Carmi City Council passes tax levy

The Carmi City Council met for their second November meeting on Tuesday night.  The Council approved the 2015 property tax levy presented by Keith Botch of Botsch and Associates CPA by a 7-1 vote.  Botsch explained that a 5% increase amounting to roughly $21,000 was required by state law for pension payments and that the Council could easily increase the levy three or four times the current amount, but has chosen not to in the past in order to not burden residents.

The Council then unanimously passed ordinances to pay General Obligation bonds for 2015.  The documents will be prepared and published at City Hall. Botsch also reminded the Council that they should be preparing for next year’s budget, as that is due 90 days after the first of the year.

A revolving loan request for $125,000 from HJP Properties, LLC for equipment and working capital for the Taco Factory was approved unanimously.  Sandra Irvin told the Council the revolving loan fund was doing well and that the City has issued more than $2 million dollars in funds since the program was created.  Irvin stated that all current loans were in good standing. Heather Price thanked the Council for approving the loan, and stated that groundbreaking for the new restaurant had been scheduled for Monday, but was pushed back due to the weather.

Mayor Jeff Pollard congratulated Alderman Mike Knight on his appointment to the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission and announced that the Fire Department had voted to continue operating under their current by-laws. Pollard also reminded those in attendance of upcoming It’s A White County Christmas events and wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

A visitor asked the Mayor about parking regulations on Robinson Street, and after discussion involving Police Chief Jason Carter and several Alderman, it was determined that the issue will be put on the agenda for the first meeting in December.

Another group of visitors asked for clarification about the Council’s actions in regards to the sale of Phoenix Rehab to a group of New York investors. Pollard again stated that the debts to the City owed by the Phoenix Foundation were still being pursued by the City, and that the Council’s actions were done in the best interest of the staff and residents of the facility now known as Carmi Manor.

The meeting adjourned at 6pm with no closed session.  The next meeting is scheduled for December 8th.

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