October 31, 2014

Decreased utility values hit Edgerton’s bottom line

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com
Appraised property values in Johnson County are on the rise, city administrator Beth Linn told Edgerton City Council members June 27. However, overall appraised value of Edgerton is down 6.3 percent.
In order to garner the same amount of revenue the city generated through property taxes last year, the council would need to raise the tax rate, or mill levy, by 2.45 mills.
Linn said the reduction in value was due largely to the state’s valuation of Edgerton utilities, specifically BNSF and the KCP&L properties.
“We are going to communicate with the state to see why that’s going down,” Linn said.
City staff prepared a budget that assumed flat assessed valuations. Council members said they’d rather see expenditures cut rather than increase taxes.
“I am not in favor of raising the mill levy,” Mayor Don Roberts said.
Although she didn’t specify where cuts to the proposed almost $1 million tax revenue budget could be made, she said cuts would be doable. She also said that due to the opening of the intermodal, the city could see an increase in traffic ticket revenue.
Next year’s budget will require the addition of at least one employee at the under construction Killcreek Waste Water plant. She suggested it may be time for the city to divide the public works department into two separate ones – a wastewater division and a streets division.
“It might seem a little early to split into divisions,” she said.
She also suggested that the city should continue to monitor its use of contracted staff.
Another project that may see budget dollars is the addition of a stop light near the intermodal site. She said she hopes to work with the county and state on the signalization project.
The city is in a time of fluctuation, Linn told council members.
“We will continue to monitor contracted services to see where we may brush up against an amount of what it would cost to have someone on staff,” she said.
The city must submit its budget to the state no later than Aug. 25.
In other business, the Edgerton City Council:
• approved a request for a six-month exemption on a newstate law that requires municipal buildings to allow licensed persons to carry concealed weapons in public buildings.
• revoked Clear Satellite’s solicitors license after citizens complained that the sales people were claiming to represent the city of Edgerton.
• approved the second plat for a speculation warehouse at the Logistics Park Kansas City.

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