Proposed city budget will see levy drop, though more tax dollars will be spent

Valuation increases more than $17 million

Some of Tuesday’s city council meeting was spent reviewing the 2017-18 budget, which will be up for approval at the council’s Sept. 19 meeting.
    Normally meeting the third Monday of the month, the council voted to move the meeting one day later to meet the state-mandated five-day publication requirement for budget hearings.
    According to the proposed figures, the city’s operating budget will drop from $780,000 this year to a proposed $717,000.
    However, due to the number of street projects completed in Cornerstone, most recently East Third Street, more bond fund dollars are needed, said City Clerk/Administrator Jo Leyland.
    Local property tax for the bond fund this year totaled $243,616. That will jump to $324,198 for 2017-18, according to the proposed budget.
    However, the levy expects to drop from .4240 (per $100 of valuation) to .4077 for the coming year.
    That’s due mainly to an 11 percent increase in the city’s valuation.
    Figures provided by the County Assessor’s office show city valuation grew from $156,274,658 to $173,719,499.
    Leyland said at Tuesday’s meeting the majority of the increase came from revaluation of property. Only $2 million of the increase was due to new growth.
    The budget also includes salary  and per-hour increases for most city supervisors and managers.
School auction
    The city spent a little more than an hour at the end of the meeting in closed session to discuss strategy and land negotiations on the upcoming Wellington school property auction set for Sept. 19.
    No action was taken after the council members, Mayor Dwight Coleman, City Attorney Josh Wendell, Clerk Leyland and Public Works Supt. Pat Davison emerged from the executive session.
    Earlier in the meeting, the city officials discussed the replatting of parts of the property, as well as the vacating of two alleys that cross the Wellington property.

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