June 2, 2014 12:02:51 PM
Nathan Gregory - firstname.lastname@example.org
City officials have made a finalized list of infrastructure improvement projects public in advance of their meeting Tuesday, when councilmen will consider a $5 million bond issue to finance road, drainage and sidewalk deficiencies.
If a motion to issue the bond passes, city property taxes will increase by 1.1 mills, or $11 annually for a property valued at $100,000.
The list contains a total of $6,314,030 in improvements over the city's six wards. Engineering, project managing and attorney fees will total approximately 11 percent of the bond money, meaning about $4.5 million will go toward addressing city infrastructure needs. Councilmen have not decided whether to split that amount evenly between all six wards or tackle projects based on the needs of the city without regard to wards.
Councilmen and Mayor Robert Smith began open discussions on the bond proposal in March. A public hearing was held the following month. The matter was initially on the table to be passed during the council's May 20 meeting, but it was stricken from that agenda to allow further review of the list. Another public hearing was held during that meeting, but no one in attendance came forward to speak.
During Tuesday's 5 p.m. meeting at the municipal complex, councilmen will also revisit the city's citizen input agenda policy. Citizens were initially allowed to speak three to five minutes during meetings if they got on the agenda. Earlier this year, councilman Bill Gavin asked that resident Berry Hinds, a regular attendee of council meetings, have extra time to speak after his allotted time ran out. Since then, all residents who requested to be on the agenda have not had time limits when they address the council.
In other business, the council will consider approving a nuisance ordinance and awarding contracts for various renovation projects for the Trotter Convention Center.
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.