Haysville City Council sets 2023 budget hearing date

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By Nancy D. Borst, TSnews

HAYSVILLE – The Haysville City Council approved a plan for its 2023 budget at Monday’s regular monthly meeting. That plan includes the intent to exceed the revenue neutral rate and sets a hearing on that and the budget itself for 7 p.m. Sept. 12.
Chief administrative officer Will Black guided the council through an overview of the budget. He noted two changes that will have the greatest impact on the 2023 budget. First, the city is updating its pay scales, which will impact all employees. Every employee will receive the greater amount between an 8.6 percent salary increase (the amount of increase in the consumer price index from 2021 to 2022) and the amount indicated in a salary survey.
“Not only will it be a tool that helps current employees deal with the rising cost of consumer products and services, but it will also help set apart the city and attract new hires to fill open positions,” Black noted in his written report.
The other major change is moving commissioned police officers from the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System to the Kansas Police & Firefighters pension plan. The city’s contributions will increase. Black said this change will put officers on a defined-benefit retirement plan.
Black noted that the city’s assessed valuation for 2022 increased by $5.678 million to a total of $76,129,288. That increase will allow the city to hold the line on its mill levy, with a slight decrease in rate from 45.448 for 2022 to 45.443 for 2023. The proposed 2023 budget authorizes total expenditures of up to $21,790,728.
However, the revenue neutral rate – the rate at which the city would raise no more tax dollars in 2023 than it did in 2022 – is a mill levy of 42.058. State law requires any taxing entity that plans to exceed the revenue neutral rate to report that intention to the county clerk and hold a public hearing. That hearing will be held along with the regular annual budget hearing on Sept. 12.
By exceeding the revenue neutral rate, the council decided to take advantage of the higher assessed valuation and the additional tax dollars it will generate. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed valuation. Individual property owners may pay more in taxes in 2023 even without an increase in the city mill rate if the value of the property has increased.
The council also voted at Monday’s meeting to proceed with an aquatics feasibility study. Mayor Russ Kessler said he had asked city staff to put together information about such a study, noting the age of the city’s pool, among other factors. The study will evaluate the current facility and its history while also considering Haysville Activity Center members’ requests for aquatic-based programs, community desires and obtaining a third-party perspective.
The study will include three to four pool plans with amenities, including an indoor natatorium, plan views of these concepts, estimated construction and operation costs and staffing projections. The process will include community input. The city hired Lamp Rynearson to conduct the study at a cost of $46,500.
In other business, the council:
• Approved purchase of 10 antique light pole assemblies from City Electric Supply at a cost of $26,086.20. The most common reason these assemblies need to be replaced is due to a motor vehicle striking a pole. A lot of those incidents involve insurance payments to the city.
• Approved replacing the wastewater treatment plant’s spiral assembly on the screening compactor at a cost of $10,225, which includes installation by Parkson. The current assembly is 26 years old and has rusted and snapped in half.
• Approved purchase of a 2022 Ram 3500 truck with dump body from Fletcher Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram for $74,908.95. Public works director Tony Martinez noted how difficult it is to find such a vehicle currently and said manufacturers are not taking orders. This truck was located in Indiana and the cost includes spending $600 to have it shipped to the city.
• Approved a bid from Mies Construction Inc. to build new waterlines for Wire Avenue and Hungerford Avenue at a cost of $928,301. This will be paid by money received by the city from the American Rescue Plan Act. The project may not begin construction until 2023 due to material supply issues.
• Approved the appointment of Maryan Daley to the Haysville Public Library board of directors.
• Heard that the city will begin its AMI water meter replacement program in the next two weeks. The city has 1,000 meters so far. The work will be done by workers from BEPO, who will work from marked trucks. BEPO will knock on every door and if no one is home, will leave a door hangar when a meter is replaced.