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City Council considering tax increase or budget cuts

By Kendra Hennis 
The October 28 city council meeting was held with a public hearing at 7:00 p.m. to discuss the Ironhorse Special Service Area. Members of the community, particularly Ironhorse residents, had a lot of questions about the work needing to be done to prevent recurrent damage to the crawlspaces and basements of many of the Ironhorse residences. Drew Hoel explained the proposed area and included a map displaying which homes are affected under this proposed idea. Hoel stated that a total of seventeen lots would not be affected and in turn not responsible, but twenty-one lots are affected and would need to be levied to pay the $325,000 cost. There is a 60 day objection period and if fifty-one percent objects the SSA will not be created. 

The public hearing will take place just prior to the next City Council meeting will also discuss the abandonment of a portion of Pembroke Street. Records are unclear on whether or not this was ever abandoned. This is the area that exists inside of the Old North Ward Property. The plat that was already approved by the council presumed it was abandoned. 

Alta Long prepared a spreadsheet displaying the property tax levy at each of the increase rates ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 percent. Members did not make a motion for the proposals and therefore budget and cuts will have to be made. This will also be discussed in the public forum at the next meeting. 

The Council Also: 

* Approved increasing the starting pay to $20 an hour for Part-Time police officers requested changed by Chief Hastings effective next payroll. 

* Approved $125 holiday bonus for city employees.

* Approved the minutes from the October 15 meeting. 

* Approved the financial report from September 2019.

* Approved the payment of bills in the amount of 155,994.61.

* Hired Mike Elsberry, Licensed water and sewer operator, who has started part time. Currently working with Mr. VanCleave to learn the systems. Accepted Dwayne VanCleave’s letter of retirement after 24 Years of service. 

* Approved special permit for Tuscola Salvation Army request made by Paul Wisouvaty.

* Thanked all who helped make Trunk or Treat a very successful and well attended event. 

* Adjourned for the next meeting on Tuesday, Nov at 7 p.m.

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