Florence council discusses levy increase for 2007 budget

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN MICHELLE AVIS
The Florence City Council began discussing the city budget at the July 17 meeting.

The general fund and many other line items increased because of last year’s expenditures. A new line item was created for donations to the Marion/Florence Recreation Commission.

The council discussed increasing the mill levy from 86.614; the highest allowable increase would raise it to 87.389. This and other line item increases will be discussed at upcoming budget hearings.

Councilor Ed Robinson suggested council meeting times be changed back to 4:30 for the convenience of city employees. The motion was approved with Dan Ludwig opposing. Councilors will research whether a resolution must be made to change any existing ordinances on meeting times.

The council will send a negative response to a state survey on the water filtration plant’s certification. Although councilors felt the survey might affect future grants, they believe the experimental plant had not met expectations. An excessive number of repairs have been necessary since the plant was built.

The council also agreed to close several downtown streets during the Labor Day weekend. Additional trash removal will be provided and the city will share in the cost of portable toilets and extra police coverage for the weekend.

In other business, the council:

accepted the resignation of city superintendent Jeff Wagner. Councilors will meet with city workers to discuss reassignment of duties.

heard that Mid-Cap’s Les Littlejohn has found a bank willing to supply the tax credit necessary to reapply for a low-income housing project grant when it becomes available again.

will ask the state not to make a cul-de-sac on a short section of southbound 8th Street that will be made a dead end by the roundabout. It would instead be left open for driveway access and marked as a dead end.

will look into the feasibility of selling water to highway crews for seeding along newly constructed highway.

heard a protest from Councilor Dan Ludwig over an excessive water bill. Ludwig asked to have it looked into, which prompted a few other residents to mention recent jumps in their bills.

held a 30-minute executive session to discuss land acquisition.

will have city workers apply millings to an area a resident says is being worn down by the city trash truck.

announced that Mark Bishop will be getting state certification in wastewater treatment.

approved fire department repairs to a tanker truck at an estimated cost of $200.

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