Papillion water tower - teaser

Papillion has set its priorities for the next year — and they include a multimillion-dollar street improvement plan, additional emergency responders and extra cash for pothole repairs.

Those are among the focuses of the city’s proposed 2019-2020 budget, which will be introduced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

The city’s property tax rate is set to remain the same next year, though increases in individual property tax valuations could mean that some residents pay more for city government.

Almost every homeowner in Sarpy County — nearly 97% — will see an increase this year to their valuation, according to a World-Herald analysis. That’s typical in a county that tries to keep every property in step with the real estate market every year.

Papillion’s rate will remain at 45 cents per $100 of valuation, which is the lowest among cities in Douglas and Sarpy Counties. But the city’s overall assessed valuation appears as if it will increase by 31%, which means some homeowners and businesses will pay more in taxes if their valuations increased.

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The valuation increase will generate $4.16 million in general fund revenue. According to the city, two-thirds of that increase came from two recent annexations: the Cottonwood subdivision in 2017 and a group of subdivisions and sanitary and improvement districts this summer. Those who live in areas that were annexed will now pay the city’s rate instead of their SID rate.

Under Papillion’s rate, the owner of a $200,000 home pays about $900 in city property taxes.

Key takeaways

Three new police officers, six firefighters

A handful of new emergency responders and public works officials would be added to Papillion’s payrolls if the budget passes unchanged.

The city plans to add three police officers and two public works maintenance positions, in large part to serve the recent areas of annexation.

Additionally, six firefighters will begin work halfway through the budget year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Those employees will bring the total number of firefighters to 60 and allow the city to add a fire engine company to a station near 108th Street and Giles Road, which will serve growing developments on the western edge of Papillion, said Trent Albers, Papillion’s spokesman.

That station currently offers only emergency medical services.

The police budget also includes funds for a second K-9 officer.

A $2.2 million improvement plan to repair and strengthen streets

Papillion’s proposed $88.2 million total budget includes a $2.2 million comprehensive street improvement plan that will reconstruct poorly rated streets and add protective layers to some streets of better quality, according to Papillion officials.

The budget also calls for an additional $100,000 for pothole repairs and earmarks money to have newly annexed streets analyzed.

Last winter, Papillion hired a company that analyzes pavement to study the city’s 295 lane miles.

Over a two-week period, a vehicle drove the city’s streets, collecting data on the quality of each one. That data is now being used in the street improvement plan.

“We’ve got a really good overall picture of what the entirety of ... the city looks like,” Albers said.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for Papillion’s Aug. 20 council meeting. A final vote would most likely be held Sept. 3.

Reece covers Sarpy County for The World-Herald. He's a born-and-raised Nebraskan and UNL grad who spent time in Oklahoma and Virginia before returning home. Follow him on Twitter @reecereports. Phone: 402-444-1127

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