BRITT | Britt voters approved a ballot measure that will allow the city to create a capital improvements tax levy Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Residents were asked whether to approve a levy of 67½ cents per $1,000 assessed valuation to establish a continuing capital improvement reserve fund that would be used for road and utility infrastructure improvements as well as public safety equipment and public works vehicle purchases.

According to unofficial election results from the Hancock County Auditor’s Office, the measure passed with 58 percent of the vote, or 129 votes to 92.

“This is a great move for the city of Britt and its residents,” said Mayor Ryan Arndorfer in an email Friday, Nov. 10. “With the passing of this levy, the city is able to set up a Capital Improvements Fund, which is designated specifically for projects that improve city infrastructure and equipment.”

The levy is expected to provide about $33,500 a year to the city in additional revenue.

During a public information session in October, city officials said establishing a capital improvement reserve fund would allow the city to pay for items, like computers in the police squad cars, without having to bond for them and pay interest.

The revenue from the levy could also be used to make the yearly payments on equipment, which would free up some dollars in the general fund to be used to address the city’s aging roads as well as upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant. It could also be used to shorten the life of bonds and in turn mean less interest paid by the city.

Without the levy, the city would have likely pay more on projects and equipment over a longer period of time, while being forced to delay other projects and purchases.

“In the long run, this means the city will be able to pay less in interest, and direct that money towards other projects,” Arndorfer said. “This is a great step for the city, and shows that our community members are looking to the future of our town and its potential for growth.”

The levy will go into effect in September 2018 and remain in place until the city council decides to discontinue it.

For a property assessed at $100,000, it would cost $67.50 a year. A property assessed at $150,000 would pay $101.25 a year; a property assessed at $200,000 would pay $135 a year; and a property assessed at $250,000 would pay $168.75, a city document states.

Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.

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