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Ellsworth approves 2013 budget

POSTED: August 15, 2012 7:00 a.m.

Following a budget hearing with only one guest, members of the Ellsworth City Council approved the 2013 document Monday at their regular meeting.
The mill levy remains the same as in 2012; however, officials approved an ordinance attesting to an increase in tax revenue because the same levy will raise more dollars in the next budget year.
City administrator Tim Vandall said the city’s general fund budget authority will be a little more than $2 million, a moderate increase from previous years; however, 5 percent from each fund will be set aside for budget stabilization.
The city’s 2012 budget authority was about $1.986 million.
Vandall said Ellsworth’s total valuation increased 10 percent, but almost $38,000 of that increase will be rebated to property owners through the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Program.
Vandall said local and county sales tax collections also have increased. Ellsworth alone jumped 20 percent to $198,949 through June 2012.
“Although these numbers are positive, we will continue to budget conservatively for sales tax numbers if 2013, since some of the increase may have been due to wind farm and other work crews staying in Ellsworth,” Vandall said.
He said revenue at the Ellsworth Municipal Golf Course also increased, 18 percent to $57,775 in the first six months of 2012.
The only public comment came from Keith Adams, who questioned the future of state dollars.
“Whatever you’re counting on coming from Topeka, I wouldn’t count on it,” he said.
“In other business:
• Council member John Whitmer asked for clarification on the First Bank Kansas development, which is part of a city-approved district where infrastructure costs will be paid by increased property tax values. Whitmer and other council members said they thought First Bank Kansas planned to donate 10 housing lots to the Smoky Hill Development Corporation; however, the councilman said he was told the bank plans to retain three of the lots and sell them. Six others will be donated to the development corportation, which also plans to put the lots on the market.  First Bank also retained land for a strip mall as part of the development.

Pick up a copy of the Aug. 16 edition of the I-R for more on the city council story, including an update on the city's water situation and action by the council to condemn said for a new airport runway.

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