Hearing set on proposed tax hike

Starkville residents will get to have their say on a proposed tax increase this evening when the Board of Aldermen holds a public hearing on the issue and the city’s proposed budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
The Board of Aldermen will meet at 5:30 p.m. today in the City Hall courtroom.
At a special meeting Aug. 23, the aldermen approved — in a split 4-3 vote — a budget proposal that would increase the city’s ad valorem tax collection from 19.55 to 20 mills.
The budget proposal also includes outfitting and staffing of the new Fire Station No. 5, creation of Environmental Services Department and finance salaries for an additional information technology staff members, another building and codes inspector and an assistant city planner.
The proposal, which was presented by Ward 2 Alderwoman Sandra Sistrunk on Aug. 23, also allows the city to keep allocating funds to outside agencies and the Mississippi Horse Park and beef up the budget’s ending fund balance.
In addition to the public hearing on the budget and the proposed tax increase, the board is scheduled to discuss the proposed renaming of the Sanitation Department to the Environmental Services Department and the moving the landfill and landscape divisions from the Public Services Department to that new department, as well as discuss a minimum standard for poverty level for the city and possible salary equity adjustments for city employees.
Other items on the Board of Aldermen agenda include:
• A public appearance by Golden Triangle Planning and Development District executive director Rudy Johnson to discuss the planned construction project for his agency’s senior adult services.
• A report from the board’s ad hoc sign committee on recommended changes to the sign ordinance and discussion on setting a public hearing on the changes.
• Appointments to the Storm Water Hearing Board, the Tree Advisory Board and the Library Board of Trustees, the Starkville Housing Authority.
• A report from the Transportation Committee on possible amendments to the sidewalk ordinance.
The Board of Aldermen agenda is subject to amendment at the outset of Tuesday’s meeting. Copies of the agenda are available for download from the city’s website at http://www.cityofstarkville.org.