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Millage importance stressed

Jones: ‘There’s nothing new here’

Voters in the city of Crowley will face the decision to renew a total of 8.5 mills in three propositions that help fund many aspects of life in the city.
“The main things, there’s nothing new here,” said Mayor Greg Jones. “It’s not an increase, it’s not a new tax. It’s just a continuation.”
Those continuations, however, are vital for the city to stay with the maintenance of often use facilities and improvements to wastewater facilities as mandated by regulations.
The biggest millage – 3.5 – pertains to the maintenance of wastewater disposal facilities for the city.
According to projections, that millage brings in an estimated $255,050.74 annually. Jones points out that the city spends roughly $1 million per year in improvements to maintain the facilities.
Jones explained that while there are times the water coming out the facilities has been tested and proven to be cleaner than the bayou waters that currently exist, that level is not enough and each year, the city has to answer to ever-changing federal regulations to make sure it stays compliant.
“This millage is a necessity (to remain compliant),” said Jones.
The second proposition – the continuation of levying 3 mills – helps the city maintain its 13 public parks and recreation facilities. This millage brings in an estimated $ 218,614.92 annually and is used to help keep the parks clean and usable, an important move considering how much the citizens of Crowley – and the surrounding areas – utilize the parks.
Jones also points out that these funds help maintain the grounds and the equipment at the parks, which are each about a block in size, making their maintenance a tall order.
Finally, the third millage renewal is one for 1 mill and is for youth recreation building maintenance. One mill brings in an estimated $ 72,871.64 annually to the city and that is used to keep up often-used facilities like the MLK Center, the Rice Festival Building and more.
Jones, however, was keen on pointing out that not only are these millages important to continue they’re not even bringing in the same cash flow as in years past relative to the cost of items, and yet the city is only requesting a continuation.
Jones explained that 22 years ago when he was first elected to serve the Crowley City Council, a millage brought in $60,000, as opposed to the over $72,000 that is brought in today. Still, a 20 percent increase in the millage is nothing compared to the cost of things. Though tough to keep up with, Jones believes the city continues to stretch taxpayers dollars everywhere it can to make sure all aspects of Crowley life are maintained.

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