Perrysburg City Council on Tuesday approved by a 5-1 vote the renewal of assessments for street lighting and tree maintenance programs in the city.
The approval of the assessment to pay for lighting streets, alleys, and other public places is for two years, and are based on property valuation, raising about $170,000 annually. The tax assessment for planting, maintaining, trimming, and removing trees is for one year and generates $100,000 annually. Both assessments would have expired at the end of this year.
David Creps, city finance director, estimated that the street light levy would amount to about $9 a year for the owner of a $100,000 and the tree levy would be about $6.
Council member Todd Grayson was not present at Tuesday's meeting, but at the last council meeting said he was not in favor of the taxes because of a projected surplus in the budget for next year that would allow the city to pay for the services from the general fund.
But Mayor Nelson Evans said during the meeting that the city might have to cut programming.
"We're in the process of doing the 2014 budget," Mayor Nelson Evans said during the meeting. "We'll have to decide our priorities with $270,000 total out of our budget. We'll have to decide to cut programs."
Council Member Sara Weisenburger voted against renewal of the assessments. She said she was in favor of keeping the programs, but thought the city should pay for it out of the general fund.
"With all the taxes our residents have between state, local, and federal they deserve the tiniest break," she said at the meeting. "With the tree programs it sounds like we're trying to decide what to do with the money. At some point we are just doing it because we can."
Councilman Tom Mackin said he has heard from residents that they really like the street light and tree programs, and therefore it shouldn't be in the city's general fund where it would compete for funding with other programs.
Joe Lawless, president of council, was in favor of the assessments, but asked that the city look at lowering the street tree assessments. City Administrator Bridgette Kabat said the city will review the programs next year.
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