Budget, fireworks, water on council agenda
Property owners in the city of Wayne will not see any major change in the mill levy following the approval of the city's budget for fiscal year 2016-2017 at Tuesday's council meeting.
The total mill levy, which includes the tax asking for the General Fund, Debt Service Fund, Airport Fund and Airport Debt Fund is 44.995 cents per $100 in property valuation. This compares with 45.0295 cents in the 2015-2016 valuation.
The total asking is less than the 45¢ allowed by the state for the General Fund alone.
The valuation of property within the city increased from $201,911,956 in 2015 to $208,729,770 in 2016.
Nancy Braden, City Finance Director, told the council that among the changes in the upcoming year's budget is an increase in the amount that is being budgeted in the General Fund Reserve.
The city's auditors have indicated a need to build up the reserve to allow for unexpected expenditures.
Major items included in next year's budget include radio equipment for the police department, Phase II of the trail project, electrical upgrades in the older portions of the city and pumping of/removal of sludge from the lagoon.
Council members spent considerable time debating whether or not to allow Wayne State College to shoot off fireworks on Sept. 10 as part of a Family Day Football Game.
Wayne Fire Chief Phil Monahan told the council he did not feel comfortable signing the permit to allow for the fireworks due to the dry conditions and the fact that the area involved consisted of tall, dry grass and a number of dead trees.
Discussion was held on the possibility of moving the location of where the fireworks would be lit or changing the date of the fireworks display to coincide with Wayne State's Homcoming in early October.
"I feel that without a considerable amount of rain this week, I cannot sign off on this request. We can't get our trucks down into this area because of all the grass and dead trees so there is no way we can water the area down ahead of time," Monahan told the council.
Following debate, the council approved the college's request, contingent on the fire chief signing off on the event.
The possibility of hooking the city's water line into the Muhs' Acres Subdivision was discussed.
Steve Rames with McLaury Engineering told the council that an impact study was conducted on what this hookup would do with the water pressure to the homes in Muhs Acres. He said that his findings indicate "an almost unmeasurable drop in pressure."
Council members debated the impact and cost of different sizes of pipes and the length of these pipes to provide water to the Tuffrin Blue Subdivision.
Different options of getting water to the area were discussed, including installing water lines along 21st Street or along Pheasant Run north of Bomgaars to the area.
"We need to build a system for future development," Wayne Mayor Ken Chamberlain said.
Council members approved pay applications for work on the Wayne Aquatic Center Project and the 2015 Wastewater Treatment Facility Improvement Project and approved a certificate of substantial completion for the Wastewater Project.
City Administrator Lowell Johnson told the council that a tour of the facility will be conducted for council members and an open house for the community is being planned for October.
The council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.