By AMY WIMMER and KATHY SAUNDERS
© St. Petersburg Times,
Treasure Island to look at tax, sewer rate boost
TREASURE ISLAND -- City commissioners will make two decisions Tuesday that will affect the finances of residents and taxpayers.
The final public hearing on a proposed tax increase is scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall, 120 108th Ave.
Commissioners are expected to increase the city's millage rate from 2.2272 to 2.6272. A mill is equivalent to $1 of tax for every $1,000 of assessed property.
The tax increase is needed, commissioners say, to raise about $225,000 for the city's pension and benefit funds. City Manager Chuck Coward described the city's current contributions to those benefits as "very inadequate."
Commissioners say the city needs to improve the benefits to keep good employees.
Also on Tuesday's agenda is a proposal to raise sewer rates by 15 percent. The increase is part of a three-year plan to change the way the city charges for sewage treatment and to raise money to maintain pipes and facilities.
The city used to charge residents based on the number of plumbing fixtures in every structure. Last year, sewer rates were raised 25 percent and the city began using a base fee for connecting to the system. Residents also are charged based on the number of gallons of water they use each month.
Under this year's rate increase, the bimonthly bill for residents of a single-family home would increase from $10.60 to $11.70. The usage fee is expected to be increased from $2.56 per thousand gallons of water to $3.
A 10 percent increase in the base fee is scheduled to be considered next year as well.
TREASURE ISLAND -- In a show of patriotism, families from the Isle of Palms are planning a flashlight march and vigil at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the island park.
Families will meet at the end of their streets along 115th Avenue and march to the park, at the entrance to the Isle of Palms. At the park, members of the Isle of Palms Civic Association are sponsoring a flag rededication ceremony. Free hot dogs and refreshments will be served.
The civic association will accept donations to the American Red Cross and will match all private donations up to $500.
The town will host a Hawaiian luau party Nov. 3 at the Town Pavilion with contests, prizes, food and music.
Anyone interested in helping to plan or set up for the party can volunteer by contacting Vice Mayor Jim Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org or 595-2173.
Committees are being organized to handle food, entertainment, decorations, and ticket sales and publicity.
- Times staff writer Amy Wimmer and correspondent Kathy Saunders contributed to this report. Amy Wimmer can be reached at 892-2271 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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