On August 7th the City of Lake Lotawana will be asking our citizens whether to increase our mill levy ceiling to .79 per $100 of assessed property value. The mill levy is the “tax rate” that is applied to the assessed value of property. According to the City accountant, if your home has an assessed value of $400,000, the increase will be about $290 per year.
You should have received a postcard inviting you to the City Open House, as well as a Coffee with the Mayor. The Open House is scheduled for July 10th. You will have an opportunity to meet our police officers, tour City Hall, and see our police vehicles. We will also be presenting information on the current state of the City. On July 26th, I am hosting another “Coffee with the Mayor.” As in the past, these will be open discussions, not a formal presentation. As we go through this process, please engage in the discussion, ask questions, and talk to your Aldermen.
One area the mill levy increase would be invested is the police department.
Eighteen months ago, the City proposed cost-sharing police services with the City of Blue Springs. There were significant advantages, but startup costs, reduced local control, and citizen concern prompted reconsideration. After the idea was officially put to rest, Chief Wilson started the process of re-building the team with a combination of full-time and part-time officers. To date, our Chief has done a spectacular job finding qualified officers to protect our community. Re-establishing the team is just the first step of the process.
The mill levy increase will help fund updated police facilities, vehicles, and technology. The Board recently approved some minor updates to the officer workspace. This is a great start, but additional improvements are necessary. Last year we purchased one new vehicle, but we have two older vehicles with over 120,000 miles each. Technologically, we are light years behind our peer cities in the area. Our older cars have extremely old, low-definition video technology. Other technologies such as GPS-based dispatch allow for better response times and accuracy. Today a great deal of paperwork can be completed in the vehicles, keeping officers out in the community instead of at the police station. None of our vehicles are enabled with in-car computing.
As we go through this process, please review the available information on the City website, visit https://lotawanafuture.com,
attend the Open House or Coffee with the Mayor, or seek out your Aldermen. The mill levy increase is an important consideration for our tightknit community!
As always, please drop me a note at email@example.com and I will do my best to quickly respond!
Scott Miles, Mayor
City of Lake Lotawana