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Council approves 2006 property tax revenue increase

The Bremerton City Council Wednesday voted to adjust the city’s property tax levy in order to collect 1 percent, or about $52,750, more revenue in 2006. The action would also mean a 1 percent revenue increase in the EMS levy, or about $8,700 for 2006.

The council voted 8-0, with Mike Shepherd absent, to approve the measure.

Laura Lyon, financial services director for the city, pointed out that the 2006 levy rate decreased from about $2.85 per $1,000 of assessed value to $2.43. Even with the increases in assessed value, a substantial increase would be needed for a property owner’s tax to go up.

According to the Kitsap County Assessor’s office the average increase of assessed property value in Bremerton was between 20 and 25 percent.

No one spoke during a public hearing concerning the levy.

The council is expected to conduct a public hearing Nov. 30 and set rates and fees, including utility rate increases. A final decision on the 2006 budget is scheduled for Dec. 7.

In other business the council approved an agreement between the Bremerton Fire Department and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue to fund a feasibility study on a possible merger. The study, expected to cost about $35,000 should take about six months to complete. Emergency Services Consulting Inc., will conduct the study looking at not only a merger, but consolidation on a smaller scale.

The council also approved a contract with Bremerton-based Parametrix Inc., to conduct soil sampling on the Chevron property near Evergreen Park and along the waterfront where the proposed boardwalk expansion would be located. The contract states costs will not exceed $55,000. The sampling will determine whether the contamination from the former bulk fuel facility has seeped onto the beach and sub-tidal sediment. The level of contamination will determine if the council will purchase the property for the Evergreen Park expansion.

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