The Fleming-Neon City Council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance to raise property and personal taxes for city residents at a special called meeting Tuesday.
The council voted to set a tax rate of $.35 per $100 on real property and on personal and tangible property. This is a $.10 per $100 increase.
The council had discussed a possible tax increase several times in the past few years and had to table the matter last year because it didn’t have time to conduct two readings before the rates were due. The city has seen revenue decrease since the failure of the coal industry and the loss of business in the city. Efforts to collect past due taxes have been sporadically successful and the need for increased revenue had become apparent. A two percent discount is available to all taxpayers who pay their taxes by January 1. However, a five percent penalty will be levied for taxpayers who pay after March 31.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to sell a 10×12- foot-long right of way along one side of the bridge that runs to East Potter Street. Mayor Susie Polis told the council she was contacted by a representative of the state Right of Way Office who told her the state intends to replace the bridge and will need the extra right of way. Polis said the property is valued at $250, and the state offered double that amount. She said the city won’t miss it, because it didn’t even realize it belonged to the city until she was approached about selling it.
Water Department Manager Chris Banks reported a 33 percent loss of treated water in August. The city is scheduled to begin Phase II of the Water Improvement Project soon, that will replace water lines and focus on distribution. The city water plant was rebuilt in Phase I. In a related matter, Mayor Polis said a visitor from the Appalachian Regional Commission in Washington visited the plant and said she was impressed with the renovation.
Banks told the council that city workers are still working on fixing leaks, and as soon as they get a leak repaired, they look for others. He said that Danny Stinson of Kentucky Rural Water will visit the city soon with a “valve trailer,” that aids in rehabilitating old water valves and makes them easier to operate.
Neon Days will be held on September 13 and 14. Council member Susie Fleming asked about a city seal the council had previously discussed. Polis asked her if she would contact officials at Fleming-Neon Middle School to see if art students there will help in designing and creating a seal for the city.