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City agrees to estimated 2.5 percent, ‘nearly flat’ property tax levy increase

By Kayleigh Rahn & William Rahn
The Tuscola City Council, during its meeting Monday, Oct. 22, agreed for the city to move forward with an estimated 2.5 percent increase property tax levy.

City treasurer Alta Long prepared two estimates–the first was a 2 percent increase over last year’s levy and the second a 4 percent increase–for the council to consider.

“We don’t yet have an estimate of increased EAV,” Long said. “For nearly 20 years we’ve kept the tax rate pretty level, somewhere around 8 cents per 100 of EAV. At 2 percent, I’d think you’d keep it very level. I think 2.5 percent has been our average increase for roughly 10 years.”

Mayor Dan Kleiss suggested the 2.5 percent increase to keep tax payers’ bills flat while attempting to keep up with growth within the city. City Administrator Drew Hoel agreed that the 2.5 percent rate increase was a good, level strategy.

“Based on this discussion, I’ll prepare the ordinance to be available for public review before it is approved,” Long said, noting that the information is due to the Douglas Courthouse the final Tuesday in December, which happens to be Christmas Day this year.

In other business, the council approved a Right of Way license agreement with Gould Bus Service to allow the company to install a single pole and electrical service in the alley south of their main parking area.

“The purpose of this will be to provide outlets for the engine block heaters on their parked buses,” Hoel reported. “We have granted right-of-way licenses in the past, which allows private use of the right-of-way for limited purpose.

In other discussion, the council reviewed and approved the final report for the 2018 pavement maintenance program.

“I think the project turned out great and the price was phenomenal,” Hoe said. “A mile more than we initially thought was possible, which a lot is due to work Denny and the guys (at the street department) did.”

The 2018 (or Fiscal Year 2019) work included the South Niles Street mill and overlay work as well as the North Line, Prairie, and Parke Cape Seal process, which came in at a final tally of $431,562.40.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Oct. 24 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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