Other portions of the 1 mill increase will be used for:
Programs, including outdoor recreation trips.
Hiring a part-time employee to handle some of the programming at the recreation commission.
Maintenance of the ballfields, which underwent a major improvement this year.
And having funds available to apply toward the purchase of land for recreation activities, if the opportunity should arise.
"We want to make sure we are in a position to do something if an opportunity comes along," said Ezell of ongoing needs for recreation facilities.
Board members of the commission want to continue to build on improvements to the ballfields, including painting and fence repair.
"We don't want to lose that investment," said recreation board member Alan Schmidt.
Ezell said there used to be a 4-mill cap on recreation commission budgets, but that was lifted this year. However, recreation commission budgets are limited to a 1 mill increase a year.
As it has in the past, the recreation commission will use half a mill for its employee benefit fund, which covers health insurance, liability insurance, payroll taxes and other professional services.
The recreation commission's budget is included with the Baldwin school district's budget, and school board members unanimously approved the 1-mill increase on Monday night. A legal notice is printed on page B-4.