Council approves 2009 budget and levy

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council at its Monday meeting unanimously approved a resolution adopting the 2008 payable 2009 tax levy.

The levy is approximately $3.4 million, an increase of $143,076 or 4.3 percent more than the 2008 tax levy of $3.3 million. For a resident with a $204,507 house they will be paying about $14 more than 2008.

The approval of the levy comes after New Prague's Truth in Taxation meeting on Monday, Dec. 8.

Mayor W.A. Bink Bender noted to the council that he and New Prague City Administrator Mike Johnson attended a meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the state capital between mayors, city officials, the Senate Tax Committee and Governor Tim Pawlenty concerning possible cuts to local government aid.

Mayor Bender had concerns over how deep the cuts would be from the state for 2009. He added when the state makes cuts to local aids, we have to face the citizens.

The council also unanimously adopted the 2009 budgets for the New Prague Golf Course, Wastewater Treatment and the Economic Development Authority (EDA).

Councilmember Jim Kratochvil said judging by the EDA's budget, in a few years it will be out of funds. He asked if it was possible for city staff to handle the EDA operations.

Johnson said city staff can look at that possibility.

Councilmember Kay Wilcox and Mayor Bender agreed that it was something to examine.

MS Tram Stop

The council unanimously approved the 2009 Multiple Sclerosis (MS) TRAM stop in Memorial Park on Wednesday, July 30, 2009.

New Prague Planning Director Ken Ondich noted the stop will bring about 1,200 participants of the event into the city, there will be a positive economic impact of approximately $50,000 to the community and the New Prague Chamber of Commerce is organizing the local aspects of the MS TRAM stop.

Ondich said the New Prague Park Board discussed the use of trailers that have bathrooms and showers that TRAM officials bring in for the use of the bikers. The board recommended restricting the use of the baseball fields the night of July 30. The park board also recommended allowing for nine conditions, ranging from reserving the baseball fields and softball fields for the event from 8 a.m. Wednesday, July 30, to noon on Thursday, July 31, to entertainment in the park to a beer garden.

Mayor Bender asked Kristy Mach, executive director of chamber of commerce, if the list of requirements for the TRAM stop were reasonable, which she agreed they were.

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