Budget hearing set for Tuesday
The public hearing for the city's 2001 budget will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Baldwin City fire station.
City Administrator Larry Paine said city staff will use input from the City Council and public to prepare the final budget. The council will meet at least two more times to discuss the budget in a work session, including at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the public works office.
Last week, while the budget was more of a work in progress than it is now, Paine was working on a $5.8 million budget supported by 33.2 mills. A mill is $1 in property taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.
After adding the complete cost of several construction projects including relocation of the city's waterline that runs through the Baker Wetlands, reconstruction of Sixth Street south of U.S. Highway 56, upgrades to the city's electric distribution system and an engineering study for a new wastewater treatment plant the budget presented Tuesday night will be about $8.8 million supported by about 40.5 mills. The projects are being paid for over several years through bonds.
"This is the classic case of a double budget," Paine said. "I have to show the cost of construction and I also have to show the debt payment."
"That's the highest the budget can go," Paine said of the changes to the 2001 budget. "The only thing we can do to change the budget is to make it lower."
At this time last year, Paine was predicting the need for a 40 mill budget.
"There will be increases in the property tax mill levy," Paine said. "Whether it is out to 40 or not is debatable. It will be higher than 35 mills, what it is this year, but it won't be as high as 40. That's my guess."
Paine said there are three funds still out of balance electricity, water and waste water because of salary changes. A deficit of about $250,000 can be mostly be attributed to increasing salaries as recommended by the League of Kansas Municipalities.
The $7.1 million 2000 budget is supported by 35.051 mills. The valuation of property within Baldwin City increased from $13.9 million last year to $15.5 for the 2001 budget.
Paine said as long as the budget is not increased, city staff can make changes to the budget following the hearing. The budget is set for approval at the regular Aug. 7 meeting.