LANSING — The Lansing Board of Aldermen discussed the town’s 2019-2020 draft budget during its monthly meeting May 14.
A tax rate of 40 cents per $100 of property value is set as Lansing’s tax rate for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, based on a total value of $7,202,205 and collection rate of 91 percent, according to the draft budget, as presented by town finance officer Beth Johnson.
An estimated $96,282 will be available in Lansing’s general fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2020, according to the draft budget.
Additionally, water and sewer revenue, fees and deposits are estimated to provide $45,949 for Lansing’s utilities fund to continue providing water and sewer services, the budget said.
Vision insurance for the town board and employees has been added to the insurance budget, which along with other coverage totals $5,800 for the upcoming year, according to the budget.
Salaries are the town’s highest expected expenditure for the upcoming fiscal year, totaling $32,427 for Lansing’s two employees, town clerk Marcy Little and maintenance technician Larry Blevins, according to the budget proposal, but that number is expected to increase, Mayor Dylan Lightfoot said after the meeting.
During public comment, a resident suggested the board consider how invaluable Blevins is to Lansing for his knowledge, the hours he puts in and the fact he drives his own vehicle while on the job. Another Lansing resident seconded the notion, and the rest of the dozen town residents in attendance murmured their agreement.
Following closed executive session at the end of the meeting, Lightfoot said the board had agreed to give a substantial pay increase to Blevins, which will be reflected in a revised budget presented during the town’s June meeting.
Also during Lansing’s May meeting, the board reviewed bids for the removal of a problematic walnut tree outside of town hall, but tabled discussion until June.
The aldermen also delayed filling the board seat left vacant by Michele Slaton, despite Lauren Miller offering to fill the seat until a new alderman is elected in November. The board decided to wait until June for other interested parties to submit applications before filling the vacancy.
The town unanimously passed a resolution to annex two tracts — totaling 55 acres — that are now within Lansing limits. The land is Creeper Trail Park property on the far side of Big Horse Creek, and cannot be developed for at least 25 years, per the grant that allowed Lansing to purchase the property, Little said.
The next meeting of the Lansing Board of Aldermen is in town hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 11.