|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
Fee increases take effect for Livingston utility customers
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — With the start of a new budget year, Livingston utility customers will see small increase in the customer base service charge as part of the budget passed in September by Livingston City Council. Residential customers base service fee will go from $7.50 to $10 a month. In reviewing the 2012 fiscal year, City Manager Marilyn Sutton said that the City of Livingston had an upturn in the local economy overall. She projects cash receipts to continue to grow for the coming year. For the FY 2013 budget Sutton is projecting cash receipts of $5,437,060, which is $32,294,42 more than the preceding year. That calls for a 2 percent increase in sales tax receipts and a slight increase in gross revenue and franchise fees. “We anticipate that hotel occupancy tax revenues will remain relatively flat as will municipal court fines and fees and park and recreation and library fees,” Sutton said in her budget transmittal to council members. Sanitation fees will increase to an 8 percent rate increase as well as new commercial businesses that will open in the new fiscal year, she added. Operating expenses are expected to increase $148,375 (2.94 percent) due to a 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment for all employees, a 5 percent increase in employee health insurance costs and a 1.6 percent increase in retirement costs. Sutton said the city will continue the hiring freeze imposed in 2010 and no new positions were included in the 2012-2013 budget. The council approve the issuance of $6 million in certificates of obligation to fund renovations to the Wadsworth building on Tyler Street for a new 17,500 square foot library. Sutton said Tuesday five proposals were opened Tuesday and they will be reviewed and scored so they can be presented to City Council at their next meeting Oct. 9. One of the items on the agenda will be to make a recommendation to council on the selection of a construction manager at risk for the library project. Also during the September meeting, Sutton announced that Code Enforcement Staff plans to begin working with the owners of empty commercial and residential property on Church, Houston and Washington streets to encourage them to renovate or demolish structures that do not meet existing building codes. “They will meet individually with property owners to see what we can do to get them to either renovate the property or remove the structure so that we don’t have a decaying building in the downtown business district,” Sutton said. She also reported there has been a great deal of activity in many buildings in the Main Street area.