Marion public hearing for 2011 budget set for Aug. 23

A public hearing on the 2011 Marion city budget will begin at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 23, prior to the regular council meeting.

With a proposed 2.24 mill levy increase projected, the hearing will offer taxpayers an opportunity to make their opinions heard.

The purpose of the public hearing, according to city officials, is in answering objections by taxpayers related to the proposed use of all funds.

Three major reasons for the proposed increase include inflation, sharing part of the cost with the county in order to receive a grant that will benefit Marion Reservoir and the need for federal flood dike certification through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

To receive the FEMA flood dike certification, it will cost the city an estimated $50,000 for the necessary work.

Without the certification, the alternative would be every homeowner, business and public entity would be required to buy flood insurance.

Another expense in 2011, which was not budgeted for in the past, is $7,500 of the $30,000 needed for a local match in order to receive $300,000 in federal monies to benefit Marion Reservoir. The local match would go toward continuing water quality monitoring.

The $300,000 grant would address blue-green algae and diminishing water capacity.

Using the service grant, ponds could be built to capture silt or dredge ponds with large backhoes to slow down the algae.

Other projects or purchases slated in 2011 include the replacement of water lines and sewers in one portion of the city and rotating out some city equipment and vehicles.

This is the third year the city is asking for an increase in the mill levy.

A small tax increase was approved for the 2010 budget and in 2009 the mill levy was increased by 2.9 mills.

A copy of the budget and other related information is available at Marion City Hall, 208 Santa Fe St. before and at hearing next week or for more information, call 620-382-3703.

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