To the editor:
At a special meeting of the Beech Grove City Council on Sept. 14, the 2016 budget was introduced for its first reading.
The police and fire chiefs and Public Works director enlightened the council with an overview of their respective departments. Much has improved since we began in January 2012, but we still have a long way to go in our effort to provide the best services around.
As part of the budget presentation, the council relied on the city’s financial consultant for comments on the state of our fiances.
The budget will be balanced, fully funded and them some. I think the most telling part of our consultant’s presentation is the fact that the assessed valuation, or net worth, of our city has grown by 10.71 percent this year. What this means is that your property is worth more.
Another major point that needs to be made is that the 2015 tax rate has dropped from 2014. In 2014 the civil city tax rate was 1.48, and the tax rate for 2015 is 1.41. We have held the line on these taxes yet continue to invest in our city.
Although the proposed budget is expected to increase by more than $850,000, our consultant advised us that the tax rate will remain close to the 2015 rate or may even be reduced again. This is due to continued growth in our city.
This is good news for our government and excellent news for residents and the people who conduct business in our city.
Highlights of the budget include a 2 percent raise for full- time employees, an additional police officer and firefighter, added pickups for the DPW, three new police cars, $1 per hour increase for part-time employees, part-time employees in the lobby of the police station from 4 p.m.-midnight every day and a $92,000.00 increase in the paving budget.
It keeps getting better and better.
Dennis B. Buckley
Mayor of Beech Grove