McKenzie Council Approves Budget On First Reading, No Tax Increase
McKENZIE (June 8) — No tax rate increase is anticipated for the 2017-18 McKenzie budget following the first of two reading on the General Fund, Drug Fund, Water and Sewer Fund, and Debt Service Fund budgets.
During the Thursday, June 8, council members voted unanimously to approve property tax rates of $1.0955 per $100 assessed value in the municipal portions of Carroll and Henry counties and $1.1431 on the Weakley County portion of the city.
Local property taxes are expected to generate $676,000 in 2017. Local sales taxes will generate $829,000, beer taxes, $190,000; liquor taxes, $56,000; business tax, $40,000; cable T.V., $95,000, to name a few.
Intergovernmental revenues include: state sales tax, $440,000; Hall income tax, $31,000; state street aid, $150,000.
The ATS contract for redlight and speed cameras is estimated to generate $62,000.
Expenses in individual departments indicate a total of $641,450 in General Government; $1,402,302 in the Police Department; $382,000 in the Fire Department; $1,827,007 in the Street Department; $113,000 in Street Lighting; $193,950 in Parks and Recreation; $3,700 in Public Affairs; $36,000 in Tourism and Economic Development..
The Water and Sewer Department, which is a separate entity for city government, estimates revenue of $2,111,400 and expenses of $2,111,202.52 for a net result of $197.48 revenues over expenses.
The Park Theatre Fund estimates $72,000 revenues and $72,000 in expenses.
Debt Service is estimated at $240,250 in revenue and $224,150 in expenses.
In other business, the council approved: *an ordinance of proper conduct at the city’s parks. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has authority to conduct hearing and administer periods of suspension if necessary. A public hearing will be conducted on the issue prior to the second and final reading.
*the purchase of an e-mail server to be housed at city hall. The cost is $5,000.
*accepted the resignation of Councilman David Hocheiter, who moved from the municipal limits. Mason Powers was appointed to fill the unexpired term, however, it was later determined Powers does not reside in the appropriate city ward.
*established a Public Records Policy, concerning the cost of copying the documents for the public.
*paid invoices of $,6052.26 to Smith, Seckman, Reid for engineering to install street lighting along Waldren Street; and GRW in the amount of $12,000 for work with the Water Department for the three months of March, April, and May.
*heard from Frank Tate, executive director of the McKenzie Industrial Board, who has worked 100 days. He said there are several clients showing interest in McKenzie. He noted his wife and two daughters will soon relocate to and join him McKenzie. She is a pharmacist and has worked to expand her license to Tennessee. Mayor Jill Holland said Tate is working on both industrial and retail development.
*heard Councilman Randy Callahan speak about the flooding along South Main Street. He said the culverts and ditches need clearing near Block City Pizza and South Main Storage buildings. He also recommended a retention pond on city-owned property adjacent to Block City. The pond would help store some of the flood waters. A 20-foot by 40-foot pond could hold 30,000 gallons. Mayor Holland said engineers estimate a retention pond would lower the flood area by one-half inch. A concern for the Zika virus from mosquitoes is also a concern of building a retention pond, according to one city official.
*heard Callahan said the city could generate revenue for the City Park by charging $5 for parking at the Freedom Fest. Mayor Holland said the festival has always been free, and it would be difficult to charge for the event. Councilman Gene Hale said his son-in-law is a coach in Bartlett, and teams and coaches there hold fund-raisers to generate revenue for the parks. One fund-raiser is a barbecue event. He said they have the same problems with revenues asMcKenzie. FrankTaterecommended charging for preferred VIP parking and possibly having the baseball players collect donations during the event.
*heard Callahan said the downtown parking problem could be alleviated with parking meters or reserved parking areas for businesses. One difficulty is the large number of Bethel students who participate in Renaissance at the studio and offices downtown. Frank Tate said time limits might be a better remedy for parking problems. He said the Industrial Board is working on a strategic plan on many aspects of the city.
*heard Callahan say the unmanned portable speed monitoring devices could be strategically moved throughout the city to indicate where manpower needs to be and at what times of the day.
*heard Callahan suggest the return of the city wheel tax as a revenue source. Mayor Holland said the revenue and expenses “are a wash” because of the considerable cost of selling the wheel tax stickers and the city’s limited enforcement capability.
*heard Frank Tate say there are grants, such as one from Major League Baseball, to help improve baseball facilities.
*heard Jennifer Waldrup say the splash pad in downtown McKenzie will soon be complete. Much of the work has been performed by local contractors, said Waldrup.
*heard Mayor Holland say construction on the Dollar Tree has not yet restarted, but should be complete later this year. Part of the delay is the building was originally being constructed as a Family Dollar, but since Family Dollar and Dollar Tree have merged, it is now supposed to be a Dollar Tree.