The Gering city council this evening will hold a public hearing on their $41.8 million 2018-19 budget The budget does not increase any utility fees but also calls for over 11% more in spending due to four major projects.
Finance Director John Mejia says the $4.4 million increase is due to a $2.2 million Phase II baseball project, a planned $1.2 million Civic center expansion, $1 million to complete the Downtown Plaza, and $422,000 to purchase a new fire truck.
Mejia says the “Quad” youth baseball and softball complex with concession stand at Oregon Trail Park will be paid for with the same bond issue that covered the cost of the new stadium for the Western Nebraska Pioneers. The Civic Center expansion will occur only if the city gains a $562,000 matching state grant it intends to apply for to fund half the cost. The downtown plaza is being paid for with set aside reserves and the fire truck through sinking funds.
The mill levy will rise just slightly from 28.8 cents to 29.2 cents and the property tax asking is $1.4 million.
The special meeting starts at 6 p.m.