City Council Will Discuss Tax Levy, Task Force - The Missourian: Washington

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City Council Will Discuss Tax Levy, Task Force

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Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2014 6:30 pm

A public hearing on tax rates and the future for the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit are on the agenda for the next Washington City Council meeting.

The council will meet Monday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.

The public hearing will help set the proposed property tax rates for the city of Washington and the city’s library district. The proposed rates are unchanged from last year.

The city is proposing a property tax rate of 70.62 cents per each $100 of assessed valuation of property. The proposed levy, the maximum allowed by state law, includes a general fund levy of 60.62 cents for the general fund and 10 cents for the Washington library district.

Also on the agenda is an ordinance to execute a memorandum of understanding to join an expanded task force.

In order to comply with new state standards, the task force is making plans to join with new cities and two new counties.

Washington Police Chief Ken Hahn said recent state changes have mandated that task forces consolidate to ensure coverage for areas in the state that were previously not covered.

Hahn said the task force, as currently constructed, has seven memorandums of understanding. To get to 10, the task force is proposing to add Reynolds and Lincoln counties and cities in those counties.

Additionally, Hahn said the task force would add Gerald and New Haven to give total coverage of Franklin County.

The council was set to vote on a new memorandum of understanding Aug. 4. However, the issue was tabled over concerns about insurance coverage.

The proposed memorandum of understanding calls for the same amount of insurance coverage that has been in place since 2005. The insurance costs nearly $70,000.

In a letter to the city from the task force unit commander, Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner said the task force is one of only three in the state that actually carries coverage specific to the task force outside of the member agencies own liability insurance.

Grellner’s letter said City Attorney Mark Piontek would like the $1 million policy to become a $3 million policy, but the task force wouldn’t be able to afford the rates.

The council decided to table the issue to gather more information. The issue is back on the agenda for Monday’s meeting.

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