Resolution passes in lead up to 2022 budget discussion

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe

City commissioners approved a resolution to authorize the amount of property tax to be levied to exceed the revenue neutral rate on Monday.

According to city finance director Nicole May, the revenue neutral rate established for the city is 44.297 mills and the anticipated preliminary mill levy for the 2022 budget is 44.355

"So this is .058 mills above the revenue neutral rate," May said. "These are new items beginning this year. Back in March the Legislature approved a Senate Bill 13 which requires any taxing subdivision that intends to exceed their Revenue Neutral Rate to have a public hearing and also adopt this resolution prior to their 2022 budget."

Commissioner Kent Smoll asked when the public hearing took place where the revenue neutral rate was approved, where was the budget approval.

"We'll do it next meeting," May said.

Commissioner Joseph Nuci also asked why the Dodge City Public Library and debt service were raised mill levies.

"Could we not have lowered one of those," Nuci said. "The library went up .126 and the debt service went up .548."

May said they could have lowered them but they looked at more of the total mill levy and that it wasn't necessarily a bad thing to have the hearing.

"Especially in a growing community like ours," May said.

City manager Nick Hernandez went on to say that the commissioners have the option to lower which mill levy they saw fit to which Nuci pushed for a lowering for the library.

"The problem is we really don't go through the library expenditures right and left," Smoll said. "They have their own separate board and yeah this is what their board says they need and are probably within the state statute limitations. There's only so many mills that a library can levy, they're still within that so. I think for us to sit here and tell them they can't do it."

Nuci added, "It's not the library's fault at all I'm just saying it's an easy cut to get the revenue neutral rate."

The resolution passed with a 4-1 vote with Nuci being the lone nay vote.

Commissioners also approved a request from the Community Housing Association of Dodge City to submit an application for Moderate Income Housing grant as a partnership with the City of Dodge City.

According to assistant director of Dodge City/Ford County Economic Development Mollea Wainscott, the approval of the resolution will allow the developer to apply for funding through the MIH program offered through the KHRC for development of housing targeted towards moderate income units.

The housing association will be looking for three new renovations to take place in Dodge City.

The resolution was approved with a 5-0 vote.

A bid from Kansas Golf and Turf was approved for 10 new golf cars for $50,000. According to the city, Mariah Hills Golf Course numbers are up and the purchase will reduce the need for rent cars for events.

With the purchase, the parks department will move back its purchase of $30,000 tee mowers and will not purchase a pull behind mower that had been previously budgeted which led to no need for extra money to be used towards the golf cars purchase.

The approval for the new golf cars was made unanimously in favor of the purchase.

A quote of Well 25 repairs was made from Layne Christensen Company out of Wichita in the amount of $36,311 was presented to the commission.

According to public works director Corey Keller, a few years ago, well 25 developed a cavitation issue which caused air to be forced into the water system. The well was allowed to sit unpumped for some time to see if the well would recover on its own.

Keller said that tests were done on the well and it was determined a well rehab was needed.

The city had allocated $$175,000 to the 2021 budget for well rehabs.

The rehab of well 25 was approved unanimously for the $36,311.

To contact the writer email vmarshall@gannett.com