Perry City Council: 3 things you missed from Tuesday’s meeting

Allison Ullmann - Staff
Members of the Perry City Council tour the wastewater treatment plant on Aug. 1. Rates and fees for sewer usage and treatment will increase on Oct. 1. PHOTO BY ALLISON ULLMANN/THE PERRY CHIEF

The Perry City Council met at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4 in the Security Bank Building. The meeting was pushed to Tuesday because of Labor Day.

Here are three things you may have missed:

1. Council approves tax abatement applications

The Perry City Council passed a resolution approving tax abatement applications for construction completed in 2018. City Administrator Sven Peterson said the county assessor likes to have the tax abatement applications submitted in a couple batches each year. Peterson added that the applications are what the City of Perry has received so far this year.

Council Member Barb Wolling asked if the work is completed by the time the council receives them, or just initiated. Peterson said most of the time the work has been initiated. Others are in process, he said, as new construction takes longer.

He likes to get those applications in so the council can approve them and then send them to the assessor.

Wolling then asked if the property is assessed before and after construction. Peterson said it depends on the property. For a rehabilitation project, he recommends having the homeowner first call the assessor. Then they can discuss the project and what improvements they plan to make. Peterson added that the assessor definitely goes out after construction to assess the property.

“And that’s the basis for the tax abatement. Not necessarily the ticket item, but the assessed value of the ticket item,” Wolling said.

“The increase in assessed value. That’s why I like people to call ahead because if you just put on new siding and windows and a roof, that may cost $30,000, but it may not improve the value that much,” Peterson said. “But putting on an addition, building a garage, things like that substantially increase the value of a property.”

2. Council approves increases in sewer usage and treatment rates and fees

The Perry City Council approved four separate resolutions establishing rates and fees for sewer usage and treatment for the fiscal years 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The rate increases will help fund the City of Perry’s upcoming wastewater treatment plant improvement project. The project is estimated to be in the $16-18 million range.

For fiscal year 2019, Peterson said the availability charge will be $15.65 for residential and commercial use. That number will climb to $17.65 in 2020, $19.65 in 2021 and $21.65 in 2022.

Peterson added that the residential and commercial availability charge will be a $6 increase in October and then a $2 increase each year after that.

“So obviously the biggest increase is the first one,” Mayor John Andorf said.

“We haven’t had an increase (since 2010),” Council Member Randy McCaulley said.

The usage rate for residential will increase to $4.50 per 1,000 in fiscal year 2019, while commercial will increase to $4.68 per 1,000. That number will increase to

Peterson said the increase is a 20 percent increase for residential and commercial usage rates. Those numbers will then increase by six percent for each fiscal year through 2022.

“Come 2023, we’ll be able to assess where we are at,” Peterson said of the sewer usage and treatment rates and fees. “We do need to adopt a policy where we just do a regular annual increase of probably two or three percent.”

3. Council approves open burning dates

The Perry City Council passed a resolution approving the City of Perry’s open burning dates from 10 a.m. to sundown on Oct. 31 to Nov. 20.

Wolling said the only comment she heard from residents revolved around extending the burning dates because of weather concerns.

“I think a three week window of opportunity is realistic to start out with,” Council Member Chuck Schott said.

He added that if the weather doesn’t cooperate, the council can discuss it then.

Peterson said the council will likely set the 2019 open burning dates at the same time as the yard waste pickup dates in the spring.

“It would be nice for our residents to know it’s always a certain date each year,” City Finance Officer Susie Moorhead said.