A proposed 2017 budget calling for an approximate 6.6-mill increase in the tax levy was approved for publication by the Herington City Commission July 19.

A public hearing on the 85.142 total mills budget is set for 6 p.m. Aug. 8 at City Hall.

Commissioner David Jones said his main concern was that taxpayers need to know the monies spent in the budget will be used in ways other than just to “pay the bills.” He wants citizens to know what their tax dollars are buying.

City Manager Ed Patton said he would try to develop a list of projects in outlining where monies are to be spent.

The commission unanimously adopted an ordinance creating a multi-year capital improvement fund was unanimously adopted by the commission.  

Commissioners expressed some concern that $6,000 of the $8,000 budget for the Roadhouse Youth Center is provided by the city. A request for funding for next year already has been made to the commission.

The primary concern was that the majority of the $6,000 was going to pay for salaries rather than for youth-related services.  

Mayor Kathleen Souza also mentioned the city allows the RYC to use the building rent free and pays for utilities, maintenance of more than $25 and trash pick-up services. None of that is included in the $6,000 in funding.

It was noted the RYC needs a new roof and other repairs. Patton was directed to inspect the building and report back to the commission. Patton suggested the RYC’s lease with the city be reviewed in November, recommending continued funding for another year.

Patton said Chief of Police Russ Almes had expressed concern that, if the RYC was shut down, more officers might be needed in the city.

Airport work

approved

Commissioners passed a resolution to renovate the apron and taxiways at the Herington Regional Airport. Total cost would be $602,970. The city would be responsible for 10 percent of that amount from money allocated in the airport fund. The remainder would be paid by the Federal Aviation Administration.

In an advisory board matter, Convention and Visitors Bureau board member Rick Freeman said he is considering resigning because of “clashing” with another member. Freeman previously resigned from another advisory board for the same reason. He had assured commissioners when he was appointed to the CVB that the situation would not develop again.

Jones said the commission needs to “take a look” at the CVB board. Souza suggested a comprehensive review of all boards and committees.

The Herington City Commission is next scheduled to meet in regular session at 6 p.m. Aug. 2.

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