No increase in Gibson City's tax levy

By ROSS BROWN
bluehavanaross@gmail.com


GIBSON CITY — Gibson City Council members approved the city’s 2017-18 property tax levy during a short meeting Monday night.

The levy, which was released in October, calls for $338,100 in property taxes to be collected next summer. The city’s total budget is $8,050,718, with $7,712,618 coming from sources other than real estate taxes.

Mayor Dan Dickey said the levy remains unchanged from last year’s amount. City Attorney Marc Miller said most area communities have raised theirs around 2 percent, while adjusting for inflation. Miller said Gibson City is not adjusting for inflation, meaning the city’s rate might be less than other communities’.

Dickey said he believed this was the third year in a row that the city has not increased its property tax rate.

Other business
Also at the meeting:

➜ Council members granted a request from Beverly (Ferri) Cole to remove a sycamore tree on city easement at 412 E. 3rd St. Cole, a Gibson City native who recently returned to the community, purchased the Dick Walter property with the intention to live there. At an earlier street and alley committee meeting, members denied her request because the tree was not diseased. Cole appealed the decision at a later meeting, citing the heavy load of leaves and shedding bark. As part of the agreement, the tree will be removed at Cole’s expense and replaced with a tree approved by City Superintendent Randy Stauffer. Alderman Doug Parsons said Cole intends to have the work completed by the spring, as she is remodeling the home before she moves in.

➜ The council approved a transmission easement of Ameren Illinois for city property located near the sewer plant. Stauffer said the city owns 20 acres south of the plant, which includes a high-power transmission line a half-mile south of town. Last summer, Ameren installed new poles and requested a 50-foot easement in order to perform maintenance work. Miller said Ameren would pay the city $9,600 for the easement request. Stauffer said the acreage is used for farming, and the city spreads sludge into the soil.

➜ Water plant operator Mark Webster was granted a $1 hourly pay increase upon completion of his Class 3 license earlier this month. Stauffer said Webster has one class to take before he is completely certified, adding that the pay increases are designed to limit potential turnover.

➜ Council members accepted Tim Milton’s $1,377 bid for a city-owned truck that is in disrepair.

➜ The council approved year-end bonuses of $75 for full-time employees and $40 for part-timers.

➜ Stauffer said the water tower painting project is complete and that pictures might be taken with a drone for a water tower contest.

➜ Alderman Susie Tongate said the new city app is running smoothly. So far, Tongate said, the app has been downloaded 417 times, with 135 people registered as app users.

➜ Tongate requested the city buy a $45 advertisement for a special newspaper section about the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School football team, which won the Class 2A state championship last weekend. Council members gave preliminary approval for that to occur.

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