By PJ Martin
The Edmonton City Council met in a specially called meeting in City Hall on Monday, September 13th. Edmonton Fire Chief Jerry Clemmons and ABC Administrator Fred Ray were absent.
Prior to the council meeting agenda, an open public hearing was held for discussion on the Municipal Road Aid Funds and Local Government Economic Assistance (LGEA) Funds. No comments were received by mail and none in person.
The first reading of Tax Ordinance 2021-2022-02 was heard. The proposed motor vehicle and watercraft tax is 15.2 cents per every $100 of assessed value in the City of Edmonton as of January 1, 2022, was approved. This rate has remained unchanged since 1983.
The first reading of Tax Ordinance 2021-2022-03 was also heard. The council approved the Real Property and Personal Property tax rate at .084 per $100 of assessed value in the City of Edmonton.
The choice offered per KRS 132.020(6) is a compensating rate of .084 (per $100). Offered per KRS 132.027(3) is a 4% increase to .087 (per $100). Last year’s rate was .085 (per $100). If the 4% amount were chosen, a public hearing would be required.
Councilmember Faye Word spoke up, “I don’t think we should increase.” Multiple members agreed.
The audit of FY 2019-2020 was presented by Jeff Carter of the firm Taylor, Polson, & Company, PSC. He noted the delay due to Covid and that the audit results should have been presented much earlier. The audit showed a ‘clean opinion’ or as the new term used ‘unidentified.’
Police Chief Delaney Wilson proposed an increase in pay rates as an incentive to recruit and keep police officers. The council approved a $1 per hour increase after discussing whether the budget could handle an increase or not. Also approved was a night shift premium increase of $0.50 per hour.
A Police Vehicle Use – Take Home Vehicle policy was approved after a discussion of the specifics in the policy.
Resolution 2021-2022-01 declaring September as City Government Month was approved.
City Clerk Dawn Devore presented an update on the American Relief Fund proposed usage. Half of the funds have been received ($206,519.81). The funds can only be used in specific ways and a list of proposed uses is being sent to City Attorney Brian Pack for approval. Some of the proposed uses are to purchase auto-read water meters, sewer system maintenance work, and the Edmonton Memorial Park Project.
Another use is premium pay for essential workers such as police, fire, water, sewer, and gas workers who are classified as essential per the League of Cities. The proposed amount would be paid according to hours worked from March 30, 2020, to March 30, 3021, in a lump sum. The rate would be calculated at $.070 per regular hour and $1.05 per overtime hour. When you add in FICA and retirement the total would be ± $70,000. A motion was approved for the essential work pay usage.
The other listed proposed uses have yet to be estimated and will be discussed at a later time.
Dawn explained, “Obviously we can’t use it for all these things, because it’s gonna cost too much, but these are ideas that we have.”