Up for a vote

FD council to vote on franchise fees tonight; revenue would pay for 8 more police officers

-Messenger photo illustration
Revenue collected from proposed new utility franchise fees in Fort Dodge would pay for adding eight more police officers.

Proposed utility franchise fees that would pay for hiring eight more police officers in Fort Dodge will come before the City Council tonight.

Tonight’s action will be the first in a series of votes that will determine if the fees will be enacted.

The 5 percent fees would be added to the gas and electric bills of MidAmerican Energy customers. They are projected to generate $2.4 million annually.

That revenue would pay for adding eight members to the 40-officer police force.

Revenue from the fees would also be used to offset that portion of the property tax levy that goes toward paying off general obligation bond debt. The property tax levy rate would thus be reduced by $1 per $1,000 of taxable value.

Revenue from the fees would also provide funding for the Karl L. King Municipal Band, Citizens Central and other quality-of-life initiatives.

If the franchise fees are enacted, the 1 percent local option sales tax now added to gas and electric bills would be dropped.

There will be separate council votes on the gas and electric franchise fees. Each fee must be approved three times by the council in order to go into effect.

The council will meet in the Municipal Building, 819 First Ave. S.

At 5 p.m. there will be a workshop on the proposed 2024-2025 budget.

The proposed spending plans for the Karl King Band, Blanden Memorial Art Museum, Fort Dodge Public Library, Visit Fort Dodge and Fort Dodge Regional Airport will be reviewed.

The council’s regular business meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

During that session, there will be a public hearing and vote on the first reading of the natural gas utility franchise fee.

There will also be a public hearing and vote on the first reading of the electric utility franchise fee.

Also during the business meeting, the council will consider awarding a contract for adding artificial turf to Yankee Stadium at Harlan and Hazel Rogers Sports Complex.


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