Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
The city of Mt. Pleasant can look forward to new community projects thanks to the recently approved city budget. The council voted to approve the budget for the next fiscal year Wednesday night, which includes $2.5 million in new construction projects.
'There's a lot of other good things coming, and these are just some of the highlights we put together from this budget,' Mayor Steve Brimhall said. 'We're ready to gear up and start on these projects.'
A couple of the projects include redoing the Mt. Pleasant Police parking lot, fixing the Saunders Park parking lot and parts of the street, purchasing a water truck, putting in a new trailhead at Saunders Park, and building a dog park at East Lake.
Brimhall said the dog park is mostly the result of a resident that donated $19,000 for it to become a reality.
'It's really nice when we have citizens that care about the community and care about the things they really care about,' he said. 'That's a good deal that we're gonna get done, and we know dog parks can be headaches. But it's something that the citizens have wanted for a while, and we're finally able to do it.'
The Mt. Pleasant 2021-2022 city budget saw an overall tax valuation increase of 1.5 percent, a decrease from the past few years. This was caused by a decrease in the total dollar volume in building permits.
'We didn't get the value increase we normally get from new construction and reevaluation of other stuff,' Brimhall said. 'We also lost a huge valuation on a property, about a $2 million loss, which affected the city valuation.'
Though the city administration was not happy with the valuation, they were satisfied with the reduction on the workers' compensation fees.
'On the positive side, we got a great reduction on our workers comp fees, and this is partly due to the employees doing their jobs the way it needs to be done for their safety,' Brimhall said. 'I think the safety class we're going to get into will help continue that decrease. We're about as low as we can get at 88 cents, a very good rate from $1.25.'
The city budget will continue to hold the line on operating expenses for the next fiscal year, and the council was able to approve a pay increase for the staff. Mt. Pleasant residents will see a decrease in their tax rate.
' ... We're reducing our rate by 38 cents, from $11.94 to $11.56 and it's on the debt service side,' Brimhall said. 'Basically, we're able to borrow some money, able to refinance money, and we got it under 1 percent. It's the cheapest we've ever borrowed money at and we're able to reduce the people's taxes by 38 cents.'