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Tax levy remains steady in new Gering budget
September 17, 2015 Jerry Purvis   

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Gering City Council members approved the city’s new $38.7 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1. That’s up from the previous year’s total of $34.6 million.

“This year’s budget remains steady for the most part,” said Gering City Treasurer John Mejia. “We have a couple of major projects coming up for improvements to the ball fields and work on finding a new landfill site. Plus another million will go toward ongoing street projects. Other than that, everything remains about the same.”

Gering’s total property valuation for the 2015-2016 fiscal year is $440,802,665, up from about $417 million last year. The city’s total tax request was set at $1,320,279 and the total tax levy is .299517.
“The levy has remained steady for a number of years, which is good,” Mejia said. “Utility rates such as electric, water and wastewater will be adjusted by ordinances in October.”
At Monday’s meeting, council also authorized the mayor to sign a Streamflow Credit Purchase agreement with Terrytown and North Platte Natural Resources District (NRD) for Terrytown’s water mitigation.

Water mitigation requires municipalities to make up for groundwater usage when it impacts third parties. Because Terrytown is using water from Gering to supplement its well system, the city is depleting water from the Winters Creek Canal Company, Central Irrigation District and the Minatare Mutual Canal and Irrigation Company.

NRD has determined that Terrytown should pay a total of $56,000 for mitigation. That is a state required part of the city’s ongoing water project to replace a number of water mains and get all residences and businesses connected to a metering system for water usage.

“Now that we’ve signed the agreement, Terrytown will receive a transfer permit in the City of Gering’s name for their water,” said Gering Public Works Director Pat Heath. “There’s no cost to Gering, as Terrytown will bear all the cost of the transfer permit.”

Heath said the agreement is just the first step in the process for Gering to provide water to the City of Terrytown. Another agreement to connect the water systems and sell water to Terrytown is currently under review by Gering legal staff and should be ready for council consideration in about a month. It’s similar to the agreement Scottsbluff has with Minatare.
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