WAVERLY – The Waverly City Council approved its 2019-2020 budget highlighted by a drop in the property tax rates in its meeting Sept. 10.

The operating budget will see an increase of one percent from last year’s budget.

The new budget property tax request is just under $1.16 million, up from around $1.12 million last year.

Due to an increase in valuations, the council dropped the tax rate by eight percent.

In 2018, Waverly residents paid almost 37 cents per every $100 of valuation. In 2019, residents will see that drop to just over 34 cents.

Valuations across the city are up a total of 11 percent, from over $305 million to over $340 million.

The council voted unanimously to suspend the rule which requires three readings of any ordinance, and went straight to the final reading due to time constraints.

The budget passed unanimously and the city’s new fiscal year will start Oct. 1 of this year.

In other business, the city passed a resolution declaring the week of Sept. 23 to 29 as U.S. Rail Safety Week in Waverly.

The resolution is a collaboration with a national non-profit organization called Operation Lifesaver.

Operation Lifesaver’s goal is reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks, according to its website.

The council also approved on third reading an ordinance designating a Wellhead Protection Area in accordance with a recommendation from the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

The new water and sewer rates moved closer to approval as two ordinances concerning rate hikes passed second reading. Two other concerning new tap and application fees, which will largely affect developers, also passed unanimously on second reading.

The purchase of a new street sweeper was approved as well.

The city will trade in its old sweeper to Elliot Equipment based in Grimes, Iowa for a discount of $7,000 towards the nearly $173,000 total price tag of the new sweeper.

The next council meeting will be held Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Waverly Community Meeting Hall.

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