Two public hearings will be conducted before the Canton City Council considers approval of a proposed millage rate increase for its new fire district. The council will hold one public hearing at 10 a.m. Thursday and the second during its work session at 6 that evening. Both meetings will be conducted at Canton City Hall.
Councilman Bill Bryan said the rate could be approved as early as the council’s meeting on Sept. 20.
The council is mulling imposing a 1.25 millage rate for the fire district, which would fund the construction of at least two new fire stations in the city limits. If the rate is set at 1.25, the city estimates it will generate about $930,000 on an annual basis.
The ordinance for the fire district was approved in August and allows the city to impose an ad valorem tax onto property. The revenue would be collected in the same way the city collects property taxes. However, no exemptions would apply to the tax and the revenue collected will pay for enhancing fire protection.
If the rate is set before Oct. 1, the city could begin collecting the revenue this year and will have enough money to build its long awaited fire station in Laurel Canyon. The fire station is estimated to cost around $750,000 and the city already has the assets it would use to equip the new station.
If that annual collection amount meets estimates, the city could use the remaining funds from the 2012 collections to add to the construction cost for the proposed fire station along Commerce Boulevard. That station is also estimated to cost around $750,000.
The city hopes to have enough revenue carried over from 2012 to add to projected 2013 collections to fund the station on Commerce.
Councilman John Beresford is also expected to lead the discussion of the five-year fire services plan at the work session that evening. The plan outlines how the city needs to shore up its fire services.
Beresford said the plan will outline cost estimates, location of fire stations and other related items.
“It’s an item we’ve been working on and it will be in final form for the council meeting,” he said.
The council is also expected to discuss garbage rates for senior citizens and those who are permanently disabled. Chief Financial Officer Nathan Ingram said seniors and disabled residents now pay $7.50 per month and city staff is recommending the rate increased to $11 each month. Ingram added remaining customers currently pay $16.50 and no changes are proposed to increase that price.
Other items on the agenda include:
* A proclamation for firefighters week;
* Review of the July 2012 financials;
* Discussion on a proposed pension plan service agreement;
* Discuss soliciting bids for the SCADA system at the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir;
* Discuss soliciting bids for an office at the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir;
* Discuss and review the proposed Canton Main Street’s work program and funding;
* Discuss procedure for evaluating Canton City Manager Scott Wood;
* Discuss possible business license fee increases;
* Hear an update on a proposed Heritage Park master plan;
* Discuss a request to change the name of Commerce Boulevard to Northside-Cherokee Boulevard;
* Discuss a request from Clifford Gene Payne to consider abandoning Cochran Lane at 9181 Knox Bridge Highway; and
* Discuss restructuring the city’s long term debt.