Emporia city commissioners breezed through a short action session Wednesday morning before tackling several issues at their study session.
Finance director Janet Harouff presented a look at the 2018 budget. Notable changes being proposed include increases for convention and tourism from $141,000 to $146,000. The Granada Theater is also proposed to see an increase from $10,000 to $20,000. Red Rocks would see a decrease in funding from $10,000 to $7,500.
The budget does include some rate hikes in terms of utilities. The water fund rate will go up 15 percent in 2018, amounting to about $3.30 per month per household with another rate increase expected in 2019. The budget also calls for 10 percent increases for sewer and and solid waste. Mayor Jon Geitz says the city hasn't seen these types of increases since 2007.
City officials are hoping to publish the budget Aug. 9 and adopt the budget Aug. 16.
The city commission also heard an update from representatives with the Building and Trades Board for further discussion on construction site supervisor requirements. Earlier this year, a job was shut down due to not having the appropriate supervisor on site. Mayor Geitz says the city can do a better job communicating moving forward to avoid future shut downs of projects.
Board president Randy Burris recommended that a site should have one supervisor per permit for the permit they issued for a single property. Each permit would have their own on site supervisor. The clarification is aimed to define who should be on a property and who should not.
Public Works director Frank Abart presented some updates on several projects nearing completion including a sanitary sewer system clean out project that has been completed mostly in downtown and older parts of Emporia. where more than 209,000 lineal feet of sanitary sewer lines were cleaned.
Elsewhere, Abart says the waste water treatment plant upgrade project has been well underway since April and now carries a projected price tag of $4.8 million for construction. It it anticipated to be finished by April 2019. The ozone equipment replacement project is also substantially completed and the new ozone generators are functioning. Abart noted the project is 98 percent complete and the cost is right near budget at just over $3 million.
The city commission hosted a joint luncheon Wednesday afternoon with the Emporia Recreation Commission. The next city commission meeting is scheduled for Aug. 2 at 1:30 p.m.