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Community center groundbreaking set
By Chris Strunk
Last Updated: May 18, 2017

The new Valley Center community building is coming together.

The city council May 16 set a groundbreaking date for the facility, which has been talked about in one form or another for 20 years.

The ceremony will be July 4 in Lions Park.

The building will house the senior center and the public library and will have public meeting space.

It will replace the small building in the southeast corner of Lions Park.

The city and the library are splitting the cost of the facility. The library reported it had more than $1.08 million of the $1.105 million it committed to contribute toward the project.

In other business May 16, the city council heard a presentation on the proposed 2018 city budget.

City Administrator Scott Hildebrand recommended two options for the budget. The first would increase the property tax mill levy by 2 mills. The additional revenue, plus money from a one-time transfer from the city's employee benefits funds, would pay for a variety of items, including new vehicles for the police department and community development department, a new police supervisor position, a dog park in Lions Park, a maintenance facility for the cemetery and new audio-visual equipment for City Hall.

The second option would keep the mill levy flat, but would use the transfer money to pay for items in its priority one list, including the police supervisor position and vehicles, and one or two in the second tier of priorities.

The city estimates a 1.25 percent increase in assessed valuation.

Although the state-imposed property tax lid takes effect in 2018, there is an exemption for public safety.

The council will hear a presentation about the utility funds June 6 and then discuss the budget on June 20 before having a public hearing July 18.

In other business, the council heard from two property owners in the Valley Meadows neighborhood who said they will have expensive repairs to their lawn irrigation systems after the city installed sidewalks on their properties. The city had been paying small repair bills, but Hildebrand said when he saw some reach $800 and more, he wanted the city council to decide whether the city would continue to pay, even though it is not obligated to. The council will decide at its next meeting June 6.

The council also changed its July 4 regular meeting to 6 p.m. June 27.

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