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Hoisington City Council studies budget
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HOISINGTON — The Hoisington City Council met at its regular meeting on Monday with a study session of the budget prior to the regular meeting.
The city is considering .069 mill levy increase for 2014, which would result in an additional tax of  approximately 78 cents on a $100,000 home. The council will hold a budget hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 12.
The council received a waste diversion report from Stutzman. In the three reporting months that they have taken over trash services, a total of 218 tons of trash has been taken to the landfill, and 54 tons of trash has been diverted for recycling through the single stream recycling offered in Hoisington. Hoisington is the only community in the area to have single stream recycling, which only requires that all recyclables be in one trash bin.
The council discussed at length the issues with the waste water system. They approved an increase in the sewer charge which will allow the community to pursue grants to help pay for necessary improvements. Significant deficiencies from when the lagoons were built in the early 1980s were found that will require major upgrades.
City Manager Jonathan Mitchell intends to apply for grants to pay for replumbing and repair, but sewer rates will rise. The rates will be $26.25 for 5,000 gallons up from $19.60. Customers will pay the rate increase with the first bill in January.
Mitchell presented a spreadsheet with annual full-time staffing breakdown from 1990-2014.
In 1999, there were 44 city employees. Currently, there are 31 employees, a decrease of nearly 30 percent. The population has dropped from 3,182 to 2,723, but began levelling off in 2010 and is  up since slightly since that year.
The deadline for registering cats an dogs with the city will change to March 31 for 2014. The council approved fee changes, fines and other increases  for dogs and cats.
The council:
•Tabled a dilapidated  property issue until next month due to an incorrect address.
•Approved  a contract for $14,520 with Computer Information Concepts to provide off-site back up and support.
• Adjusted the Emergency Medical Tech pay schedule for taking multiple runs during a shift.