Marion residents may face milll-levy increase for 2009 budget

The City of Marion is caught in budget shortfalls that City Manager David Mayfield told the Marion City Council Monday probably will result in a 2.24 mill levy increase.

Mayfield explained this increase would amount to 27 cents per thousand dollars of assess valuation or $27 on a $100,000 home.

The city has no carryover into next year?s budget, Mayfield said, in part because of high fuel prices and inflation that are hurting everybody, and in part because of unanticipated outlays that totaled close to $100,000.

Mayfield said those unanticipated outlays included such items as additions to the swimming pool that weren?t budgeted and new restrooms at ball fields.

Mayfield recommended the council for lookomg at cutting expenses or reexamining costs in several areas. For instance, he said transfers to the equipment reserve fund could be cut, which would have the effect of setting the city back two years on its five-year plan.

He said $13,000 could be saved by not giving employee bonuses next year. He said the council could look at cuts in such areas as $17,000 for the rec commission, $7,000 to the Chamber of Commerce, and $1,000 to Communities In Schools.

He noted that the city encounters all of the budget increases faced by families, ?only on a larger scale.?

City Attorney Dan Baldwin asked Nick Nickelson, chairman of the zoning board, to schedule a meeting with the board for Baldwin to advise where the city will move on a question of writing an order that will enforce a board decision to declare the Jex Addition strictly a residential area, not open to commercial development.

Nickelson said at issue was an appeal to allow commercial activity there based on semi-truck parking that the board decided didn?t fit with the zoning regulations and intentions for Jex Addition.

The board had kept a separate attorney from the city?s for the appeal in case the issue went against the city.

Baldwin said that the board acted in a quasi-judiciary function legally which means it can write an opinion that can be used for misdemeanor infraction if it is violated.

Attorney Bob Brookens told the council that the Lorraine B. Hadsell Trust is giving $8,000 as a donation to the Central Park improvement group.

Mayfield said Flaming Heat?ing-Air Conditioning Inc. provided central air conditioning at the baseball concessions stand that has helped workers during the Cal Ripken Tournament.

Mayfield said he has been receiving compliments from coaches and parents for the facilities and ?they?re very happy for the way they?ve been received by the community.?

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