Gibson City Council approves 2% increase in tax levy

GIBSON CITY — City council members on Monday approved a tax levy of just over $324,000 to be paid by local taxpayers in 2013.

The levy represents a 2 percent increase over the previous year’s levy, an amount less than the rate of inflation, according to City Attorney Marc Miller.

Miller said the amount represents the local real estate tax portion to fund the city’s $6.5 million balanced budget. He said raising the levy for the rate of inflation is a “responsible approach” to funding with “no reason to make it larger.”

In other action, council members approved two personnel actions.

Approval was given for two students to perform seasonal work during upcoming holiday vacations. Superintendent Randy Stauffer emphasized the pair will be paid “only for what they work.” Administrative Assistant Peg Stalter said their pay will be $8.25 per hour, the current minimum wage, which is the same as their summer employment rate.

Approval was also given for one-time year-end gifts to city employees. Full-time employees will receive $50 and part-time employees will receive $25.

In other business, council members approved mayoral appointments of two couples to serve on the city’s volunteer recycling board.Matt and Danielle Brown and Jerry and Karen Wright, both of Gibson City, will now serve.

Volunteer coordinator Karen Kummerow said 165 annual passes have been sold since Oct. 1 to help offset costs paid by the city for the recycling program. Passes continue to be on sale to residents and non-residents at Moyer District Library and at the recycling site behind city hall on the collection dates of first and third Saturdays each month.

Council members gave “a nod of approval” to spend up to $960 for additional engineering fees on two new stand-by generators at the city’s water and sewer plants.
Stauffer explained that the contractor is ready to put in the equipment and it was an oversight on his part not to have engineering assistance to supervise installation and final payment.

Tentative approval was given to ensure the work proceeded in case of bad weather. A formal vote on the expenditure will be delayed until the council’s next meeting since the item was not on Monday night’s agenda.

An agenda item regarding a possible amendment for Railside Estates Phase II construction was formally removed from “old business” after being tabled twice.

“I have heard nothing,” Mayor Daniel Dickey said of the Bloomington-based developer’s future plans.

A “dead end street” sign will be placed on Ash Street at the request of Alderwoman Laura Miller. She said her son, Ed Miller, has reported drivers turn on the street and then use the parking lot of his property (the former Moose Lodge) to turn around.

Stauffer no formal vote was required since the sign is merely informational.

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