By emily beck cogburn
Special to The Advocate
July 25, 2012
ZACHARY — The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to keep Zachary’s property taxes at 3.17 mills.
Councilman Francis Nezianya was absent.
“We probably have the lowest city property tax in the state. It is starting to affect the way we operate,” Mayor David Amrhein said.
Due to higher property values, the city should still receive an additional $30,000 to $40,000 in property tax revenue during the coming year, Chief Financial Officer Steve Nunnery said.
Zachary resident Randy Perkins asked council members whether the city has money in case of emergencies.
“Are you actually asking us to raise taxes?” Councilman John Coghlan asked.
“Just to be clear, the city has maybe $6 million in cash reserves. We could go to 5.69 mills without going to the people. But if we do raise taxes in the future, we will have a plan and bring it to the people,” the mayor said.
He added that sales tax revenues should increase by 3 or 4 percent due to economic growth and new projects such as the Americana development.
Other business coming before the council included:
BASEBALL FIELDS: The council discussed the possibility of laying turf in some of the Zachary Youth Park fields.
Parks and Recreation Director Shane Hebert said placing turf in the infields would take about 40 days and could be completed before the fall season. Roberts Geoservices of Baton Rouge already has a contract with the state and could do the work, he said.
The project would cost $450,000 to $500,000, Chief Financial Officer Steve Nunnery said.
SEWER BIDS: The council voted unanimously to allow advertising of bids for a second contract for sewer rehabilitation. The next phase of the project involves the Newell Street and Little Farms Basin area, engineer Bianca Carambat said.
ANNISON HOUSE: The council tabled discussion of the revocation of the Annison Plantation House donation. The antebellum home in Historic Village was given to the city in 2002 by owner Ethel Brabham Annison.
LAWSUIT: After voting to adjourn following the executive session, the council met behind closed doors to discuss possible litigation against the city by Zachary Housing Partners, LLC.
On April 24, the council voted to block the group’s plans to build a three-story, 156-unit apartment complex off McHugh Road south of Lane Regional Medical Center.