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Estherville City council approves $24 million budget

Clayton says backfill included

February 23, 2018
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

The Estherville City Council approved its budget for fiscal year 2019 at Monday night's meeting.

"Taxpayers will see a decrease of about $11.00 per $1,000 valuation on regular property," said Estherville City Administrator Penny Clayton

The estimated total tax levy rate is $16.19718 per thousand; on agricultural land, the levy rate is $3.00375.

The annual budget for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 was approved in the amount of $24,161,977.

Clayton said the amount includes anticipated backfill payments from the state of Iowa.

Governor Kim Reynolds has indicated she will not commit to continuing to backfill declining property tax revenues. This is a reversal from 2013 when sweeping property tax cuts resulted in lawmakers promising the state would backfill lost property tax revenues.

According to the state Department of Management, the city of Estherville received $86,414.75 in backfill for fiscal year 2017; $89,171.78 in fiscal year 2016, and $44,389.79 in fiscal year 2015.

Iowa Senate president Jack Whitver has gone public with the idea that the legislature will phase out the backfill program.

In other business the council approved a request from library staff member Marcia Huntsinger to continue working past her 74th birthday, March 2, 2018. Huntsinger has worked at the library since Nov. 15, 1999.

The council also reviewed the park maintenance report submitted by parks maintenance supervisor Roger Hash.

"It seemed like they were understaffed in the prior year; this year they have done a great job," Clayton said.

Council member Ann Goebel asked if Hash's position as an Emmet County Supervisor was a conflict of interest with his city employment.

"It's not," Clayton said. "One function does not cross over with the other."

The council also approved a FASTAct grant application, which, if approved, will allow the city to complete resurfacing work on South First Street in the summer of 2022.

The council also approved a tax abatement for Paul and Lynda Martens for their home at 1632 365th Ave. and approved changes to the bond resolution for Avera Holy Family Hospital.

The next meeting of the Estherville City Council will take place March 5 at 5 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall.



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