BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – The 2019-20 fiscal year budget for West Point may put an additional $70,000 in city coffers, according to a budget approved Monday night.
The West Point City Council unanimously approved the budget prepared by first-year City Administrator Dennis McGregor and City Clerk Diane Smith. The budget includes a residential property tax levy rate of $7.31 per $1,000 of taxable value, creating $241,311 in revenues from property taxes.
Currently homes in Lee County are assessed property taxes on approximately 55% of their county assessed valuation due to a 2013 state-mandated rollback, plus homestead credits.
The levy for the current fiscal year was set in 2018 at $7.02 per $1,000 and generated roughly $225,000.
Total revenues for the upcoming budget year that runs from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 are projected at $4.7 million, up from $3,036,547 last year. The jump in revenues will be debt service bonds to help pay for lagoon improvements for the city’s waste water treatment.
The cost of the lagoon is also included in the budget expenditures at $1.73 million, which pushes total expenditures for the year to $4.63 million, or a $1.81 million increase due to the lagoon.
The current levy structure doesn’t include any debt service or emergency tax levies because the city isn’t currently carrying any bonds to pay off, nor is it at the state maximum $8.10 levy.
In an unrelated issue, the council approved a proposal from Dena Merschbrock for the annual Heifers, Hogs & Hens cookout in the city park for April 13, 2019.
Merschbrock said the event has typically been held in the fall, but last year cold temperatures hurt attendance.
“It was just above freezing last year, and we’ve held it in the past and most BBQ people are getting burned out at that point, so we decided to schedule it for the spring this year and see what happens,” Merschbrock said.
The council also:
• approved a liquor license for Brad’s Pad and Sonny’s Supermarket.
• approved a right of way application for Iowa Communications Network.