Por­terdale to host two pub­lic hear­ings on mill­age hike

The Covington News - - Local News - Gabriel Khouli gkhouli@cov­news.com

Por­terdale’s hurt­ing. The small city’s net tax di­gest, the value of all of its land, build­ings and ve­hi­cles, has shrunk by 43 per­cent since the re­ces­sion, from a high $ 28.8 mil­lion in 2007 to just more than $ 16 mil­lion in 2011. The di­gest de­clined by 5.2 per­cent this year as prop­erty val­ues con­tinue to fall.

To off­set those tax rev­enue losses, the city is rais­ing its mill­age rate to 19.892 from 17.518. The city will ac­tu­ally col­lect $ 22,728 more than last year.

Whether res­i­dents agree with the ra­tio­nale, they will be able to speak at two pub­lic hear­ings Thurs­day, one at 8 a. m. and one at 6: 30 p. m., at Por­terdale City Hall. Those will be the sec­ond and fi­nal pub­lic hear­ings for the mill­age rate in­crease.

The city is also plan­ning to cut two full-time em­ploy­ees, one po­lice of­fi­cer and one pub­lic works em­ployee, and will fur­lough em­ploy­ees by four hours per week for the re­mained of the 2011 bud­get year. The two moves will save $ 47,000 dur­ing the rest of 2011.

The changes will re­duce the city’s an­nual monthly ex­penses from $ 64,027 to $ 54,211.

In 2009, the city trans­ferred $ 231,529 from its wa­ter and sewer fund to make up the deficit, which al­lowed it to avoid a sig­nif­i­cant mill­age rate in­crease. How­ever, those re­serves are ex­hausted. In ad­di­tion, lo­cal sales tax rev­enue con­tin­ues to de­cline and fine and for­fei­ture rev­enue is pro­jected to be 28 per­cent less than last year.

City Clerk Judy John­son said some res­i­dents have been re­quest­ing Por­terdale salary in­for­ma­tion. City Man­ager Bob Thom­son has the high­est salary at $ 60,000, while the pub­lic works di­rec­tor makes $ 45,000, the po­lice chief $ 43,000 and John­son $ 41,000.

For a full list of salaries and other Por­terdale bud­get doc­u­ments see cov­news. com.

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