Kingsford approves 2020-2021 budget

KINGSFORD — The Kingsford City Council on Monday approved a 2020-2021 fiscal year budget that includes a lower tax rate.

The budget has a tax rate of 22.237 mills, or $22.24 per $1,000 taxable value, a drop of 3%. The decline is due to a reduction in the dedicated millage for public safety pensions.

The tax levy includes:

— 18 mills for general operating, the same as the current rate.

— 2.632 mills for police and firefighters pensions, a decline of 0.699 mills. The pension millage is based on actuarial calculations and certification by the Police and Firemen’s Pension Board.

— 1.105 mills for the public works facility debt, up by 0.003 mills. This millage is based on an amortization schedule.

— 0.5 mills dedicated for streets, the same as now.

The total of all taxable valuations is $129.4 million, representing an increase of $906,000, or about 0.7%. With its lowered tax rate, city revenues from property taxes will total an estimated $2.876 million, down $69,000.

The general fund budget totals $4.25 million, up from $4.11 million from last year. Part of the increase is a carryover in capital projects from a year ago, suspended for the coronavirus pandemic, including $41,000 in public safety building renovations.

The general fund balance is estimated at $2.1 million, up about $468,000 from what was projected a year ago. To meet spending needs in the upcoming year, $400,000 will be transferred to the capital fund, leaving a projected general fund balance of $1.72 million for June 30, 2021.

As part of the budget, the garbage collection fee was increased by a $1 a month to $13. The fee will add about $25,000 to the budget yearly.

In other business, the council:

— Agreed to donate $800 to the Sons of the American Legion for the Iron Mountain fireworks. In the past, the city has donated $400 to the Independence Day display.

— Approved an ordinance to allow residents to apply for irrigation water meters. This allows property owners to avoid sewer usage charges on activities such as watering lawns.

— Approved a request from the Central U.P. Youth Football League to improve the playing field at Lodal Park. Volunteers plan to level the field, add top soil and move one of the goal posts for proper length.

— Approved a parade route for the Kingsford High School graduation Saturday. The parade will start at 10 a.m. at Woodland Elementary and proceed down Pyle Drive to the high school.

— Heard City Manager Anthony Edlebeck report that parks are starting to reopen. The fields and tennis courts may be used. Playground equipment, restrooms and pavilions remain closed because proper sanitation and social distancing practices would be difficult to maintain.

For a second time, the council had to deal with its Zoom meeting being disrupted by an online hacker.


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