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City Beat: City Council hears $381M budget proposal

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During a brief meeting May 20, Springfield City Council held preliminary budget discussions.

Teresa Allen, Springfield’s budget coordinator, told council the citywide fiscal 2020 budget is proposed at $381 million. The proposal is 4.1% higher than the current fiscal year’s $366 million budget.

“Sales tax, the city’s primary driving source at 35%, has been strong this current budget year, and we’re proposing a modest increase in FY ’20 over where we anticipate to end FY ’19,” Allen said, pointing to the end of the city’s fiscal year on June 30.

The budget calls for roughly $86 million in proposed general fund appropriations, with revenue mostly comprising general sales tax collections of $47.2 million and payment in lieu of taxes at nearly $16 million, according to city documents. The general fund makes up about 23% of the budget, Allen said.

The proposed budget has $126.6 million for expenditures and appropriations, according to city documents. Appropriations include police pension funds, transportation and operating costs and emergency communications, she said.

“The largest segment of the budget are special revenue funds, making up 33% of total appropriations,” Allen said.

Enterprise funds, including those for the airport, clean water services and solid waste, make up 24% of the budget at a proposed $92 million.

Council is scheduled to take a budget vote June 3.

Commercial CID
Council heard the first reading for an ordinance to amend and restate the petition to establish the Commercial Street Community Improvement District.

“Essentially, this is a renewal of the existing CID,” said Sarah Kerner, Springfield economic development director.

The Commercial Street CID, established by seven people in 2009, would be extended to 2034 at the request of the district board if approved by council.

“They propose to continue providing the same public improvements and services stated in the original petition, and they are expanding the boundary including two city-owned tracts,” Kerner said.

The proposed area encompasses a parking lot at Robberson Avenue and Pacific Street, and Frisco Lane, a drive between the C-Street buildings and the railroad tracks on the north side of the CID.

The district was established for marketing and image enhancements, including the installation and maintenance of street landscaping and furniture, trash and snow removal, banners, signs and visitor’s guides and advertising, Kerner said. CIDs, created by Missouri statute, are governed by a board of directors and can be funded for public services or public improvements using sales, property and business license tax.

According to state statute, changes within a CID must be approved by at least 50% of the property owners and by those whose properties represent at least 50% of the district’s total assessed value.

On C-Street, Kerner said signatures have been collected from 52.8% of property owners, along with 60.5% of the total assessed value. The district has a $6.4 million total assessed value, according to city documents.

Medical marijuana
Potential medical marijuana production facilities now have a clear picture where the establishments can set up shop after the unanimous approval of the substitute distance requirement bill.

With the passage, the original bill was considered moot and did not receive a vote.

The substitute bill sets the distance requirement for medical marijuana dispensaries and Type 2 manufacturing facilities at 1,000 feet from schools and 200 feet from day care centers and churches.

The substitute also aligns definitions of day cares, schools and churches to the language in Amendment 2, which passed in November 2018, allowing the sale of medical marijuana in Missouri.

Council also adopted an amendment from April 8 to remove limitations on hours of medical marijuana facilities to the public.

A separate ordinance was unanimously approved to adopt the fees for medical marijuana zoning certificates. Council established a base fee of $92 with a 17% technology fee for a total of $108, according to city documents. The fee is projected to generate $5,388 in city revenue.

Rezoning requests
Council approved rezoning request, though the most anticipated rezoning was tabled by a unanimous vote.

The second site for Eden Village, proposed at 3303 W. Division St., was tabled in a motion by Councilwoman Jan Fisk at the request of the applicant until June 3.

After the vote to table, roughly half of the public attending the meeting cleared out of the council chambers.

Council approved a rezoning of 2.39 acres to general retail from a planned development for the former Meek’s property at 3250 E. Sunshine St. for a future property sale. The previous zoning limited development to wholesale and retail sales of home building supplies, according to city documents.

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