Proposed Baldwin City, Eudora 2019 budgets keep mill levies steady

photo by: Journal-World File Photos

At left is Baldwin City Hall, 803 Eighth St.; at right is the city government office at 4 E. Seventh St. in Eudora.

Flat is a word that defines the 2019 mill levies proposed for the cities of Baldwin City and Eudora.

Baldwin City Administrator Glenn Rodden and Eudora City Manager Barack Matite said proposed 2019 budgets will keep flat the mill levies of their respective cities of 44.498 mills in Baldwin City and 39.499 mills in Eudora. At those rates, the city’s share of taxes on a $175,000 home would be $895 in Baldwin City and $795 in Eudora.

Matite said Eudora benefited from a 6-percent increase in its overall assessed valuation fueled by 21 new housing starts in 2017. That trend is continuing in 2018.

“Right now, we have had 23 housing starts, which is more than we had for all of last year,” he said. “We are seeing a resurgence of what Eudora was back in the early 2000s.”

There will be no Eudora electrical or trash rate increases for 2019, but 6 percent increases are budgeted for water and waste water rates, Matite said.

Baldwin City saw a modest overall assessment increase that will provide $50,000 more in revenue in 2019, Rodden said. The Baldwin City proposed budget has no utility rate increases.

The budget did recommend a cut to the city’s economic development fund from the $100,000 in 2018 to $90,000 in 2019, Rodden said. The proposal would cut annual allocations to the Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and Baldwin City Economic Development Corporation by 10 percent. The grant money the city annually sets aside for downtown storefront facade improvements and community residential upgrades would also be cut by 10 percent.

Members of the Baldwin City chamber attended a July 17 meeting to lobby against the $3,100 cut to the organization, Rodden said. City council members agreed to make a final decision on the 2019 allocation to the chamber when taking final action on the budget on Aug. 7.

The 10 percent cut to economic development was part of the council’s effort to build a reserve to fund sidewalk and trail improvements, Rodden said.

“We’re looking at ways to do that without raising taxes,” he said. “With the school district having to end bus service in the city because of the difficulty finding drivers, we’re looking at working with the school district to improve sidewalks and trails that connect downtown to the schools.”

The city will have a public forum on sidewalks and trails at 7 p.m. Monday at the Baldwin City Public Library, Rodden said.

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