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As the first order of business at Thursday’s meeting of the Milton City Commission, Milton resident Lynn Comeaux was sworn in as the newest Milton Commissioner. Comeaux succeeds Gerald Owen whose resignation due to health reasons was announced by Mayor Denny Jackson during the commission’s April 12 meeting. Comeaux will serve out the remainder of Owen’s term, which expires on Jan. 1, 2013.
By voice vote the commissioners voted unanimously to approve the second reading of an ordinance to keep the city’s property tax rate for the next budget year the same as last year at 15 cents per $100.
“The PVA office needs a new [property tax rate] ordinance every year so that alerts them to begin billing,” City Attorney Genon Hensley said.
The Commission also approved a new medical insurance policy for city employees that ensures a cost-saving premium for the city.
“It’s a totally different policy and the rate is cheaper for the city,” City Clerk Pam Joyce said. Representatives for the provider had met with city employees and explained how the new plan is different from the previous policy. “I think everybody seemed pleased with the way it was going to work.”
Joyce said the new plan is still through Anthem, the same company through the Kentucky League of Cities from whom the city has secured policies previously, but a totally new plan.
“It’s saving the city a little over $4,000 a year,” Joyce said.
The commission discussed paying the same monthly amount as in the past year to apply the difference between the old monthly higher payment and the bank’s new lower rate toward the principle to pay down the loan more quickly.
Joyce explained that when the city renewed the loan this year “we got a cheaper interest rate and the payment dropped approximately $1,000 a month.”
“I wanted to pay extra, or the same amount where it was at, but since we’re in a year of a tight budget let’s pay what they’re requiring us to pay now and then over three months take a look at our budget and if we think we can afford we can pay more,” Commissioner Tom Mahoney said.
“We could make a budget amendment at that time,” Jackson said.
The commission will revisit the loan repayment discussion at the October meeting.
“We’ve been getting phone calls from a lot of people in the community who really like using the recycling bin,” Jackson said. “Recycling is a department of the county, but they were wanting me to approach the commission about seeing if it was possible for us to do something on our own.”
“If the county can’t do it I don’t know how they expect the city to do it,” Joyce said.
The recycling bin was put on hold for the duration of the 3-ton weight limit on the Milton-Madison Bridge because it would be cost-prohibitive for the contractor to transport the bin around the detour.
The county “just stopped it,” Joyce said. “It’s sitting up at the county barn at the road department.”
Mahoney asked if there was any other service that would take over the recycling.
“Yes, there is,” said Milton Water and Sewer Field Coordinator Mark Bates, “but it’s the added cost difference between what they’re currently doing and what they would have to do to get that program on and they decided to suspend the program until the weight limit was lifted off the bridge. There is other company’s that are doing that but the difference in the cost is substantial to the county.”
Commissioner Jerry Harmon asked if Joyce could call Rumpke to see if they had other options available.
“If we see that it’s a good thing to do money-wise we could do something but if not then, like the county, we’re going to have to hold on until next year,” he said.
The commission held the first reading of the budget ordinance for the fiscal year, July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. Revenues and expenditures projected for the various budgeted funds are as follows: General Fund—$141,366.00; Park Fund—$5,518.00; Municipal State and Road Fund—$62,623.42; Local Government Economic Assistance Fund—$7,638.00; Water Department maintenance Fund—$868,000.00; Sewer Department Maintenance Fund—$145,800.00; and Sewer Maintenance Reserve Fund—$62,432.00.
“I think the commissioners did an admirable job going over this,” Jackson said. “It took hours to do it. They were very conscientious.”
The commission set a special meeting for 5 p.m., on Thursday, June 21, to hold the second reading of the ordinance.