Chatsworth tax rate unchanged; City to seek grant money for parks


Chatsworth residents will pay the same property tax rate in Fiscal Year 2020, following a vote by the city council last week.

Mayor K.W. Gong recommended and all four council members agreed to keep the millage rate at 3.0 for city residents. That required a rollback of 1.170 mills. (Because of rising property values in the city, some taxpayers may pay slightly more property tax.)

The city is estimating that due to rising values it will take in an additional $205,323 in property tax revenue in FY 2020.

“That’s good because we needed that money,” Mayor Gong told The Times. “I was afraid we might need to raise the millage.”

The city’s gross digest increased from $471,519,114 in FY 2019 to $539,454,056 in FY 2020.

“We’ve been growing the last couple of years,” said Gong. “We expect to grow like that this year, too.”

Gong said the county’s housing market is strong.

“They are selling houses about as fast as they put them up,” he said. He said the county had also seen commercial and industrial growth.

In other action:

* Council denied a request from First Baptist Church to close to traffic the alley between Market Street and Cherokee Street. Citing safety concerns, council members voted 3-0 to keep the alley open, with Fred Welch abstaining.

* Council unanimously approved a plan to seek a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to help pay for improvements to the city’s parks.

“We are going to ask for all we can get,” said Mayor Gong. He said the range of grants offered ran from $25,000 to $500,000.

Gong said the city recently received a $40,000 donation from the Chatsworth Lions Club, with the money to be used for construction of a pavilion. Gong said the city also hopes to build a new park on property donated to the city last year.

* Council voted to allow the Chamber of Commerce to plant a tree in the southwest corner of the park and place a small monument in honor of the late Illya Copeland, who died earlier this year in a motorcycle accident. Copeland was executive director of the Murray County Economic Development Authority.

* Mayor Gong read a proclamation declaring Sept. 17-23 to be Constitution Week in Murray County. The proclamation was presented by Dell Bailey and Kathryn Sellers.

* Council named Kathy Boyd to the board of the Housing Authority.

* Council approved the purchase of a new drug dog for the Chatsworth Police Department. (See related story.)


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