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BRITT | The Britt City Council will hold a public hearing on March 13 for the proposed 2019 budget.

Under the proposed budget, the tax levy rate for fiscal year 2019 will be $17.87 per $1,000 taxable property valuation, which is a 1-cent decrease from fiscal year 2018, but property owners may see an increase in their taxes because of higher property valuations, said Cindy Kendall, interim city administrator.

Kendall said she was able to add the capital improvement levy residents passed with 58 percent of the vote in November, without increasing the overall levy.

“I’m not sure that you’ll be able to do that next year because again we’re having additional projects that we’re going to have to go back into the bond market to help finance,” she said.

The ballot measure allowed the city to create a capital improvements levy of 67½ cents per $1,000 assessed valuation to be used for road and utility infrastructure improvements as well as public safety equipment and public works vehicle purchases.

The levy, which goes into effect in September 2018, is expected to provide about $33,500 a year to the city in additional revenue. The city council has decided not to expend any of those funds until fiscal year 2020.

Kendall told the council she was also able to include the $51,569 in funding requests from community and economic development agencies it OK’d in early February, as well as the city council’s two-year sidewalk project and employee trainings.

“We’re not curtailing any of your services, but on the other hand, I think that we really need to be watchful of what’s going on so you have a better handle of where those finances are,” she said.

Kendall said the city’s expenditures for the Burgardt Commercial Park and the sidewalks project were greater than budgeted this fiscal year, so the council will have to address funding those in the near future. A budget amendment will be proposed during a March or April council meeting.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at Britt City Hall, 170 Main Ave. N.

For questions about the budget prior to the hearing, call 641-843-4433.

Also during the Feb. 20 meeting, the city council:

• Approved the liquor license for Dollar General.

• Approved a preliminary plat for the Burgardt Commercial Park to be reviewed by the city’s planning and zoning board.

• Discussed its nearly $20,000 communications fee increase from Hancock County with City Attorney Earl Hill and expressed interest in working with Garner to get the supervisors to reduce the rate for all cities or look elsewhere for dispatch services. The city doesn’t have a 28E agreement with the county to provide the dispatch services, so council members have been questioning the legality of the supervisors’ action in imposing the fee on the city of Britt and others.

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

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