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Munford proposes $3.8 million budget, property tax increase

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The Munford Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved an ordinance on first reading Monday night that included the 2014-15 budget and property tax rate.
Tipton County went through a property reappraisal from the state this year, something that is done every six years. The assessed property value in the county decreased from $981 million to $951.8 million.
Because of that, the state set revenue-neutral property tax rates for the county and its municipalities.
Munford's property tax rate increased from $.93 last year to $.98 this year. Since property values generally decreased, most residents will actually pay less property tax despite the increased rate.
The budget of $3.841 million is an increase over last year's $3.456 million. The largest expenditures in this year's budget are for police ($1.169 million), parks and recreation ($1.011), fire protection ($827,705) and streets ($352,571).
There was no raise for city employees in the budget, but Mayor Dwayne Cole said that will be re-evaluated at the end of the calendar year.
"Although there was no raise for our employees, there was not an increase in insurance premiums," Cole said. "We're looking at maybe a bonus for them in the third quarter."
"I'd really like for us to re-evaluate (at the end of the year) and see if we can do something for our employees," Alderman Jack Foraker said.
There will be a second reading of the budget and a public hearing on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m..
In other matters:
• Fire Chief Alan Barkelew said the application process to hire a new firefighter has closed and he expects to make an offer to a prospective employee by the end of the week.
• Barkelew told board members that he is still trying to get the department's ISO rating decreased from a four to a three.
The state dropped the rate from five to four last month and Barkelew said a three is within reach.
The ISO program provides a country-wide standard that helps fire departments in planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training.
Class 1 generally represents superior property fire protection, and Class 10 indicates that the area's fire-suppression program doesn't meet ISO's minimum criteria.
The next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Sept. 22 in the board room.

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