Batesville City Council approves tax levy change, discusses amendment to curbside waste disposal

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The Batesville City Council amended its levy of taxes on real and personal property at its meeting Tuesday. The council also discussed an amendment to the city’s curbside waste disposal ordinance.

It had previously approved the tax levy for 2018 and payable in 2019 at five mills for City General and four-tenths of a mill for the firemen’s pension fund. However, voters approved an increase in the pension fund millage to a full mill in the November general election.

The amended levy of a total of six mills will be certified to the Independence County Quorum Court and the county clerk.

The council placed the millage issue on the ballot by an ordinance that was approved in August. The Batesville Firefighters Retirement Fund was facing insolvency because no one has paid into the fund since the city joined a state-run retirement fund for policemen and firemen.

Some of the retired firefighters attended the council meeting Tuesday. Former fire chief Bobby Davis thanked the council for placing the issue on the ballot. He also thanked the voters in Batesville who supported the millage increase.

Alderman David Shetron moved to approve the levy change and it was approved on a 6-0 vote with members Margarett Henley and Ronda Bryant absent.

The city council also discussed a possible amendment to the curbside waste disposal ordinance Tuesday. No action was taken on the proposal but it will be taken up at an upcoming meeting.

The amended ordinance was drafted to address changes necessitated by the purchases of new equipment and waste containers.

The city is providing all residents with waste containers and has ordered a new sanitation truck that can be operated by one person using an automatic loading device. The new containers are designed to be used with such a device.

The city is providing curbside customers with one city-owned waste container. Additional containers may be rented from the city.

Under the proposed ordinance, the city will only pick up curbside waste from the containers. It further stipulates that all liquids must be drained from the waste before it is placed in the garbage container, and the waste container lids must be completely closed for pickup.

The proposal also states:

–Waste containers may not be placed in the front yards except at times of pickup.

–Containers shall be placed adjacent to the street (at curbside) on the day of the week designated for pickup.

–The containers may be placed at curbside after 12 p.m. on the day prior to collection and must be removed from curbside by 10 p.m. on the day of pickup.

The fine for violating the ordinance will be not less than $10 and not more than $100 for each offense. Each day of continued violation constitutes a separate offense.

City Engineer Damon Johnson said any resident who does not have one of the new containers should call City Hall and one will be brought to them.

In his monthly report, Police Chief Alan Cockrill said an estimated 6,000 people attended the downtown Trick or Treat on Halloween. Police officers blocked the intersections downtown for the safety of the public.

Mayor Rick Elumbaugh announced that a city budget meeting is scheduled for November 27 at 5 p.m. All members of the council may attend. The next regular council meeting will be December 11 at 5:30 p.m. Both meetings will be at City Hall.

The mayor also announced that the city’s Winter Wonderland, the Christmas lights display at Riverside Park will be turned on Wednesday.

Reporting by Bob Qualls

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