$23.9M city budget introduced to council

Posted 9/12/17

By RON HARRIS

Daily Mountain Eagle

A proposed city budget of more than $23 million for the new fiscal year was introduced at Tuesday’s Jasper City Council meeting.

Mayor David O’Mary …

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$23.9M city budget introduced to council

Posted

By RON HARRIS

Daily Mountain Eagle

A proposed city budget of more than $23 million for the new fiscal year was introduced at Tuesday’s Jasper City Council meeting.

Mayor David O’Mary briefly discussed the proposed budget, which is expected to be passed at the council’s next meeting on Sept. 26.

The proposed budget is $23.913 million, O’Mary said. That represents an increase of approximately $350,000 over the current city budget.

Council members met last week in a work session for an in-depth discussion of the proposed budget.

O’Mary said revenue growth in the city over the past year has been ‘level.’

“It’s not the kind of revenue growth we would have liked to have,” he said, adding that city officials have worked hard on expense management in the city.

Expenses for fiscal year 2018 are budgeted at $19.3 million.

“We believe — and we think it’s very reasonable to believe — that our fund balance will end the year at $2 million,” O’Mary said. “

City leaders came up with the proposed budget thanks to help from all city departments.

“This budget was shaped by input from all of our department heads,” O’Mary said.

The proposed budget will allow the city to restore partial funding to the Jasper Industrial Development Board, and it will provide — for the second consecutive year — pay raises for city employees. “That’s two things in this budget that I’m extremely pleased about,” he said.

The 2017 fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

In other business, council members:

•approved minutes of the Aug. 15 council meeting.

•presented a proclamation declaring September as Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month in the city.

Mayor David O’Mary presented a copy of the proclamation to several ladies who have either battled cancer or have loved ones who have.

Gynecological cancers are among the leading cause of death for women in the United States, O’Mary said. More than 98,000 women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with some form of gynecological cancer in the next year, and more than 30,000 women will die in the next year.

“It is crucial that all women in our state and the city of Jasper take an active role in learning the symptoms and risk factors associated with gynecological cancer ...,” the proclamation said.

•approved parade permits for the following:

— the Foothills Pathway 5K, set for Saturday beginning at 8 a..m. in downtown Jasper. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with all proceeds benefitting the Walker County Center of Technology.

— a RUFF Glow Run/5K on Saturday, Sept. 23, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Gamble Park.

— a 5K and Soap Box Derby to be held Saturday, Sept. 30, on Fifth Avenue in downtown Jasper. The event is sponsored by the Walker Baptist Association.

— the annual Pets on Parade, planned for Saturday, Oct, 28, beginning at Gamble Park.

•approved use of Eagles Point Park for an FFA Forestry Career Development competition on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 9 a.m. until noon.

The event is expected to include FFA students from across the county.

•adopted the final budget amendment for the current fiscal year.

•approved a request to renew contracts for tires, tubes and service, and hauling services, and for volleyball officials for the city’s parks and recreation department.

•approved a request to send out bid invitations for grounds maintenance at New Prospect Cemetery.

•heard a report from city purchasing agent Derleda Abrom on volleyball and soccer uniforms for the city’s parks and recreation department. The council also approve awarding the bid for uniforms to 29 Sports.

•adopted a resolution to allow O’Mary to enter into an agreement with McGehee Engineering for design fees for a drainage improvements made along Doctor’s Branch, and to approve funding for the project.

•adopted a resolution to set costs for properties that fall under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance.

The council also heard from city planner Keith Pike about properties that should be declared under the ordinance because of overgrown grass and weeds and being an unsafe structure.

•adopted an ordinance to place a moratorium on metal and portable buildings in the B3 zoning district.

•approved a request to proceed with vacation of an alley way at 4th Avenue and 20th Street, and adopted an ordinance to declare the property as unneeded and authorize selling the property.

•held a public hearing and approved providing economic incentives for Milo’s Restaurant Holdings, which is currently building a Milo’s on Alabama Highway 118 in front of Scott Crump Toyota.

The incentives included a 30 percent sales tax rebate for three years and 20 percent rebate for the following two years.

To meet the requirement for receiving economic incentives from the city, a new business must make an investment in excess of $1 million and provide a certain number of jobs. Milo’s met both requirements, city clerk Kathy Chambless said.

•following a brief executive session, approved settlement of a lawsuit against the city.