Harris council keeps levy at zero percent

At the Harris Truth in Taxation meeting Dec. 6, the proposed budget had a levy increase of .37 percent.  

That amount was brought to the Dec. 10 regularly scheduled council meeting for approval.  During the discussion and review of the final levy for 2012, it was noted the city’s wastewater treatment facility had brought in more revenue than expected for the year, by more than $9,000.

Councilman John Rosini suggested that due to the accrual of that unforeseen money, the amount of the levy should be lowered to bring the levy down to zero percent.  The council approved that suggestion, making the final levy amount being sent to the county the same as last year’s levy.

It breaks down to $287,249 levy for the general fund, $90,000 for the water fund and $90,251 for the sewer fund, for a total of $467,500.

The city presently has four debts on which it is paying.  The first, originated in 2006, is for city equipment.  That debt will mature and be paid off in 2016.  The next is the drinking water revolving fund, which originated in 1999 and will mature in 2019.  And the two last ones were for the water treatment plant and the wastewater treatment facility.  Those debts originated in 2006 and will mature in 2037.  The total amount of indebtedness as of January 2013 is $6,236,239.

During the review of the report from People Service, the company that operates the two utility operations, it was noted that although the city has sold bulk water to different companies, it was done so without a way to monitor the actual amount sold.  The city relies on the purchasing companies to provide the number of gallons.  People Service suggested the city look at purchasing a hydrant meter, a meter that can be hooked up to a fire hydrant to monitor the actual gallons being purchased.  The council decided it would look at different brands to find a cost efficient style to purchase.

Also, there would be a mandatory walkthrough for any company that is interested in submitting a bid on the request for proposal to operate the WTP and WWTF.  The contract with People Service is ending and the proper notices have been sent to acknowledge that People Service will have to submit a RFP, the same as other interested parties.

Delinquent bills

The City Treasurer, Marlys Balfany, presented to the council a list of utility bills that are delinquent and requested that a motion be passed to send those bills to the county to be included on the tax statements of the properties.  Those accounts that are delinquent and have not set up payment plans are those that will be certified to the taxes.  A detailed list will be supplied at the January council meeting, as some of those on the present list might make arrangements before being certified.

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