Rogers approves 5.32% budget increase

by Dawn Feddersen-Poindexter

Contributing Writer

 

The Rogers City Council approved the 2013 budget and tax levy at their meeting.

Finance Director, Lisa Wieland, presented a balanced 2013 budget to the Council of $7,043,938. Of that sum, $6,153,413 will go to the general fund, which handles all day-to-day operations of the City. The remainder, $890,525, is allocated to the Rogers Activity Center, or RAC, for its daily operations and financing. The budget reflects a 5.32% increase from 2012.

The 2013 levy totals $5,923,447, more than $5 million of which is allocated to the general fund. The nearly $1 million remaining will fund special levies for things like the RAC, public works building debt, and to replace some large equipment. The levy is collected through property tax assessment.

The Council also approved its 2013 fees and utility rates. To determine utility rates, staff consulted with a private consulting firm to review the 2009 Utility Rate Study and the results since its implementation to keep on track with long range planning for each utility’s operations, access fees, and trunk charges.

As a result, water and storm water rates will increase by 3% each, resulting in a $.65 bimonthly increase in water and $.21 bimonthly increase in storm water fees for the average residential household. Sewer rates are set to increase by 5%, or about $4.23 bimonthly. No increases were recommended for fixed charges.

In other matters, the Council heard from the Planning Commission about the sign standards adjustment process, which they believed made it too simple to ignore the requirements of the sign standards city code. The Commission received direction from the Council to study ways to make even application of the code’s standards in the face of numerous requests for alternative signage.

Police Chief Jeff Beahen recommended two candidates for Police Department clerical openings. One candidate is currently a temporary employee already in the position. She was shown to be the best candidate after interviewing with several of the 80 applicants for the position. The other candidate currently works part-time at City Hall but would regularly fill in at the Police Department when needed. The Council approved the two candidates for the positions.

The council canceled its Tuesday, Dec. 25, regularly scheduled meeting. The next council meeting is Tuesday, Jan. 8.

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