The city of Leavenworth's 2015 budget has been approved by the Leavenworth City Commission.

The city of Leavenworth's 2015 budget has been approved by the Leavenworth City Commission.

The budget, which was approved Tuesday, will include a 40 percent reduction in the city's property tax rate.

The reduction is resulting from a 1-cent sales tax that was approved by Leavenworth voters earlier this year. The sales tax was proposed for the purpose of reducing the city's property tax rate.

The $44.5 million budget will reduce the city's mill levy from 52.029 mills to 31.029 mills.

The mill levy is used in determining property taxes. A mill is $1 per $1,000 of a property's assessed value.

"This budget maintains the current level of municipal services," City Manager Scott Miller said.

Leavenworth Mayor Mark Preisinger said he would put Leavenworth's one-year reduction in property taxes up against any other other city.

Miller said someone from the League of Kansas Municipalities told him Leavenworth had opened a lot of eyes by enacting the sales tax to reduce property taxes. He said other cities are looking at doing something similar.

Commissioners approved the budget following a public hearing as required by state law.

The public hearing on the budget originally had been scheduled for last week but had to be rescheduled because of a lack of quorum among commissioners.

No one from the audience addressed commissioners during Tuesday's public hearing.

The budget was approved 4-0. Commissioner Davis Moulden was absent.

Commissioners had a second public hearing Tuesday to discuss a house at 1421 Osage St. that was deemed to be unsafe.

The house was damaged by a fire in March.

Public Works Director Mike McDonald said, as a result of a city ordinance, the municipal government received 15 percent of the insurance settlement for the house. This totaled $9,333.

The public hearing was required before the funds could be used to demolish the house.

McDonald said the city has received inquiries from people who live in the neighborhood regarding when something may happen to the house.

He said $9,333 is roughly what it would cost to demolish the home. If there is any money left over, city officials will attempt to return it to the property owners.

McDonald said city officials have been unable to contact the owners of the property.

Chief Building Inspector Hal Burdette said he'd tried contacting the property owners by phone and mail.

"No one has ever responded," he said.

Commissioners were told the property owners have a Leavenworth address.

Preisinger suggested somebody could try knocking on their door.

"I would go the extra mile," he said.

Burdette said he would have no problem with knocking on their door.

No one from the audience asked to speak during the public hearing.

Commissioners proceeded with adopting a resolution to use the insurance funds for the demolition of the house.

McDonald said the city officials will require repairs to be undertaken within 10 days or they will move forward with the demolition.