Vernon city leaders took action to address the town budget. City commissioners approved to terminate the tourism contract with the chamber, increase water rates and raise taxes. Vernon City Manager Mitch Grant said all this was done in order to make sure that the city did not end up in debt.
People packed the city hall speaking publicly and passionately about why they felt the city should not terminate the tourism contract with the chamber. Some who spoke expressed concern that a lack of tourism might mean an increased lack of revenue. Grant said that a lack of revenue was the main reason behind the water and tax increases approved tonight.
Vernon water users will notice their water rates go up by 15%. A two cent tax rate increase will bring the current rate from 36 cents to 38 cents. This increase will help pull in an additional 84,000 in revenue needed to help balance the town budget.
Grant also noted that the city was able to retain all current employees, but seven future vacancies will go unfilled until the city is able to better afford to replace those workers it will lose.