|Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - September 2010
Copyright 2010 - Polk County Publishing Company
City tax increase less than expected
Trinity Standard -
TRINITY – Although an 11-cent hike in the city’s tax rate was projected last year, the actual increase approved last week was just under 5.5 cents. During a relatively brief meeting on Thursday, Sept. 9, the Trinity City Council approved the new tax rate, its fiscal 2011 budget and changing the name of Lakefield Street to honor the late Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The council set a tax rate of 76.99 cents per $100 in assessed value. This is up from last year’s 71.60 cents but was far less than was projected with the council issued $500,000 in certificates of obligation to pay for part of a massive street improvement program. At the time the city borrowed the $500,000 for the work, they projected about an 11-cent increase in the local tax rate to cover the repayment of the debt over a 15-year period. Interim City Manager Buddy Drake said after the meeting that an increase in local property values reduced the size of the tax rate increase. “All of the increase is going to pay off the debt,” he said. The new city budget, which goes into effect on Oct. 1, calls for spending of almost $3.2 million during the coming year. This includes an across the board salary increase of 3 percent for all city employees. The fiscal 2010 budget was almost $3.6 million, but included the $500,000 for the street work. Lakefield Street renamed In other business, the council received a request from Lois Saldana asking them to reconsider an earlier petition to rename Lakefield Street in western Trinity in honor of King. Previously, the council had agreed to rename North Lakefield as Martin Luther King Jr. Street but after receiving opposition from residents on South Lakefield, decided to leave the name of that portion of the street unchanged. Before final approval of that plan could be made at the August city council meeting, supporters of the name changed withdrew their petition. They indicated they wanted a street – not a portion of a street – that would be worthy of the King name and decided to try and find another roadway in town. However, during her presentation last week, Saldana asked the council to reconsider the matter and rename all of Lakefield in honor of the late civil rights leader. She noted that the street – particularly the southern part of Lakefield -- once served both the old Colored High School and the Westside School as well as the old black cemetery. She also pointed out that the council shouldn’t consider Lakefield as two streets but at one. She noted that Robb Street (Highway 19) is not considered to be two separate streets just because it crosses Main Street. Jean Johnson, a resident of South Lakefield, was present for the meeting and again expressed her opposition to the name change. Johnson and the two other residents of South Lakefield, had previously signed a petition asking the council not to rename their street. All of the residents of North Lakefield, along with a number of other city residents, had submitted a petition asking that it be designated as Martin Luther King Jr. Street. After discussing the matter for several minutes, the council voted 4-1 to approve the name change. Councilman Chris Dennis cast the only “no” vote, indicating the opinion of the residents of South Lakefield was a primary factor in his decision.