Increasing property values will mean lower tax rates for Caneyville residents — but not necessarily lower tax bills.
During their Monday, Aug. 13, meeting, Caneyville commissioners approved the first reading of the 2012 property tax ordinance. The city will be taking the “compensating rate” — a rate that allows it to receive roughly the same amount from taxes as last year — for both real and personal property.
The rate for real property will fall from 21.7 cents per $100 assessed property value to 21.5 cents. The rate for personal property — also known as tangible property — will also be set at 21.5 cents.
With the city’s overall assessment increasing by more than $280,000, to $16,364,399, the new lower tax rates are still expected to generate about $1,000 more in real property tax revenue and about $3,000 more in personal property tax receipts.
A second, and likely final, reading of the ordinance will take place in September.
In other action, the commission:
* Was approached by members of the Christian community in the Choncie Lee Road area about establishing some sort of large-scale water supply for farm irrigation.
The community — about 16 to 18 families who’ve lived in the area about eight years and maintain a degree of separation from modern society — produced tomatoes this year for Horton Fruit Co.
“This is a big opportunity for us, and we went into it and then learned we needed water,” group spokesman Andrew Hess told commissioners.
About half the families joined together and grew 15 acres of tomatoes — about 80,000 plants. After a good start in the spring, the drought set it. Some families had water and tried to share, but wells weren’t able to supply all their needs. They pumped water from the city’s old reservoir, but soon realized that might not be the best solution for all parties.
Hess said they’ve determined if they need to irrigate in future years, they’ll need about 1.3 million gallons per month during the tomato season, which runs from about early May to mid-August. They’ve bought a meter service, but were unable to get the volumes needed this year due to the size of the water line — 2 inches — in their area.
The city said upgrading the line to 4 inches might be possible, but would be expensive. Commissioners said they are willing to work with the families to try to solve the problem, but need some time to look at their options.
* Learned work on the sewer plant renovations is now scheduled to begin in early September. The contractor will have 75 days to complete the project once work begins.
* Voted to hire American Engineers to do concrete testing during the sewer plant work, at a cost of about $2,000.
* Authorized the mayor — following an executive session — to enter into negotiations to buy land.
* Agreed to start getting materials together to install fencing around the new ballfields, and to install sewer line to the new concession stand area there.
* Discussed sending representatives to Louisville Aug. 21 and 22 for the Kentucky Rural Water Association’s annual conference after learning Caneyville is one of 10 finalists for its 2012 Wooden Bucket Award. The award is given annually to Kentucky water and wastewater utilities that have “shown exceptional efforts in meeting the demands of their communities, enhancing their operations and complying with regulatory requirements.”