MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon city coffers will be about $100,000 less in 2010 than in 2009 based on depreciation values of personal property.
The county has a 10-mill levy on such property with 3.2 mills going to the city of Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon City Auditor Terry Scott estimated the income received from this resolution will generate approximately $809,000. This is about an 11 percent reduction in estimated income coming in from the county, Scott told Mount Vernon City Council Monday night.
Scott said he spent time in the Knox County Auditor’s Office doing research on the reduction as he speculated the loss was a derivative of tax evaluations going down.
“It is, as a matter of fact, and the area it is centered upon is in the personal property tax,” Scott said.
In 2008, there was a $55 million calculation. In 2009, that figure fell to just over $6 million.
“That’s something we will be incorporating into next year’s budget,” Scott said. “We will have a reduction of not quite $100,000. … After a while, these $100,000 (reductions) will start to add up to real money for us.”
Council approved a motion to waive the three readings and adopted legislation to approve the levy rates.
Councilman at large, Mike Hillier directed council’s attention to the old middle school to get a feel for how other council members felt about the slow progress of improvements.
In mid-July, council gave owner John Bechtel 30 days to comply with necessary safety improvements on the neglected building. Following a search of the property in August, with a search warrant, it was determined Bechtel had complied with three out of four of the city’s requirements. City Safety-Service Director David Glass said Bechtel has acquired a State of Ohio permit to box in windows in the building. Three were finished late last week and 10 to 12 were completed on Monday, Glass said. There are approximately 200 windows in the property.
Despite the slow forward progress by Bechtel, Hillier asked council if dates should be set for completion of the project.
Fourth Ward representative John Fair agreed stating benchmarks need to be set in order to keep Bechtel from coming back to council with further requests for tax abatements.
Burt Hanson, 1st Ward councilman, sided with Hillier and Fair but would like to see if Bechtel continues with work. If, and when work stops, Hanson suggests council continues endeavors to file charges against the property owner.
In other action,
•Council approved the transfer of $10,000 to the city impound for towing expenses, $5,000 for the Mansfield Avenue water line project and $10,000 to city EMS for dues and supplies. This legislation was passed as an emergency to waive three required readings. Over $8,800 has been collected this year in impound fees, Scott said.
•Approved, by emergency, payment of $4,090 to wrap up the Blackjack Road project. Glass said the purchase order was overlooked in the $2 million project.
•Dennis Murray, current president of Mount Vernon Kiwanis, and Austin Swallow, president elect, presented a check for $12,000 to help fund the restroom facility at Foundation Park.
“We barbequed a lot of chickens and stood on our feet a long time out at the fairgrounds for this,” Murray said regarding fundraising efforts by the service organization.
•Murray, health commissioner of Knox County, also encouraged council members to get a seasonal flu shot. Vaccines are currently available at independent pharmacies throughout the city and shots will be available at the Knox County Health Department beginning Oct. 1.
•Mayor Mavis reminded council of Thursday’s MIA/POW Vigil. Former Mount Vernon Police Officer George Curry will be the featured speaker. Curry is a Vietnam War veteran and his uncle was a Korean War POW, Mavis said. The vigil will take place on Public Square at 6:30 p.m.
•Trick or Treat is scheduled in the city for Saturday, Oct. 31, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.
•The city’s Clean Ohio Grant application is nearly ready for filing. According to Mavis, this would be a $300,000 no-match grant for assessing the former American National Can property site. A public meeting to discuss the property will take place Nov. 5 at 7 p.m.
•The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will take place Saturday, Oct. 3, at 8:30 a.m. The annual event is to recognize, honor and pray for elected and appointed officials.
•Bruce Hawkins commented on the excellent job by Kokosing Construction for work on New Gambier Road. Hawkins said he was happy that traffic continues, for the most part, to flow at the posted speed limit. He also reminded council residents will be able to drop off household hazardous material at the Knox County Fairgrounds on Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
•Derk Demaree took the opportunity to give a public congratulations to the Mount Vernon High School football team. The Yellow Jackets defeated Mansfield Madison on Friday night, 41-12. “We are proud of them and wish them many more wins.”