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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Proposed Pleasanton budget below revenue-neutral rate

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Pleasanton City Councilman Jake Mattingley presents a certificate of appreciation to Lynnae Sullins during Monday night's councll meeting. He said he wanted to recognize Sullins for her contributions to the community (Roger Sims/Linn County Journal)

PLEASANTON – Pleasanton City Administrator Teresa Whitaker presented a 2024 budget to members of the city council on Monday, July 3. If adopted the budget will be within the revenue-neutral guidelines issued by the Kansas Legislature.

All local governments – including counties, cities, school boards, townships, library district, and cemetery districts – must inform the county clerk by July 15 if their budgets will exceed the revenue-neutral rate in 2024. If the budgets will exceed the revenue-neutral rate, those taxing entities must schedule a hearing and notify taxpayers by mail if they will exceed that rate.

If the council adopts the proposed budget of 79.054 mills, it will be the second year in a row that the mill levy has dropped. It was 93.38 mills in 2022 and 85.742 mills in 2023.

A hearing on the budget is expected to be at 6 p.m. on Aug. 7 at city hall.

A mill is $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation. Kansas has a statewide assessment percentage of 11.5 percent, 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.

While the mill levy is expected to decrease, the total assessed valuation of property in the city continued to increase to over $7.9 million. For 2023, the assessed valuation was nearly $7.32 million, up from more than $6.72 million in 2022.

Except for streets, the proposed budget expects that expenditures will be down in the coming year. The total of expenditures this year is expected to be almost $2.2 million; that is expected to drop to about $1.98 million. The consolidated streets budget will increase from nearly $318,000 to more than $355,000.

That does not take into account passage of the 1% city sales tax proposed for the November election. That additional sales tax is slated to be used only on streets and is expected to raise about $300,000 annually.

Whitaker did ask the council to approve an amended resolution concerning the sales tax. The new resolution corrected an error, however, it also would allow the city to purchase equipment necessary to maintain streets, a provision that was overlooked in the original resolution.

The council also:

  • Approved a request by water aerobics instructor Kym Hargrove to allow her morning and evening classes to use the municipal swimming pool until Aug. 31. Because of school starting in mid-August, the pool was slated to close on July 31 because of lack of lifeguards and other personnel. However, Whitaker said the pool could stay open as long as Aug. 12 with an additional couple of weekends if enough staff members stay on.

  • Approved a request by Michael Shapel to receive city assistance in the demolition of a house at 205 W. Fourth St. Whitaker said the structure met the qualifications for the program.

  • Learned that Eagle Scout candidate Mason Barron planned to install two park benches in a city park on the northeast corner of Eighth and Main streets for his project. The city public works department has already purchased the materials for the installation.

  • Approved granting police officer Mason Roberts $500, the second half of his sign-on bonus, plus a 50-cent-an-hour raise for his one year anniversary.

  • Heard Councilman Jake Mattingley commend Lynnae Sullins, manager of Food Fair grocery store, for her support for the city and contributions to the community.

  • Approved applying for KANPAY, a system that allows the city to take credit card payments without having to pay a fee. Residents who use a credit card to pay fees and fines will still be charged a fee for use of the card.

  • Approved waiving the fee for the farmers’ market to use the Pleasanton Community Center every Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. When asked what would happen if a group wanted to rent the center on a Tuesday evening, Whitaker said that only use she was aware of on a Tuesday evening was as a polling place. The council will look at the matter again in early September to decide if the use of the building should be extended. In arguing for the farmers’ market, Mattingley said farmers benefit the whole community.

  • Approved application forms for scholarships to the Southeast Technical Academy for Rural Students (STARS) program. The scholarships are for students who attend one year of a two-year program during their senior year and want to continue the second year after they graduate from high school. The $1,000 scholarship could pay for tuition, textbooks, mandatory clothing and supplies. The council has approved two scholarships each year, one in memory of Casey Osbourne and the other in memory of Russell Purdy.

  • Approved a new policy that regulates the use of credit cards by city employees.

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