City sets tax levy, approves two bids

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Cassville City Council handled a very short agenda on Monday night, awarding two bids and setting the city's tax levy at zero for the eighth straight year.

Holding a public hearing and setting the tax levy are two routine pieces of business the city is required to conduct each August. Since 2000, the city has rolled back its property tax levy to zero in exchange for voter approval of a half-cent parks and stormwater sales tax.

City aldermen also approved a $44,877.60 bid from Hutchens Construction for chip and seal on Evans Lane and Forest Circle. The bid was the only one the city received after choosing to rebid the project two weeks ago.

The bid received from Hutchens was $984 cheaper than the first bid the local company submitted due to a slight decrease in oil prices. Under the contract, Hutchens will do a two-inch asphalt overlay on Evans Lane and chip and seal Forest Circle, which runs through the subdivision located off of Highway 248 just east of Chinquapin Woods.

Council members also gave the go ahead to purchase a new generator for the city's wastewater treatment plant. Steve Henderson, treatment plant operator, was present at the council meeting to discuss the proposal.

The city received two bids for a generator from Gold Mechanical, Inc., and Ozarks Electric, Inc. A low bid of $39,600 was submitted by Gold Mechanical and city aldermen voted to accept it. Ozark Electric submitted a bid of $43,939.

Gold will provide the city with a 75 kW generator and provide full installation, including the propane connection. According to Henderson, the new generator will provide enough power to keep the treatment center running during an electrical outage.

"We will probably use 200 gallons of propane to power the generator in a 24-hour period," said Henderson.

Currently, the city relies on a 5HP portable pump with four-inch rigid piping during power outages.

"It helps but it doesn't do the job," said Henderson.

While Henderson was present at the meeting, City Administrator Mike Hayslip took the opportunity to praise Henderson and the job he and his crew do to keep the city's wastewater treatment operational.

"I want everyone to know what a fine crew we have at the treatment plant," said Hayslip. "Steve knows his stuff and he keeps us in good condition and runs things as inexpensively and efficiently as possible."

In other business, the city council:

* Paid bills totalling $78,805.11.

* Reviewed the city's sales tax revenue figures. In July, the city's two-cent sales tax brought in $121.163.26 as compared to $53,248.98 in August of 2007, which represents a 127.5 percent increase. Year to date, city tax revenue is up 8.5 percent. "We're up for August, but we expect things to level off," said Hayslip. "We're still optimistic that we'll hit the over 3 percent increase that we budgeted for."

* Discussed a change in the date for the first council meeting in September. Due to the Labor Day holiday, the council will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

* Received an update on plans for the First Street improvement project. Hayslip reported that the addition of a bike lane on the street might be in jeopardy. He said a bike lane needed to be at least four-feet wide, and based on that dimension, the driving lanes would only be 11 feet wide and standard lanes are 12 feet in width. "We're looking at options but I don't know if we'll be able to do the bike lane," said Hayslip. "I'm still fighting for it."

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