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Berea on track to reduce property tax | New

Andy McDonald and Carey Holbrook

Berea City Council on Tuesday considered an ordinance that will reduce the ad valorem tax rate in the city.

Chief Financial Officer Susan Meeks said that with property values ​​skyrocketing last year, the city can actually afford to lower the ad valorem tax rate on real estate, while still making money. increased income.

“Berea exceeded $1 billion in taxable assets. This is a significant milestone for Berea,” Meeks said, adding that property value increased by $78 million, including a $26 million increase in commercial property value caused by the expansion. industrial.

In 2021, the council voted to set the ad valorem tax rate at 9.9 cents per $100 of assessed property. Under the proposed new rate, taxpayers will be assessed at a lower rate of 9.7 cents per $100. However, as more money is collected due to increased property values, the city will collect $91,000 in additional revenue compared to last year.

“It’s pretty exciting for Berea, and it puts us in a good position for our pricing,” Meeks said. “Personally, I recommend the 9.7 cents. It looks like a win-win. It’s a very good place to be because we can keep the rate low.

The proposed ordinance is subject to final reading and a vote at the August 16 business meeting.

At their Tuesday meeting, council also voted unanimously to accept an offer to mill and resurface city streets, paving the way for road repairs in several areas of the city.

Public Works Committee Chairman Jerry Little reported that the city received a bid from the Allen Company for street resurfacing for $423,944. The board voted unanimously to accept the offer.

Streets to be milled and paved include Highland Drive, Oakwood Drive, Ellipse Street from Laurel Drive to Highway 595, Forest Street from Jackson Street to Center Street, South Cumberland Street, Delancy Street, Rose Street, Plumb Tree Street, and Peach Tree Street, among others.

Little noted the committee’s surprise that the bid was below the expected cost.

On a related note, officials said they expect work on Chestnut Street to begin before Berea College students return to town. The Chestnut repair will extend from exit 76 off the freeway to the intersection of Ellipse Street and Chestnut Street. Councilor Ronnie Terrill requested that Chestnut Street be among the first to be repaired.

Council also discussed the first reading of an ordinance regarding city contracts with private demolition and towing companies. The ordinance would establish additional requirements for the city’s tow operators to follow when providing services to the city.

According to Jim Davis, Berea’s ordinance would also have “continuity” with the City of Richmond’s ordinance.

Currently, the city’s police department uses private towing services when automobile accidents occur and disabled vehicles need to be towed.

The ordinance would require the city’s tow operators to be rotated and meet requirements set by the city in order to be approved for the “wrecker list” with the city. According to Fraley, the current roster with the city consists of five companies.

This ordinance specifies the minimum requirements for towing companies when solicited by any Berea City department.

Monitoring of rotating towing service schedules was included in the wording of the order because rotation and records had not been followed properly in the past, council members said.

Council members Little and Startzman raised questions about how this would affect private towing and demolition companies within the community. Council Member Payne also requested that local towing companies make the ordinance available to them before second reading.

The order is eight pages.

There will be a second reading regarding Ordinance No. 13-2022 which will take place on August 16 at the next meeting of the Berea City Council.