The Aurora city council met Tuesday for the first of its two regular meetings in August, covering its full agenda in about an hour. The following are the top Five Things to Know from the meeting.
1. Anthem alternate -- City manager Jon Holmes presented the council with a packet outlining health and dental insurance options for city employees next year (see chart). Holmes said the council wished to give raises to city employees, but to do so and renew the current Humana plan would put the city over budget.
In order to give the raises and stay under budget, Holmes suggested switching to Anthem, which would give employees two choices of plans -- both of which would save the city money but still allow employees to be well covered. The council agreed, voting unanimously in favor of moving ahead with the change.
2. Airport assistance -- The council passed the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the mayor (Dawn Oplinger) to execute an application for federal/state assistance through MoDOT for the local airport. The grant would help pay for engineering services and the construction of taxilanes, with the government paying 90 percent and the city paying 10 -- $16,833.33 at the beginning of next year and $66,500 due at the start of 2020.
Councilman Don McWade questioned why the city must agree to pay these amounts and if it is under obligation by the government to do so. Holmes replied that because the city had taken state and federal money in the past, it does in fact have an obligation to maintain and improve the airport year to year. He also said the amount due at the beginning of the year had been budgeted for.
Airport operator Justin Richmond backed up Holmes's statement and added that the airport serves many important purposes and helps the city in multiple ways. McWade was satisfied with Richmond's answer and made the motion to accept the ordinance, which was passed unanimously.
3. SRO renewal -- The council passed both readings of an ordinance authorizing the renewal of an agreement with the police department for a school resource officer, beginning on Wednesday with the start of school.
4. Tax levy -- After holding a public hearing to set the property tax levy for next year -- which included no comments -- the council voted to pass the first reading of an ordinance levying taxes for the next fiscal year. The rate, as given to the city by the county, comes to $0.3671 per one thousand dollars of the assessed valuation of taxable property.
5. On the board -- The council voted to appoint membership to the Planning and Zoning Commission to Rick Boyer and membership on the park board to Regina Payne.
Aurora's next city council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m., August 28.