Mill Levy Increase Approved
City Council hears Objection to Underground Utility Fee
September 22, 2021
The Sidney City Council held a public hearing Sept. 14 on the proposed 2021-22 budget.
The hearing included review of a resolution setting property tax different than the previous fiscal year, increasing restricted funds by 1 percent, appropriation of the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget and designation of depositories.
Following the hearing, the council approved setting the property tax at a mill levy of .586371. Of that amount, .334086 mills is budgeted to generate $1,432,850 for general purposes and .252285 to generate $1,101,156 for bonded indebtedness.
The council approved a resolution that noted the property tax request be set at $2,559,346.06 for all funds, and that the total assessed value of property changed by 4 percent from the previous fiscal year. The mill levy also increased from .561887 per $100 of assessed value to .586371. The total operating budget increases by 3 percent. The council also approved increasing the restricted funds for lid calculation by 1 percent.
Approved designated depositories include Platte Valley Bank of Sidney, Security First Bank, Points West Bank and Sidney Federal Savings and Loan.
The council then held a public hearing on a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Downtown Revitalization Grant. In her presentation, Economic Development Director Kim Matthews said the need to submit the Downtown Revitalization grant was identified in the Master Plan published November 2020, in addition to informal discussions with business and building owners. The funds would be available for eligible properties to receive facade enhancement and/or bring the building to code. Her presentation also said there is the option of demolishing building deemed by the owner as not financially reason to rehabilitate.
The proposed activities, Matthews said in her presentation, will be funded by the Downtown Revitalization grant if awarded of $400,000, and a $100,000 match from the Historical Preservation Board. Building owners who apply for a grant may be asked to provide a cash match.
The motion to support the CDBG grant was approved.
The council approved the third reading of a rezoning request for 1109 Greenwood. Scott Wamsley, Wamsley Construction, petitioned to change the zoning from A (Agriculture) to M-1 (Light Industrial).
The city council approved an agreement with attorney Michael Sands of Baird Hold Attorneys At Law as part of the effort to meeting the city's housing need. Following the housing study earlier this year, City Manager David Scott, Finance Director Lane Kizzire and Matthews discussed with Sands finance strategies in an effort to attract development in Sidney. In Matthews presentation to the council, she said “these properties already have infrastructure in place, and thus, have special assessments, but are not yet built upon.”
The contract with Sands is for creation of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for more housing development.
Sidney resident Jerry Haupt approached the council regarding underground utility services. At issue is the cost to the property owner for moving electric service underground, and when the City made the decision. City Manager Scott said the plan was initiated in 2007 and passed by the 2008 city council. Electric Department Superintendent Make Palmer said the home owner owns the line when the point of delivery leaves the box. The City owns the electric meter. The meter can is owned by the home owner.
Mayor Roger Gallaway said the council considered three options in 2007: the City pay for all of the underground work, City/homeowner do a cost share, or nothing is done. The council approved a cost-share plan.