City Manager Neil Fratus read a brief breakdown of the fixed tax rate proposal before city council Monday night in the conference room on the second floor of the Town Square building. The tax rate will remain at 26.713 mils for buildings and 71.25 mills on land. The 2023 garbage, water and sweage rates were set during the December 5 meeting.
"In a nutshell: No tax increase," Fratus told council Monday night.
The spending plan was developed through a series of meetings among city officials and employees and was open to the public throughout the process.
“It’s been a pleasure working with council, with Neil and with the department heads (and with our) financial supervisor to have a balanced budget. We had some raucous discussions at times but they were all public meetings. I think this year, we had seven and here we are at our second reading and we have a great budget," said Mayor Jon Crouch.
In other council news
- Fratus explained the police use of social media to learn the identity of an individual caught on camera defacating in a city grate near an elementary school. He explained it was not meant to embarrass anyone, rather obtain the identity of an individual who broke the law, which it did. The post appears to have been taken down after the identity of the person was determined. Fratus said police are dealing with the matter at this point.
- Work is starting to wrap up on the Diamond Park project. Fratus said most of the construction equipment is gone and sod is on its way. The project is expected to be completed in the spring. The city plans to apply for a Crawford Heritage Grant for things like benches and trash cans, according to Fratus.
- He also mentioned a need to revisit the city's dumpster ordinance in the coming year to address new concerns and the recent change in refuse haulers. The city also issued a reminder to residents via social media on how and when to put out and take cans back from the curb.
- Under new business, Fratus mentioned updates to employee policies which create a written dress code for city staff and brings safety policies up-to-date. It also mandates that city drivers must update their CDL licenses every three years unless an accident precipitates sooner action.
The next council meeting was scheduled for January 2, but has been moved to January 3 at 6:30 p.m. because the 2nd is New Years Day observed.