Mayer approves tax levy for 2014

By Lorrie Ham

The Mayer City Council held its annual Truth in Taxation hearing Dec. 9 before approving a 2014 property tax levy in the amount of $918,159. That figure represents a $20,000 decrease in the preliminary levy that was proposed earlier this year and a slight increase of less than $4,000 over the 2013 levy.
The council also approved a budget in the amount of $1,328,193. The council trimmed $20,000 from the projected purchase of a fire truck, realizing that even if the purchase is made, a payment is not likely to be due in 2014. The council did leave $35,000 earmarked for the truck to build the fund balance.
City Administrator Luayn Murphy explained that the city has $290,000 in Local Government Aid (LGA) and another $120,033 in other revenues to offset the annual property tax levy. Using the budgeted expenses of $1,328,193 minus the revenues of $410,033.50, the total debt and operating for the city levy results in a property tax levy of $918,159 to meet the city’s expenses for 2014, she explained.
Mayer residents will not see any rate changes in their water and sewer bills in 2014. The council approved the water fund budget in the amount of $404,976.35 and the sewer fund budget in the amount of $633,297.88. Both budgets include 10 new home permits for 2014, said Murphy.
In another matter, the council decided to give RW Farms notice to terminate the compost site lease agreement. Earlier this fall, the council had asked the city attorney to prepare a voluntary termination agreement, which was approved by the council on Sept. 23. Russ Leistiko from RW Farms no longer wanted to sign the voluntary termination agreement, so the city attorney recommended that the city send a notice of cancellation and termination of the compost site lease agreement.
Reason for the termination is the tenant’s breach of the terms of the agreement including failure to continue operation of the compost site according to the terms of the agreement. The cancellation notice calls for the city to take full possession of the compost site effective Dec. 1, 2013.