As the end of the city’s fiscal year approaches the Lexington City Council is putting the final touches on the 2018-19 budget. At their regular meeting last Tuesday night the Lexington City Council reviewed a proposed $7.7 million budget.
That figure includes the general fund and enterprise budgets, noted City Manager Joe Pepplitsch.
The property tax call for 2018-19 is estimated at $1.28 million, pending receipt of the final valuation from the county assessor, said Pepplitsch. “The tax levy is slightly under fiscal 2017-18 and sits right at 36 cents.”
Among the budget requests will be money for some equipment purchases for the street department, some beautification and improvement projects and possible construction of another hike-bike trail segment, said the city manager.
On the revenue side, Pepplitsch said the city has planned a 1 percent electric rate increase, but may not need it based on an anticipated increase in electrical customers.
Under the water department budget the good news is the city will be paying off a number of bonds, so Pepplitsch said they are pretty comfortable on the rate side. They have some water production/supply projects in mind, but may not get to them this fiscal year.
The sewer department is finishing up the Southview project and that budget will rebound as it is paid off.
Following the review the council set a public hearing on the 2018-19-city budget for Sept. 11.
In other budget action the council passed Resolution 2018-09, which set the Airport Authority levy request at $150,000 for 2018-19. Pepplitsch noted this is an increase from last year to handle expenses association with major repairs to a lift station.
In other fiscal news the council heard from bond counselor Marc Munford of Emeritus regarding a bond-refunding ordinance. Because of a decline in bond interest rates, Munford noted that refinancing the utilities revenue refunding bonds could save an estimated $82,000 by having them run through 2027 instead of 2028.
The council suspended the rules and adopted Ordinance 2410 with parameters to refinance up to $1.95 in bonds. Munford said he hoped the bonds could be marketed in the next two weeks so the transaction could be completed in this fiscal year.
In other action the council authorized the city manager to advertise for bids for the West Commerce Road project. Plans are to take Commerce Road and extend the current apron off Highway 283 and extend the road west to the property line with Holiday Inn Express and also the new Burger King development, said Pepplitsch. “This will improve access to the Holiday Inn off the frontage road and also to the Burger King development,” he said.
Burger King dollars and TIF (tax increment financing) dollars will be used for the project, which improves the potential for westward development with the new access, said Pepplitsch.
The council met as a Board of Adjustment to pass Ordinance 2409 to assess fees for property maintenance. Property owners and their assessments included: Kevin Keithley, $4,850 for demolition of a garage; Arturo Pastor Gomez, $74.40 for tree trimming damage; Elvis Ramirez, $724.80 for tree trimming damage; and Manuel Olmos Ruiz, $507.20 for tree trimming damage.
The council also suspended the rules and on third and final reading passed an ordinance to rezone property at 210 W. 17th from R-1 to R-3, high-density residential. A developer has created three residential units in the old hatchery at that location.