Archive for Monday, July 6, 2009

De Soto city administrator presents proposed 2010 budget

July 6, 2009

City Administrator Pat Guilfoyle last Thursday presented the De Soto City Council with an historic 2010 budget.

The $7.52 million budget was noteworthy in two aspects: It was the first without a city fire service, and it was prepared in very challenging economic times.

Those times got even more challenging July 1 with the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office’s most recent valuation estimates. The estimates revised the city’s overall valuation down from the 2.3 percent decrease estimated in March to a 5.7 percent decrease.

That new estimated reduced with value of 1 mill to $54,931, Guilfoyle said. The value of a mill in the 2009 budget was $58,251.

The valuation decrease and a downturn nearly all the city’s revenue sources increased pressure on the mill levy, with would be 19.247 mills should the city council approve the budget as recommended.

However, there is more to the story because of the merger of the De Soto Fire Department and the Johnson County Rural Fire District No. 3 into the new Consolidated Northwest Johnson County Fire Department. In 2009, the mill levy for that part of the city served by the De Soto Fire Department was 27.335 mills, with the fire department contributing 10.128 mill to that levy (the city’s mill levy in the part of the city served by the rural fire district was 17.207).

The committee coordinating the fire service merger also prepared a budget for publication with the release of the valuation estimates. The consolidated department’s first mill levy will be 9.666 mills.

Guilfoyle said that confirmed the assumption that in regards to property tax support those served by the current De Soto Fire Department would benefit slightly from the merger and those in the current fire district would pay a bit more.

Guilfoyle said the city’s utility funds were performing well. A 3.5 percent increase in water rates and 6.2 percent increase in sewer rates were penciled in for Jan. 1, 2010, but the city administrator said with a strong second half to the year those increases could be revisited.

There would be no need to increase the refuse rate, Guilfoyle said.

The council will review the proposed 2010 budget for suggestions at its July 16 meeting. Numbers will be tweaked based on council comment with the budget set to be approved for publication Aug. 6. A public hearing on the 2010 budget and its final adoption is scheduled for Aug. 20.

Read more about the budget in Thursday’s De Soto Explorer or online later this week.

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