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UC considering raising tax rate

UC considering raising tax rate

Posted: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 10:17 pm
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

By DONNA RYDER Messenger Associate Editor It may soon cost more to be a citizen of Union City. The Union City Council has announced its intentions of exceeding the state-certified tax rate and has passed a resolution increasing the cost of refuse collection. City manager Don Thornton said the city council will need to consider setting the tax rate at $2.02. Although the city’s property tax rate for the 2007-08 budget was $2.02 per $100 of assessed property, the rate is considered an increase because the certified rate, after the reappraisal process, was set at $1.82. “We will need the additional money to balance the budget,” he said. In order to exceed the certified tax rate, the city council must have a public hearing. That hearing has been set for Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. It will be followed by a special meeting of the council, the city’s orientation session and budget discussions. Councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison said several other towns have already published their notices to exceed their state-certified tax rates, adding, “We’re going to retain our present tax rate.” Mayor Terry Hailey responded that it’s “all how you look at it” on whether it’s considered an increase. For many years, the general fund has subsidized the refuse collection fund. The council voted Tuesday evening to increase refuse collection rates to make the fund self-supporting. Residential rates will increase from $11 per month to $13. The reduced low-rent public housing rates will be $8, up from $6. The commercial base rate will increase from $21.50 to $25.50, with the per-cubic-yard rate increasing from $8.25 to $9. When commercial and industrial waste have to be picked up by hand, the charge will now be $100 per hour, with the time charged in 15-minute increments. The rate for carnivals and special events which are in town for more than one day and less than a week will be $800, with $400 returned if they clean up after themselves. The charges for such events which are in the city for less than a day will be $400, with $100 refunded if they clean up. “This should make it solvent, where it stands alone,” Thornton said. In other business, the council: • Agreed to a plan which places no parking signs on portions of Nash and Royal streets and on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. A business owner in the area asked for the signs and received support from neighbors in the area. She complained of youth parking their vehicles there, drinking and doing drugs on the city streets. She said it made for a dangerous situation for the boys and girls who had to walk past these people to get to her store. She said there were also beer cans and other trash left which members of a church there had to walk over to get to services on Sunday morning. The city will work with the church to allow parking during church services and special events. • Decided to set a price of $153,800 for property at 1415 North Fifth St. Obion County Joint Economic Development director Jim Cooper informed the council a nationally-known trucking company is interested in purchasing the property. He said the company wishes to place a small terminal there for 13 or 14 trucks and would have about 20 employees. “I feel like they would expand in coming years,” he said. Currently, the building is being leased out to Wesco on an annual basis for $1,000 a month. The trucking company has stated it would honor the contract if it purchases the property. The council based the offering price on $7,500 per acre for the property, which is now being farmed, and on what the county has appraised the building on the front portion of the total 7.6 acres. A motion by Harrison to offer the property for $142,500 failed for the lack of a second. He suggested the lower price saying the back five acres can’t be compared to other property selling in the industrial park because it is harder to get to. • Decided to no longer have city employees perform inspections on cross-connections in the city’s water system. Should the ordinance pass on a second reading, Thornton said businesses will have to pay for the service — using a contractor hired by the city or hiring someone on their own. The city has been performing the state-regulated service free of charge, but can no longer keep up with the workload on the 375 devices. The contractor the city will use is Drain Works based in Newbern. The price quoted to the city was $45 per inspection, with no additional charge for a second inspection. The only other bid was $65 per inspection. • Voted to auction off 16 confiscated vehicles and two surplus vehicles. The sale will be held Oct. 9 at 5:30 p.m. at the Obion County Fairgrounds. It will include vehicles from several law enforcement agencies. • Discussed contacting the state about the state right-of-ways which need to be mowed. • Asked if the limb truck was still running. Thornton said it is. • Agreed to check on placing a barrier at the light on Ken-Tenn Highway at the exit off the Tyson by-pass. A resident said it is very confusing and someone not familiar with the area may drive through the light and off the roadway. • Welcomed Baptist Memorial Hospital administrator Derick Ziegler to Union City. Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 9.3.08

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