MOUND CITY – Mound City Police Chief Paul McKee is expected to be on the injured list for the next several weeks, possibly as long as mid-September. Mound City Mayor Wade Doering told the city council at its July 6 meeting that the police chief was suffering from a torn Achilles tendon.
Police Officer Chip More, the city’s other full-time police officer, will take over many of McKee’s duties until he is able to return to full service.
Doering asked More if the city’s part-time officers were going to step up to fill in during McKee’s absence.
More didn’t sound optimistic that they would. “It’s not the first time I’ve been the only person,” he said.
Doering cautioned More against trying to take up too much of the slack. “Don’t kill yourself,” he said.
More did indicate that McKee is going to do some administrative work. He said the police chief was working to secure new radios for the department. He said that the borrowed county radios the department has been using were due to be returned.
The officer said that finding the radios wasn’t the main problem, it was finding chips that would allow them to connect to the county’s network.
The council also took the first look at budget numbers for 2024 prepared by City Clerk Shelby Murray. Council members agreed with Murray’s recommendation to go above the revenue-neutral rate of about 60.5 mills. Her recommendation was to approve a budget of about 66.5 mills for 2024.
A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation. Kansas has a statewide assessment percentage of 11.5% for residences, so a house with an appraised market value of $100,000 would have a tax assessment value of $11,500. If the tax rate on that residence is one mill, the tax levied would be $11.50.
Murray said one mill in the city’s budget would raise more than $5,950 per year. The city’s assessed valuation increased from $5.4 million in 2023 to $5.95 million for 2024.
For 2023, the city’s mill levy is 66.5 mills and generates nearly $396,000 in ad valorem taxes for the city. Murray said that to generate that same amount of money for 2024 in taxes, the mill rate needed to be bumped up to 66.5 mills.
In other business, the council:
• Approved allowing Blue Dog Wine Co. to have sidewalk seating in front of The Coyote wine tasting room at 509 Main Street.
Discussed whether to build a restroom for the campground at the city lake. Both city superintendent John Bruns and consultant Josh Baldwin agreed that portable toilets were cleaner and a better option because it didn’t pull a city worker away from doing other work to clean them.
Learned that Bruns has developed a list of streets to be resurfaced when the county asphalt crew becomes available later this year.
Discussed purchasing a $4,500 mower for the front of the city’s skid-steer loader that can be used at the lake for mowing.
Discussed repairing and selling the city’s loader and leasing a replacement for an estimated $850 a month. Doering suggested looking at leasing an excavator and loader and keeping the current loader as a backup. Baldwin said he would look at costs and present them at the August meeting.