The Palestine City Council approved a proposed tax rate of .639 cents per $100 valuation for the 2012-13 fiscal year during Monday’s regular meeting, but the city must hold a pair of public hearings since the proposed rate is higher than the effective tax rate.
The proposed rate is the same as the current fiscal year’s rate, but, under state law, the city must conduct two public hearings since the rate is higher than the effective rate of .633642 cents per $100 valuation.
The effective tax rate is the rate which would produce the same amount of revenue as the current 2011-12 fiscal year.
Public hearings on the city’s proposed tax rate are scheduled for Monday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Under state law, the council could ultimately approve a lower tax rate than .639 cents per $100 valuation next month, but not a higher one, Palestine City Secretary Janelle Williams explained to council members Monday.
Council member Steve Presley complimented City Manager Mike Ohrt for doing an “excellent job” of crafting the city’s 2012-13 budget, but noted there are still a number of items “we need to address.”
The council unanimously approved the proposed tax rate following a motion by Presley and a second by Vernon Denmon Jr.
The city’s fiscal year begins on Oct. 1 each year and runs through Sept. 30.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the council approved a budget amendment of $7,905 within the police department’s budget, transferring monies from the agency’s seized fund account-to-small tools and equipment.
Palestine Police Lt. Jeff Powell told council members that the transferred monies would be used to outfit more of the agency’s 12 patrol units with radar. The department has been leasing radar equipment in recent years, but the lieutenant explained that Palestine Police Chief Robert Herbert has decided to incrementally purchase the equipment rather than continue to lease it.
Monday’s budget adjustment will mean “seven or eight” of the agency’s 12 patrol units will have radar, according to Powell.
The remaining three or four units will get radar as the funding becomes available, he added.
In other business Monday, the council also:
• APPROVED an expenditure of up to $75,000 to purchase playground equipment for Willie Myers Park.
• APPROVED an expenditure of up to $45,000 to purchase park amenities.
• APPROVED declaring surplus property and authorized the city manager to dispose of it in an appropriate manner.
• APPROVED an ordinance regulating camping in public places.
• APPROVED an ordinance approving a zoning change from C-4, Highway Commercial District, to R-1, Single Family Detached Low Density District, located at 203 Ragland St., both properties being part of Lot 2, Block 18 of the Estates Addition, and a southern portion of 837 Turner Dr. being part of Tract 6, County Block No. 853 of the S.G. Wells Survey, as described in the Anderson County District Map Records, Applicant The Church of Glad Tidings.
• APPROVED an ordinance approving amendments to Appendix A, Zoning, Article 16, General Provisions, Section 16.13, Outdoor Storage and Display Requirements, and Section 16.17, Temporary Sales and Special Events, Applicant City of Palestine.
• APPROVED a residential subdivision replat consolidating Lots 14 and 15 (2015 Court Dr.) and part of Lot 10 (located directly north of Lots 14 and 15) to create Lot 14-R and also creating Lot 10-R out of the remainder of Lot 10 which will face Salt Works Road, all of which are part of Block 2 of the Lakewood Addition as recorded in envelope number 147-A of the Plat Records of Anderson County.
• APPROVED an ordinance amending Article III of Chapter 40 of the Code of Ordinances relating to Platting and Subdivision of Land.
• APPROVED readoption of Tax Abatement Policy.
• APPROVED a Facade Improvement Program Grant to Jerry Hatton, owner of 223 W. Crawford St., in the amount of $6,000.
• APPROVED a Facade Improvement Program Grant to Jason Dorsett, owner of 119 E. Oak St., in the amount of $19,000.
Paul Stone may be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com
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