Gleason Board Approves First Budget Reading
BY DAVID FISHER
GLEASON (June 8) — The Gleason City Board approved the first reading of an ordinance outlining the 2017-2018 fiscal year budget. The budget includes no tax increases and a restructuring of the City’s water rates.
The 2017-2018 budget for the City of Gleason sets the property tax rate at $1.4104 per $100 of assessed value on real and personal property, which is unchanged from the previous year’s budget.
Projected revenues and expenditures in the various funds for the coming fiscal year are as follows: • General Fund: revenues = $686,650; expenditures = $590,090
• State Street Aid: revenues = $49,400; expenditures = $23,600
• Drug Fund: revenues = $11,300; expenditures = $3,500
• Water Fund: revenues = $904,090; expenditures = $483,287
• Solid Waste: revenues = $207,270; expenditures = $141,300 The ordinance stipulates that all unencumbered balances of appropriations remaining at the end of the fiscal year shall lapse and revert to the respective fund balances.
The FY 2017-18 budget passed with all board members except Alderman Keith Radford voting in favor of the ordinance. Alderman Radford questioned moving a secretarial position from the General Fund into the Water Department.
To prevent a property tax hike, the new budget moves Marsha Hatley’s secretarial position from the General Fund to the Water Department. The Water Department has sufficient funds to pay Hatley’s salary. Hunt explained that the majority of Marsha’s work involves utility billing and receipts, so she is essentially a utility clerk.
The water rate structure will be revamped to charge customers for only what they use. It is intended to make it easier for the elderly on fixed incomes, who typically do not use a lot of water. For those falling into this category, 1-500 gallons will cost the consumer $3.50 for water, $3.50 for sewer, and $21.25 for garbage pickup, for a total monthly bill of $28.25.
The rates for water usage in various amounts vary as follows:
• 501-3,000 gallons = .0075 per gallon.
• 3,001-4,000 gallons = .0060 per gallon
• 4,001-5,000 gallons = .0050 per gallon
• 5,001-9,100 gallons = .0025 per gallon Alderman Doug Johnson stated the new water rates are fairer than the existing rate system.
The first reading of an ordinance amending the current fiscal year’s budget, which ends June 30, 2017, was also approved with Alderman Radford casting the only “No” vote. The below-cited amendments were deemed necessary to meet unexpected expenses in these funds. The ordinance amends appropriations for the various funds as follows:
• The General Fund budget appropriation, previously set at $625,485, is decreased to $615,907;
• TheWaterandSewerFund budget appropriation, previously set at $387,992 is increased to $473,316
• The Drug Fund appropriation, previously set at $10,000 is decreased to $545
• The Solid Waste budget appropriations, previously set at $181,370 is decreased to $166,478
• The State Street budget appropriations, previously set at $49,200 is increased to $38,970 Board members unanimously approved a resolution that amends the City of Gleason’s Open Records Policy, as required by state law. It outlines the requirements and methods of inspecting and obtaining copies of public records. One of the changes in the policy requires proof of Tennessee citizenship in order to inspect or receive copies of public records.
Under old business, a letter has been received from MTAS advising the Board not to perform any work on private property. This precludes taking any action on repairing a ditch at a residence on Vinson Street, as requested by the property owner. The Board agreed to write the property owner a letter explaining the situation.
In department reports, Police Officer Todd Barber stated, during the month of May, there were two state warrants issued, including: one for domestic assault and one for violation of order of protection. Additionally, 45 city citations, including: 32 for speeding, two for driver’s license violations, four for insurance violations, two for animal control violations, one for reckless driving, one for equipment violation, one traffic control device violation, one for improper backing, and one for failure to exercise due care.
Mayor Diane Poole stated a hole on Phelps Street has been cut out and filled back in, and a sinkhole was repaired on East Grove Road.
Deputy Fire Chief Mark Stafford stated, during the past month, firefighters responded to eight callouts. Additionally, there were in-house training classes held on emergency vehicle operations. Stafford reported that the new helicopter landing pad has been poured behind the Gleason Water Plant, located at 518 East Union Street. A 35 foot long gravel driveway has also been installed.
Stafford recommended the driveway to be covered with asphalt. This would allow ambulances to drive right up to the landing pad and transfer patients to medical helicopters. Alderman Johnson cautioned, to avoid injuries to emergency personnel or patients, an asphalt driveway needs to be installed. Johnson offered to donate $1,000 toward the cost of the asphalt driveway, which is estimated to cost approximately $9,000.
Mayor Poole speculated the Rotary Club might be willing to help with the cost of the new driveway, and donations might be solicited from other sources. The gravel for the current driveway was donated by Old Hickory Clay Company. Air Evac has agreed to install lights at the landing pad.
Alderman Jim Phelps mentioned that the memorial stone at the Legion needs to be moved, and received a cost estimate of $400 for the stone to be and placed on a poured concrete slab provided by the mover.
A called meeting of the Gleason Board is set for June 27 at 6 p.m. to consider approval of the second and final reading of the 2017-2018 budget and an ordinance making year-end budget amendments to the 2016-17 budget.