According to City Manager Tracy Jamieson, the $5,040,800 budget, which is $6,000 less than the 2016 budget includes and holds taxes at 11.3 mills (to figure out tax value multiply the mill rate by the taxable property value and divide by 1,000), funds for some street paving – which will also be coupled with a Community Development Block grant – as well as funds to replace the Mast Arm pole that fell in the Middle of Liberty Street in the fall.
“Some of the streets to be paved are still being determined, but we know we are going to pave mainly in the Third Ward as well as Pearl Street and the 1300 block of Sassafras Street,” Jamieson said.
Money leftover from the 2014 Community Development Block grant would be used to pave Sassafras Street, Jamieson said.
In addition to the paving, the City is also looking to make some further improvements on the bathhouse at the Miller Sibley Recreation Complex as well as a handicap curve cut project at 12th Street and Liberty Street.
According to Jamieson, the city also knows it is going to have some capital improvement projects in the ensuing years including replacing more of the downtown decorative poles.
“After the one fell on Liberty Street, we reviewed all the bases of the other ones,” Jamieson said. “We feel all of them have been addressed, but some are band-aid fixes so we need to think about that in the future.
“We are also in the midst of studying plans to upgrade the the Miller Sibley Recreation Complex and we are looking at a bike/pedestrian master plan, and there are things that might come out of that study in term of infrastructure improvements.
NATIVITY SCENE QUESTIONED; COUNCIL APPROVES MEASURE TO SAVE IT
Also at the meeting, Council received a letter signed “RM, SJ and family” questioning the legality of the Nativity Scene in Bandstand Park.
“The city was asked to remove it,” Jamieson said. “The letter said it was violating their rights.”
After a discussion that included local input, Council came to a compromise solution, according to Jamieson.
“Instead of removing it, we are adding secular items to it so it becomes part of a whole holiday scene,” Jamieson said.
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