|Council formally adopts income tax increase|
|Tuesday, June 17, 2014 8:08 PM|
BY GREG SCHERGER
DHI Media Correspondent
DELPHOS — Delphos City Council met in regular session Monday evening for the second time in the month. However, due to the fact that two councilmen were not present — Joe Martz and Andy Knueve — all of the matters presented on first reading and the majority of the legislation on second reading carried over to a quickly-scheduled special meeting to be held at 6:15 p.m. today at council chambers on Canal Street.
With only five council members present, the attendance was insufficient for voting on first and second reading ordinances. Legislation on third reading was addressed by those in attendance and all third reading ordinances were unanimously passed.
On third reading, council passed an ordinance to formally adopt the quarter-percent income tax increase passed by Delphos voters on May 6. The tax increase will go into effect as of July 1 on all qualifying wages, commissions and other compensation earned or received by residents of the city and upon non-residents of the city for work performed or services rendered within the city.
The quarter-percent increase raises the city income tax from the present 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent and is in effect until June 30th, 2017, unless amended by council at that time. The new tax increase is expected to raise approximately $400,000 annually for the city and is earmarked for the Parks Department.
Council also passed an ordinance to provide 22 non-bargaining full-time employees with additional sick leave time for the period of 2008 through November 2013 to conform with the Ohio Revised Code. In this time frame, the accumulated sick leave time had been calculated at a rate lower than provided by the ORC; the adjustment brings the compensation into compliance.
Additionally passed on final reading was authorization for Mayor Michael Gallmeier and/or Safety Services Director Shane Coleman to enter into agreement with Lakeview Farms to extend the current water and sewer rates to the expanding entity at current rates for a period of three years, and authorization for the administration to dispose of surplus assets, including one car, one truck and miscellaneous items through Gov.Deals, an online auction service.
Council read but could take no definitive action to first- and second-reading legislation due to a lack of quorum to the adoption of the 2015 city budget, contract with Stolly Insurance for general property and liability insurance, establishing a new fund for the parks income tax revenue, a separation agreement for dispatchers from the city as the dispatch service within the city comes to a close, as well as proposed increases to current water rates of five percent, and a 10-percent increase in current sewer rates. These items will be addressed at today’s meeting. Time is of the essence for the budget and insurance contract. The budget needs to secure approval by July 7, the present insurance contract expires June 30.
Councilman Mark Clement stated his intent not to support the proposed water and sewer increases, suggesting that the proposed increases be cut in half, and further to extend to Bunge NA a water rate deal similar to that just extended to Lakeview Farms. Clement indicated the water and sewer rates for Delphos customers have, in his opinion, reached a “critical limit” with concern that such additional rate increases will drive residents and businesses out of town.
Council received positive news regarding the proposed paving of East Second Street from Main to Douglas streets. The project had an estimated cost of $188,757 with 20 percent of the cost shouldered by the city, the total low bid was said to be $157,140, including ODOT-approved striping. The low bidder for the project was not announced and is expected to be revealed at the first July council session.