Senior staff writer
Southport’s elected and appointed municipal leaders have a busy calendar until the end of the year.
First, the five-member City Council is expected to approve the municipality’s 2016 budget at 7 p.m. Oct. 19. Councilors unanimously moved the proposed budget through first and second readings last month.
Mayor Jesse Testruth pointed out that the budget is balanced with an emphasis on public safety. The city has bought four new police cars and a pickup truck this year.
Tax revenues should amount to $617,252 in 2016.
Clerk-treasurer Diana Bossingham said, “The proposed budget is fully funded.”
The council recently advanced a proposal that would allow Southport to break from the Marion County district and establish its own storm water district. Attorney Brian Bosma outlined the steps that Southport needs to take before the end of the year so that fees can be collected beginning in 2016.
The Board of Works meets Oct. 16 to set storm water management fees for home owners, with rates for businesses and manufacturers based on total area of impervious surface, parking lots, etc.
Upon passage of the rate structure, the council would hold a public hearing Nov. 16 and act as the board of storm water management.
The effective date of withdrawal from Marion County and establishment of the new storm water management district is Dec. 28.
Council members at the Sept. 21 meeting agreed with Bosma that the proposed district would allow Southport to have full control to make drainage improvements.
Bosma explained that Southport receives some benefit from the countywide storm water district.
Southport would be obligated to pay its share of a Marion County bond in effect through 2040. The annual rate would be just under $10,000 annually through 2025, before being reduced to $1,500 until 2040.
Beech Grove, also an exclude” city within Marion County, recently established its storm water management district and has scheduled more than 40 improvement projects in the coming years.