2016 McPherson City Budget stays largely steady

By Chris Swick
July 20, 2015

The City of McPherson unveiled the 2016 budget during Monday's city commission meeting and residents will see a very slight increase in the mill levy.

City Administrator Nick Gregory said they tried to hold the line on the mill levy in planning for the next fiscal year for the city, but certain outlying factors are forcing them to issue an increase of just over two-tenths of a mill to 51.546 in 2016.

Comparing the last seven years, the 2016 levy is up only three-tenths of a mill over that period.

“This mill levy allows for some anticipated increase costs in fuel, paving, KPERS and KP&F retirement, health care insurance costs and a number of other expenditures,” Gregory said.

Overall, the 2016 Budget Authority will be $39,340,453. That is a $3 million increase over the 2015 budget authority. However, Gregory said that number isn't necessarily what the city spends in a year.

“The budget authority is the expenditures for all funds that drive the resources,” Gregory said. “From users fees, ad valorem fees, sales tax reserves and other revenue sources in there. The budget authority is the most that we can possibly spend.”

In 2015, actual spending levels from the city were $23.8 million.

Estimated assessed valuation for the City will be $113.37 million for 2016. Gregory credited new improvements within the city limits totaling $790,457 in the last 12 months that helped in that increase of 4.67 percent.

McPherson City Commissioners were, for the most part, happy with the outcome of the budget discussions as they ready to publish the 2016 City Budget.

Commissioner Larry Weins was glad that they were able to hold the budget somewhat stable, which was one of the reasons he ran for election to the city's governing board.

“I'm just thankful that we came up with what we did,” Weins said. “I have to say thanks to the other commissioner [Bob Moore] and the mayor [Tom Brown] and the city staff for doing their job and bringing us numbers that we can work with.”

For Moore, this year marked his ninth set of budget meetings with City staff. He says the process keeps getting harder and harder.

“The first year was comparatively easy compared to what we're doing now,” Moore said. “There's a lot of places we had to cut and stuff. We didn't give the departments all they asked for and stuff. But we did come up with a good budget and we didn't raise hardly any [on the mill levy].”

The budget will be published in the next week in the McPherson Sentinel. A public hearing will be held Aug. 3 at 9 a.m. The commission cannot increase the budget by law once it has been published in legal form, though it can decrease it after taking input from the public.