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The City's budget has been set through June 30, 2014. After many open public meetings with staff over the last few months the Council held a public hearing to receive final public input. Despite many members of the community being in the audience no oral or written comments were provided to the Council. Council then approved the FY 13/14 budget which will now be submitted to the State. The State required budget documents will be printed in the Knoxville Journal Express and are also be available on the City's website.
Budget highlights include: canceling a previously approved 5% increase in sewer rates; no increase in the overall property tax levy, despite a significant increase in the debt levy, as a result of using utility franchise fees instead of levying the emergency levy allowed under State law; funding for a citywide cleanup in the fall of 2013 or spring of 2014; a $75,000 match for a $900,000 Federally funded improvement at the Knoxville Municipal Airport; $350,000 set aside towards housing development costs/incentives; $60,000 set aside for addressing nuisance/abandoned properties; part-time staffing for code enforcement, and a part-time City Hall receptionist; match for Federally funded fire prevention grant program; new entry signs at the Cemetery; $200,000 towards street repairs; $140,000 towards sidewalk repairs; and beginning the Downtown Streetscape Project.
Other items addressed at the Council meeting included approval of previous meeting minutes, several board/commission appointments, a Class C Beer Permit including Sunday Sales for Kline's Quick Time, tax abatement for a commercial property at 212 N Fremont, a public hearing regarding the Liquor License for Dingus' Inc (a fine of $1,000 was assessed), appointment of two new cadets to the Fire Department, a presentation by staff on the new website, a parcel split outside of Knoxville City limits, and approval of claims.
Minutes of the meeting will be posted to the website after approval of the Council at the next regular Council meeting.