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Darlington adopts budget, tax levy
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    DARLINGTON - With no opposition from the public and by unanimous vote, the Common Council of the City of Darlington adopted a budget for 2016 in the amount of $2,404,663, which included the authorization of levying a tax of $1 ,079,826 on all taxable property within the city. The overall budget is about 2.99% more than the total for 2015.
    No one from the general public was in attendance when Mayor David Bruenig called a public hearing on the proposed budget to order at 6:45 p.m. Members of the council seemed satisfied with the way the figures looked, so with little comment, the public hearing was adjourned shortly after it was called to order.
    The city has a 2015 equalized value of $107,104,900 and an assessed value of $101,991,500; up from last year’s figures of $98,753,200 and $101,525,000 respectively. Spread on the current tax roll of the city, the levy reflects a mill rate of $29.26 per $1 ,000 of assessed property, up from last year’s $27.66 figure.
    In other business: Ray Spellman and Kate Bausch presented a petition for Direct Legislation and Proposed Resolution. The referendum will ask voters: I) Only human beings - not corporations, unions, non-profits or similar associations - are endowed with constitutional rights, and 2) Money is not speech, and therefore regulation political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting political speech. ­yes or no. The resolution is seeking to ban the “corrupting influence of unregulated political contributions and spending”, namely PAC’s. They support passage of an amendment to the United States Constitution. The council approved the request and the referendum will appear on the April 5, 2016 ballot.
    The council also approved 2016 Salary and Wage Rate Schedule; approved Christmas gifts for city employee; approved payment of November vouchers; discussed renting the area that will be vacated by Lafayette County Human Services.
    The council approved a loan from Towne Bank in the amount of $122,550 for the city’s share of a new ambulance for Rural Medical Ambulance Service in 2016. The total value of the ambulance will be approximately $200,000.
    The Policies, Procedures and Ordinance Committee scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15 will discuss: mobile homes, rental properties, special events (vendors), truancy and golf carts on city streets. The time is changed to 5:30 p.m.