City of Long Pine Approves 2017-2018 Budget; Requests $48,443.64 in Property Tax

Long Pine City Council members Dave Cheatum, Teresa LeMunyan and Aaron Miller met for their regular city council meeting on Thursday, September 7th. Council member Jo Dailey was absent.

Open Hearings

Mayor Ed Brown opened the hearings for the 2017-2017 budget and to set the final tax request.

Consent Agenda

Minutes from the August 9th special meeting, treasurer’s report, approval of claims and payroll summary were all approved under the consent agenda.

Health Board Updates

Mayor Ed Brown stated that there has been lots of activity at 411 N. Ash Street. Eight-ten metal trash bins have been placed on the property. The bins have been filled with brick, wood and construction items. He stated there has been some progress in the clean-up but that as stuff has been moved out, more stuff has been brought in. Cheatum will talk to the owners to see if they have a plan to have the property cleaned up prior to winter setting in.

Two courtesy letters were sent out by the City stating they would like them to clean up their properties.

One owner replied that they are waiting for it to cool off before they clean up their property. They will be using some of the materials for projects they are doing.

The other owner stated that he had a crew coming in to help demolish two trailers. He ran into a snag and that crew is not going to be able to help with the project.

The owner is looking for someone else to assist.

Another property has a trailer on their land. A recent wind storm ripped the roof off the trailer. The owner will be removing that trailer and replacing it with another one.

A box camper sitting on 2nd and Cedar Streets needs to be moved. Ed and Dave stated they will help the owner move it when he needs their assistance.

There still is a list of yards that need to be mowed. Some of those contacted have complied; others have not. The City is still working on getting the owners to mow before the City does.

Animal Control Officer

Animal Control Officer Cheatum stated that he contacted one person whose dog had been running around. Cheatum stated he has had a conversation with one resident about his dogs and stated that they need to follow the ordinance regarding pets.

Municipal Equalization Funds

At the August meeting, a question was asked about funding that is available for the City of Long Pine that isn’t being received.

City Clerk Baxter stated that the funds have been received. In 2017, the City of Long Pine received $20,500.00 and in 2018 it is anticipated that the funds will be $17,628.00. These funds come from the State of Nebraska.

Cemetery Certificate

The Council approved a cemetery certificate for Paul Josoff.

Brown County Foundation

Marilyn Williams and Diana Syfie representing the Brown County Foundation were present to share what the Foundation is all about. They are an unrestricted endowment which means their money is not confined to being spent on one thing. These funds are in place for all Brown County - Ainsworth, Long Pine and Johnstown - to be used.

At a Town Hall Meeting in 2015, those present put projects into four categories to work on - education, recreation, infrastructure and health.

The Foundation started in 1995, and since then, grants have been used in Long Pine on projects such as the Youth Recreation Center and Fire Department to name a couple.

They explained the current project going on with the Sherwood Foundation. For every $2.00 donated they will match with a $1.00.

If anyone is interested in serving as volunteers on the Board or on one of the two committees - Scholarship or Grant - or have any questions, they can contact either Marilyn or Diana.

Subdivision

Jim and Nancy Carley requested a subdivision on property by the Old Assembly of God Church and their property on Third Street. The Council approved this subdivision, but City Attorney Palmer suggested that the document presented to the Mayor be completely filled out. He stated there needs to be a name of the subdivision, plus a land description. This information will be needed when it is filed with the County Courthouse, plus would need to be put on the platt map and it should be on file at the City Clerk’s Office.

Budget and Tax Request

The Mayor closed the hearings at 7:39 p.m. The Council approved the 2017-2017 Budget and set the Final Tax Request.

According to the Budget Summary, the 2016-2017 Property Tax Request was $45,123.77, with a 2016 Tax Rate of $.449993.

The 2017-2018 Proposed Property Tax Request is for $48,443.64 and the Proposed 2017 Tax Rate is $0449995.

Employee Raises

After discussion, the City Employees - Utilities Superintendent Jim DeBolt and City Clerk Nadine Baxter - were given a $1.50 an hour raise retroactive to March 2017. The Council approved these raises and thanked them for their hard work keeping Long Pine running smoothly.

Part-time employee Gary Pike is working through a Federal Training Program, therefore he is not paid through the City of Long Pine and was not considered for a raise.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Brown informed those present that there will be a Lexington Hazardous Waste pick-up in Ainsworth at the KBR Transfer Station on Friday, September 15th from 1:00-2:30 p.m. If you have items but have no way to haul them, contact the Long Pine City Office.

The City is waiting on bids from NPPD to install more electricity around the lagoon to help with the aeration cycle to cut down on the amount of waste that needs to be removed. At this time, the City is looking into other alternatives to keep the cost down for its residents in the City of Long Pine.

Brown stated that two more loads of rock were brought in to do repairs on streets and to place some of it in front of the Long Pine City Office. The Nebraska Game & Parks was contacted on helping the City pour concrete in front of the City Office. The City is waiting for bids on this project.

There will be a flu clinic in Long Pine on Monday, October 23rd at City Hall.

Concerns from residents were raised once again about the new water rates. City Ordinances were changed to comply with the water rates and no longer allowing 2,000 gallons free a couple months ago.

After the meeting, those wanting more information on how meters are read had the opportunity to see the meters read with the proper equipment displayed at the meeting.

Ainsworth Star-Journal

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