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Liberal City Commission Meets, Moves Budget Hearing To Second Reading

The Liberal City Commission met Tuesday evening at 6:30pm for their regular scheduled meeting. Among the items on the agenda was the First Reading of Ordinance 4413, Levying Tax Revenues for Budget Year 2014. After a presentation by Finance Director Chris Ford, The Commission moved to a Second Reading of the Ordinance which will set the Mill Levy for the 2014 City of Liberal Budget. The proposed budget amount is $32,735,000.00, a mill levy dollar amount of $5,481,492 and a mill levy of 47.848 mills, based on July 1st estimated valuation This represents a 4.822 mill levy increase and an assessed ad valorem tax dollar increase of $553,205.00 over last year's budget amount. The ever increasing operational costs, KPERS, KP&F, anticipating National Health Care costs, and other uncontrollable costs, help attribute to to increase in expenditures. According to Ford, the City has depleted reserves to "dangerously low levels" and the proposed budget is a "no frills" budget. This is the first time in 7 years the City has asked for a mill levy increase. Along with the mill levy increase, a reduction in staffing of 9 positions will take place. The second reading of the proposed budget will take place at the August 27th meeting.

Also on the agenda the commissioners accepted a grant from the FAA in the amount of $4,442,500.00 for the rehabilitation of Taxiways A and C. Airport manager Debbie Giskie also informed the Commission the enplanements at the airport topped 10,100 passengers, which will result in an additional $1,000,000.00 for the airport, from The Essential Air Services Program.

Commissioners also approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mid America Air Museum/City of Liberal, and USD 480 for the 2013 Robotics Cooperative Program,  the expenditure of grant money for the Liberal Police Dept. to purchase an IP Camera and Server, and approved Resolution 2175 which allows the Housing Department to apply for a Kansas Moderate Income Housing Grant to the Kansas Housing Resources Corporation.

The LIberal City Commission will have a joint meeting with USD 480 on Thursday, August 15, at 5:30pm in the Commission Chambers. On the agenda will be a presentation from USD 480 on Facility Planning.

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