McCOOK, Nebraska -- The McCook City Council will consider a request from city staff to increase the restricted funds limit, which includes property tax and local option sales tax. The request is for one percent in addition to the base increase of 2.5 percent already allowed for unused restricted funds authority, and would be a necessary first step for future increases in those funds.
Other funds capped by the restricted funds limit are payments in lieu of property tax, local option sales tax, motor vehicle tax, certain state aid, surplus fees and unspent prior years budgeted capital improvements.
Councilors will consider the request during their semi-monthly meeting, Monday evening, 7:30 p.m., at Memorial Auditorium.
According to the meeting agenda, a vote for the increase has no effect on tax dollars, however it would allow for future growth in restricted funds. "If it would become necessary to increase our levy to the maximum of $.45 to maintain services, we may not be able to do so if we did not have any unused restricted funds authority available," explained city staff in the report.
75 percent of city council members must vote to approve the additional one percent increase, in order for it to be authorized.
A public hearing is also scheduled during the meeting, with the purpose of hearing opposition, criticism, suggestions or observations of taxpayers relating to the proposed 2011-12 annual city budget. Following the hearing two ordinances will be considered for approval, one to introduce and approve the 2011-12 budget and the second to do the same for the 2011-12 city employee pay plan.
Overall the city budget is proposed to increase to $31,983,399, which is up by $5,723,307 from the prior year's $26,260,092. The personal services category of the 2011-12 budget, which includes the employee classification pay plan as well as other benefits, is set to increase to $3,648,300, which is up $121,380 from the prior year. $1,770,000 is budgeted for the wildlife fence at the McCook airport and $3,750,000 is budgeted for the new municipal facility that is scheduled to break ground in August.
If approved, the reading of the two ordinances will be the first of three required before final approval can be reached.
A second public hearing is also scheduled to set the final tax request at a different amount than was set the prior year. The proposed property tax rate of .319044 is not recommended to change, however the amount of property tax requested is anticipated to increase by $1,135 in accordance with changes to the assessed valuation.
Other items on the consent and regular agenda:
* A resolution will be considered that approves the Federal Funds Purchase Program Agreement between the Nebraska Department of Roads and the City of McCook. The agreement focuses on eliminating federal aid requirements for completing road, bridge and trail projects which utilize federal dollars and is anticipated to add flexibility to the types of projects which qualify, as well as decrease the time required to complete those projects.
* A proclamation will be presented for approval, at the request of the McCook Community Foundation Fund, that designates the month of August 2011, as "Random Acts of Kindness Month."
* St. Patrick Catholic Church has requested to close East Fourth Street from F Street to G Street, as well as East G Street from East Third Street to East Fourth Street. The closure will be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sept. 18, 2011, for their annual fall festival.
* Sehnert's Bakery and Bieroc Cafe has requested a special liquor license for a Sept. 9, 2011, event at the Fox Theater, as well as a Sept. 10, 2011, event at the Keystone Business Center.
* A resolution will be considered that designates City Clerk Lea Ann Doak and Public Works Director Kyle Potthoff as trustees of the City of McCook Employee Retirement Plan, replacing Kim McConville and Kurt Fritsch.