Meeting in a regular session on Monday, August 1, the Denver City City Council addressed a small agenda that including dismal news concerning the new effective tax rate for property owners.
During the announcement portion of the meeting Mayor Tommy Hicks recognized councilman Clinton Bowman for being honored as a member of the TASB Media Honor Roll for his reporting of monthly school board meetings.
“I think that’s quite an honor for one of our council members and I just wanted to congratulate him for this outstanding honor,” Mayor Hicks noted.
Also during the announcement portion City Manager Stan David informed the Council that letters had been sent out to those property owners where recent curb and gutter projects had just been completed. These letters informed those owners the total cost of this project, when payments were due, and imposed penalties for late payments.
Like other county entities David informed the Council that projected property valuations were much lower than what had been previously projected. Originally David had been told these valuations would be in the $192,000.000 range, which was considerably lower than last years’ valuations of $230,000,000. But when the official numbers were announced that figure was $178,481,444, down just over $50,000,000.
“These figures came in last week and they were actually worst then what we had anticipated,” David said. “The Council now has a big job of trying to make adjustments in our new budget.”
David went on to say a proposed tax rate will probably be presented at the next Council meeting.
“We can lower than that proposed rate, but we can’t go higher,” David said.
The tax rate last year was $0.7326 per $100 property value. The new effective tax rate could up as high as $0.9457 and the roll back rate could be $1.069.
The new tax rate will be voted on during the second meeting in September.
In the next item the Council unanimously approved the extension of the bank depository contract for the next year to West Texas National Bank.
There was a considerable amount of discussion concerning changing the utility billing schedule. Currently meters are read around the 10th of each month, bills are sent out at the end of the month with a due date the following 10th. Pink cards are sent out after the 10th of the month indicating a payment should be made by the 25th along with a $5 late payment fee. This is followed by a yellow disconnect card.
“We need to condense these payment periods,” David. “I would like for it all to be a one-month process.”
David went on to say he would like meters read the first of the month, bill around the 15th with payment due by the end of the month.
Council members were asked to come up with their own ideas and discuss them over the next few meetings.
In the last item the Council moved the normal first Monday meeting date in September, which falls on Labor Day, to Tuesday September 6.
After paying bills that totaled $25,457.66 the meeting adjourned. The Council then had a special budget work session.
Council members Joan Breith, Ronald Weir, Robert Hanneman, Clinton Bowman, Mark Sherman, and Keith Mensch along with Mayor Tommy Hicks were all in attendance.
The next meeting will be held on Monday, August 15 at 7 pm.