For the third straight meeting the Effingham City Council had a lengthy discussion about the city’s tax levy.
The levy proposed by City Administrator Jim Arndt would increase the levy by 10.57%. With this increase to the levy, the City would be able to hire four additional police offers, while also allowing the corporate fund to be fully funded. With an increase of 10.57%, home owners in the city would pay an additional cost of $60.7 a year, which is just over 5$ per month. The desire to add to the city’s police force is because an increase in police staff would allow a number of officers that ensures safety to the citizens, reduces overtime, and allows non-enforcement time for officers to positively interact in the community. The Council still hasn’t determined if they will vote on the presented increase to the levy, but that decision is likely to be made in the next few days. For the Council to be able to vote on a tax levy, an amount must be set by Tuesday of next week.
In other action, the council voted against an ordinance that would have allowed alcohol on city property during certain events. The ordinance was proposed by Mayor Jeff Bloemker, who expressed a desire to have a Holiday party for the city’s committee members and other volunteers. Bloemker was the lone vote in favor of the ordinance. The four city commissioners all showed support for an event to show appreciation to committee members and volunteers, but expressed a concern about having it on city property were alcohol involved.
The Council also heard from David Faller, who was representing West & Company. West & Company has conducted an audit of the city’s financial statements for a number of years. Faller said that the results of the audit were positive, with the city’s finances reported fairly and accurately.