Washburn council okays 2008 tax levy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Washburn City Council approved the 2008 tax levy at its regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 15.

The approved tax levy was increased from $0.3522 to $0.3624. The aldermen held a public hearing regarding the tax levy prior to the regular council meeting.

Several Washburn residents had questions and comments about the tax levy increase. Sue Rose, city clerk, called Gary Youngblood, county clerk, to explain why there was a difference between the county's assessed value and the state's assessed value.

Youngblood explained that the state adds state assessed values onto the information that is submitted by the county before presenting each city with its ceiling level.

The aldermen asked Rose to call Janice Varner, county collector, to attend the meeting to answer additional questions.

After the discussion, the council voted to accept the tax levy as recommended by the state auditor.

The aldermen also heard a water tower maintenance proposal by Orion T. Osborne, of Caldwell Tanks, which is the largest tank building company in the country.

Osborne presented information on a maintenance program for the city's new 125,000-gallon water tower and a rehabilitation program for the city's older 50,000-gallon water tower. He said that the 50,000-gallon water tower had been painted with lead-based paint, which is now considered a health hazard.

According to the proposal, the rehabilitation program will cost $160,475, which could be paid over a five-year period with no interest. The maintenance program will cost $7,840 per year.

The aldermen requested copies of the contracts, which will be presented to the city attorney for review.

In other business, the Washburn City Council voted to contribute $250 to the Southwest Coalition of Excellent Decision-Makers, an organization designed to reduce drug and alcohol use, bullying and domestic abuse among students attending the Southwest R-V School District.

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