Council Passes Budget, Changes Council Meeting TimeJuly 11, 2012 No Comments
By Fran Burgess and Lisa White
With a unanimous vote of those in attendance, City Council members approved the budget for the fiscal period July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. Mayor Burnett and Council member Tony Kennedy were not in attendance and Council Member Kenneth Gist presided over the meeting. In accordance with Section 1-5-2 of the Code of the City of Woodruff, the City is required to adopt an annual balanced budget. The City Council held budget workshops on February 28, April 24, and May 29, 2012. During that time, discussions were held concerning the Capital Budget, General Fund, Hospitality Tax Fund, and Tax Increment Financing Funds. The General Fund budget represents a 3% increase in tax rev-enues over the 2011-2012 budget, without the aid of a tax increase and a 2% cost of living raise for employees. The TIF budget highlights include a $230,000 expenditure on Woodruff City Hall renovations, $15,000 for a Downtown Branding Study, a $15,000 Mckinney Park Master Plan, and $52,500 in grant matching. TIF money is derived from the Tax Incremental Finance District and the funds are specifically earmarked for improvements within the district.
Appearing before council, Vincent Smith, Chairman of the Board of Zoning and Appeals, spoke expressing his concern that there are two vacancies on the board and asked that Council “work a little harder to get someone to fill these vacancies.” Smith continued, “We can operate with what we have, but if we had a full board, we would be able to do a more complete job. We need to be a little more energetic about pushing the cause.” Council member Gist asked, “Have we done any advertisement for these two positions, and if not, can we go ahead and advertise in the local newspapers?” The response by City Manager Tillerson was, “We have not advertised yet, but we plan on doing so.” The agenda was then amended to accept the appointment of Jerri Harmon to the Parks Committee. When Harmon was asked why she’d like to be a part of this committee, she responded, “I want to help improve and make Woodruff a better place.”
In Consent Agenda, Council unanimously approved a Resolution to Change the Times of Council meetings from 7:00 pm to 5:30 pm, effective July 1, 2012 and the Adoption of the Millage Rate at 103.0 for the fiscal period July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013 which does not reflect an increase. No reason was stated as to why the meeting time was changed during the meeting but in an email later, Manager Tillerson said, “In the spirit of everyone’s time, when we do have a long agenda and public hearings we are cognizant of citizens’ time and wish to not keep them at meetings through the late hours of the night.” Council member Buddy Arnold did express his concern that future council members may not be able to arrive by 5:30 p.m., but Council member Toni Sloan responded, “We can always go back and change the time.”
In other business, City Manager Tillerson pointed out that the Christmas in Action for two houses in Woodruff has been moved to July. Chief Dawkins is heading this project up. The city has received funding for $451,000 from Community Development Block Grant for the up-grade of Cavins Pump Station. This project should be complete by January of 2013. The city’s match for this project is $45,000. Plans are still on-going for the Woodruff Walking Trail. The city has received the Mary Black Foundation grant for this project. A committee will be formed soon to continue plans for the trail.
The city manager’s report also included reports for the month of June from the Fire Department, Police Department, Public Works, and the City of Woodruff.
Council ended the meeting by expressing their appreciation to Manager Tillerson (City Manager), Mr. John Baggett (City Clerk/Treasurer), and Mr. Terry Clark (City Attorney) for their hard work relating to the preparation of the City Budget.Featured