The tax rate will remain flat following Jamestown City Council passing a spending plan for 2022.
Around 20 amendments were adopted that reduced the amount taken from the fund balance from $1.3 million to $643,568. Those amendments included increasing expected revenues for sales tax by $172,780, limiting management salaries to a 2.5% increase for a $43,340 savings, and cutting $8,380 dollars budgeted for the Human Rights Commission. Four council members, including Regina Brackman, Grant Olson, Tom Nelson, and Tamu Graham-Reinhardt voted against the $6,000 cut to the HRC. The funding had been requested for outreach work and a diversity festival.
A resolution on allocating $3.7 million dollars in lost revenue from the American Rescue Plan Act Local Recovery funds for the 2022 Capital Improvement Program also was tabled.
Council President Tony Dolce said the Council will act on the American Rescue Plan funds at its December meeting and plans to address concerns raised by members of the public about how public safety is funded, “And increasing the amount of funding for different pieces of equipment, different things in the police department particularly, and the fire department. And those things will also be discussed and probably part of the ARPA or American Recovery funds as we move forward.”
Mayor Eddie Sundquist said he wished Council had acted on the Capital Improvement Program, “Which do provide a lot of support for police, our fire, and all of our other departments. You know, by punting it to the next month they only take us longer to work on these projects. We’ll evaluate each one, although I do anticipate some vetoes will be on the way.”
Sundquist has until next Monday, or 5 business days, to submit any vetoes he may have. He said of the amendments made by Council to the budget, he was disappointed in the cut to the Human Rights Commission, “And that commission has been working hard to really to provide some understanding and diversity to the city. So to provide a small amount of funding for them to do a festival is really sad that the council took that away.”
He also was not happy with the cut to the Mayor’s travel budget as wells as a $10,000 cut to the Jamestown Urban Renewal Agency.
The tax rate remains at $23.69 per $1,000 assessed property value.
A local law to opt out of allowing cannabis dispensaries and consumption establishments was automatically tabled. It will be discussed at the December Council meetings.