BB Council approves tax request

A couple of personnel issues came before the Broken Bow City Council Monday, Aug. 27 - one in open meeting, and one in closed session. During the open meeting, discussion was had on creating a position in the city for a full-time zoning administrator. For several years the city has had a part-time zoning administrator, a position currently held by Cindy Pearson. This is an appointed position, which would not require an election. City Administrator Tony Tolstedt explained that there have been some changes in the laws pertaining to code enforcements, and the zoning administrator position would encompass code enforcement as well. After some discussion on the proposal, the council decided to further research the issue to determine if a full-time position can be justified. The matter was tabled to the next meeting. The other personnel issue took place in closed session at the conclusion of the regular meeting. Following the closed session, the council voted to grant a request by Tony Tolstedt to waive his 30-day resignation notice so he may begin his new job in Wyoming. Tolstedt’s last day with the City was Tuesday, Aug. 28. Dan Zach presented the council with the budget figures for 2012-2013. The proposed property tax request of $1,032,523 was approved. That request sets the tax rate at 0.80. That means that for each $100,000 worth of property, $800 in taxes goes to the city. The property tax request is 3.44 percent higher than last year’s request. The way that property tax amount is broken down is: $391,071 is personal and real property tax required for bonds, while $641,452 is personal and real property tax required for all other purposes. Zach noted that the city has made a tremendous number of upgrades on both the city side and utility side in the past year, totaling nearly $10 million. “You have done well,” Zach told the council. In one other issue involving personnel, the council re-appointed Laura Lindner to the Broken Bow Housing Authority for a five-year term. The council was given a report by the Broken Bow Housing Authority, by Executive Director Dawn West. Between Custer Heights and housing throughout the city, the Housing Authority maintains 45 units in Broken Bow. West said there is always a demand for the housing, and when one is vacated in fills almost immediately. West says each year is a challenge to maintain financial stability for the Housing Authority. In the past, the City of Broken Bow has granted the Housing Authority the privilege of placing Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) funds into CDs designated to street improvements in the areas of housing authority properties. The Housing Authority requested the City to waive the PILOT in the amount of $22,000.77 for 2011, which the Council approved. The Council also heard an update from Joan Birnie with the Green Coalition on the installation of bike racks in the City Square Park, purchased with community improvement grant funds. The coalition also used the grant funds to purchase flowers which will be planted along the business corridor on the east side of Broken Bow.