NORTH LIBERTY — North Liberty’s property tax levy will remain unchanged for an eighth year under the 2020 fiscal year budget approved this week, though utility rates will rise slightly.
The North Liberty City Council approved the spending plan, with a property tax levy of $11.03 per $1,000 taxable valuation for homeowners, the same rate since fiscal year 2012.
The 2020 budget doesn’t include new funding for the city’s future civic campus, which will include a new City Hall and police station.
But the five-year capital improvements plan, also approved by the council, calls for spending $7 million for the design and construction of City Hall in fiscal year 2022 and for a $4 million fire station expansion in fiscal year 2024.
The City Council already has approved $5 million in general obligation bonds for a new police station on Cherry Street,
As one of the fastest growing Iowa cities in recent years, North Liberty has been planning for the new civic campus to support its population, projected to be 21,099 in 2020.
Utility rates, overall, will increase by 2 percent next fiscal year, with water rates up 3 percent and wastewater rates rising 1 percent. Stormwater rates will be the same, a flat rate of $2.
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For a household using 5,000 gallons of water a month, the overall rate increase would add $1.84 to monthly bills.
In all, the fiscal year 2020 budget calls for $13.4 million in general fund expenditures, according to budget documents, up from $12.8 million this fiscal year, which ends June 30.
New in the 2020 budget is funding for outreach initiatives and software for a public opinion panel survey.
A total of $2,000 is budgeted next fiscal year for reaching underserved populations.
Those groups include the elderly, university students, the underemployed or unemployed, single parents and residents who don’t speak English, according to Nick Bergus, the city’s communications director.
“We’re still working out the details, but our goal is to target as many of these folks by building out multilanguage welcome information — not just where to sign up for, say, water, but inviting them into community spaces — for renters that we’d want to deliver as they move in,” Bergus said.
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