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Sales tax change defeated

By Staff | Jul 5, 2019

A revision to the City of Rugby’s Job Development Authority ordinance regarding the JDA’s share of sales taxes received was defeated Monday evening by a majority vote of Rugby City Council members.

If the first reading of Ordinance No. 420 passed unchanged, the JDA would have seen its share of collected sales tax revenues reduced from 35 percent to 33 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020.

Ward 2 Councilman Gary Kraft said he felt that after looking at the ordinance draft and hearing about programs the JDA was doing that reductions would cut that “a little short”.

Prior to the meeting, JDA Executive Director Liz Heisey requested agendas, committee meeting minutes and recordings in which Ordinance No. 420 had been discussed in a June 28 email to city council members and officials. Hersey said in the email the ordinance would directly affect the “City’s Component Unit’s ability to meet its obligations.”

Revenue drawing options, including a mill levy had been discussed at a recent JDA board meeting.

Ward 1 Councilwoman Jackie Albrecht said the JDA should go after the mill levy. City Attorney Bill Hartl said a mill levy would directly hit city residents, while the sales tax would get revenue from persons outside of the community shopping in Rugby.

Ward 2 Councilman Dave Bednarz had previously suggested tabling the ordinance and waiting a year to discuss it, but then motioned to leave the sales tax share at 35 percent rather than reducing it. The motion passed with Albrecht being the sole “no” vote.

Water service changes pass first reading

The council approved the first reading of Ordinance No. 417, which makes changes to Chapter 14.08 of Rugby Ordinances regarding water service.

The ordinance makes a change to Chapter 14.08.020, regarding city control and ownership. The city controls the curb stop and the meter. Applicants for service and property owners are responsible for the service line from the main to the water meter.

The ordinance changes Chapter 14.08.030, to state that the “superintendent of waterworks” or a designated person are the only ones who can tap mains.

The ordinance strikes the responsibility of utility customers providing meter readings on returned bills in Chapter 14.08.180.

Other actions

– The council approved bids from Troy Munyer for a John Deere mower; from Hartl for two sickle mowers; and from Rick Larson for a water tank and a truck with a plow attachment. The council tabled a bid from Larson on an asphalt machine.

– The council approved June meeting minutes, bills, financial statements, Municipal Judge’s report and JDA meeting minutes and financials.

– The council approved an application for a local raffle permit for the Heart of America Medical Center Auxiliary.

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