Wednesday, July 24, 2024
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Tax Increase Part Of Livingston’s New Fiscal Year Budget

Livingston’s new fiscal year budget will include a five cent increase in property taxes.

The Livingston Board of Alderman held the first reading of the budget for fiscal year Monday night. Vice Mayor Ken Dodson said he thinks the board should move forward with the MTAS recommended increase.

“I just think anyone that has given us advice on this has told us that we’re not being responsible if we don’t do the nickel increase,” Dodson said. “It looks like it’s definitely needed and can be used so I’ll support that.”

The nickel increase would create some $45,000 in additional revenue for the city. Dodson said he hoped the tax increase could help Livingston find some money for paving. The current budget under discussion currently has no money set aside for paving.

Alderman Kelly Coleman said he wants to continue focus on the paving project for the sake of the constituents.

“The paving project has been extremely well-received by our citizens because people wanted to see a return for their increase, and they got it,” Coleman said. “And there are a lot of people still calling us saying ‘Well why didn’t my street get on that list?'”

One of the biggest expenditures in the new budget: $1.3 million for a two-part water metering project. The project is an attempt to fix the city’s water leakage issue.

Consulting engineer Greg Davenport said the meters need to be replaced every seven to ten years to fix any leaks. He said that in addition, the new water meters would have the technology to be able to locate potential leaks.

Davenport that the city’s water system leakage is the number one issue facing the water system.

“The good news is there’s been a couple of fairly large leaks that were found and fixed by in-house city crews,” Davenport said. “The bad news is, it appears there are a lot of very small leaks there that are not really telling on themselves.”

Mayor Curtis Hayes said the city might be able to use federal COVID relief funds to cover some of the project costs.

Also included in the budget proposal, the addition of two fireman. MTAS officials told Livingston Fire Department to aim to eventually have 10 firefighters with their department.

The city has also budgeted some $150,000 cost of construction for the renovation on the public safety building following the TOSHA and OSHA findings. The current plan is to add sleeping quarters and an ingress/egress to the building.