Recycling at risk if revenue drops

By MATTHEW REZAB
m.rezab@beeherald.com

Jefferson City Clerk Diane Kennedy told the city council Tuesday the total city tax levy for fiscal-year 2018 will be $15.15 per $1,000 in valuation — down $0.07 from 2017.

“We were able to drop the Debt Service levy enough to bring the total levy down again this year,” Kennedy said. “ The levy has decreased $0.15 over the past five years.”

If approved by the council after a public hearing, the General Fund levy would be raised $0.25 to $12.83, while the Debt Service levy would go down $0.32 to $2.32 per $1,000.

The total tax asking is up more than $71,000 to $1.96 million, including $333,793 for debt service.

Property valuation saw a $21.12 million increase from 2015 to 2016, the last time it was measured.

Residential properties will be responsible for paying on 56.94 percent of the home valuation. Commercial properties pay 90 percent and multi-family dwellings pay 82.5 percent.

Most department expenditure estimates remained relatively close to fiscal 2017 levels with the exception of the Local Option Sales Tax. The LOST fund is expected to increase $311,947 to a total of $665,947 in fiscal 2018 mostly due to an extra $250,000 set aside for street improvements.

Kennedy told the council it may have to consider making some changes or getting rid of the recycling program if revenues continue to fall.

“The entire market just went in the tank a few years ago,” Kennedy said. “That’s why we had to stop picking up glass, we were literally paying someone to come pick it up for us.”

The proposed fiscal 2018 budget calls for a $32,001 loss to operate the program.

“It’s something we should look into,” Councilman Dave Sloan said. “At some point it doesn’t become worth it from a fiscal point of view.”

In other business, the council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance resulting in a $1 monthly charge to be added to Jefferson water bills.

The money will be used to pay for tree and brush disposal.

The council also unanimously approved a 10-month contract for Micah Destival to continue his role as manager of Jefferson Community Golf Course for $40,019 in 2017.

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