Union to place renewal levy on ballot


UNION — City council adopted Ordinance 1711 under emergency status to proceed in proposing a renewal of an existing 3 mill street levy.

The levy was originally approved by voters in 1976. The renewal levy would not increase taxes and would generate $265,000 annually to repair city streets.

“So, this renewal represents just staying status quo with a renewal with no increase,” asked Council Member Robin Perkins.

“Yes. The same way it has been since 1976,” replied City Manager John Applegate.

Council approved the adoption of the ordinance as an emergency so that it met the timeline for being placed on the November ballot.

East Martindale Road was patched after installation of a new water main and opened to traffic on May 12. A final overlay of asphalt will be applied the second week of June, according to Applegate, who noted the road would probably be closed for two days to complete the paving.

“I just wanted to note that everyone is doing well and thanks for showing up this evening,” said Mayor Michael O’Callaghan. “Hopefully, everybody is safe and doing well. I know we have all been under a little increased stress because of the pandemic. Now that they are starting to loosen things up a little bit, I think our responsibility is to not let up. By that I mean we still need to do our social distancing and wear masks when appropriate. That is important. Let’s not give up and take this through to the end.”

Perkins said, “As we go into this, I think people are cautiously optimistic. You see some people out there dancing down the street with no mask. They are just happy to be out. You see others that are still staying in their homes and are afraid to go out, and the truth is we don’t know what the correct approach is. We don’t know what is going to happen. Safety is always a good thing.”

“The COVID-19 hasn’t cause any problems for the city,” Applegate said. “Everything is working well as we expected, and we will continue practice safe procedures and do our job.”

O’Callaghan asked how the city is being impacted financially. Applegate stated it would take until the end of May and when staff begins working on its asking budget, he would have a better idea.

Applegate said that the city is probably looking at anywhere from a 25 to 35 percent reduction in tax revenue due to businesses being closed.

The city is working on starting its street program soon, but it will probably be reduced until more solid budget figures can be generated.