Bonnie Kate, budgets highlight Thursday’s City Council

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden  The Bonnie Kate Theatre's purchase by the City of Elizabethton will look to be made official during Thursday's City Council meeting.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
The Bonnie Kate Theatre’s purchase by the City of Elizabethton will look to be made official during Thursday’s City Council meeting.

Another step in the restoration of the Bonnie Kate Theater will take place Thursday during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, set to begin at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Council members will vote to ultimately approve the resolution that allows the City of Elizabethton to purchase the Bonnie Kate Theatre.
The council agreed to work alongside the East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), which raised $111,700 that was presented as a check to the city for the purchase the building that was recently on the auction block during their previous meeting held May 12.
“I think this is a step in the right direction in terms of revitalizing our downtown and continuing to make Elizabethton a great destination for families, tourists, and the people who value the history of this theater,” said Kris Yarlett, Elizabethton/Carter County Community Foundation (ECCF) chairman, during May’s meeting.
It was the attitude of wanting to preserve history that made John Huber, who spearheaded the fundraising effort for the Bonnie Kate, work toward obtaining the funds along with other investors. The ECCCF, which is a branch of the ETF, will now begin the process of applying for grants and obtaining donors to work on the restoration of the building.
The $111,700 will only cover the cost for purchasing the building. The city will look into the purchase of the parking lot at a cost of $25,800 after the 2016-17 fiscal year budget is passed.
The first readings for the city budgets also highlight Thursday’s City Council meeting with the Elizabethton end-of-the-year budget ordinance amendment for the 2015-16 calendar year, along with the city’s tax rate and school system budget for 2016-17 each on the agenda.
The first reading for the 2015-16 year end budget ordinance includes changes on the general fund line item – $19,8555,634 to $20,065,634 for the estimated revenues and fund balance and appropriated expenditures – and the Veterans’ Walk of Honor fund – $7,400 to $12,400 for the estimated revenues and fund balance and appropriated expenditures.
Along with the year end budget, city officials will read the tax rate for the upcoming fiscal year — which begins July 1 and ends June 30, 2017 — that is proposed to stay at last year’s $1.80. The Elizabethton City School Board passed their budget for the upcoming fiscal year during their meeting in May and will also present their before council members Thursday.
Compared to the amended budget for 2015-16, the school system is projected to work with a general fund of $21,881,399 for the coming year, a $2,029,586 difference from the current budget.
According to documents provided to The Elizabethton Star, the school system is expected to see the bulk of their estimated revenues and reserves come from state revenue ($13,771,777) while the biggest expenditure is the salary for employees ($14,046,675). All certified and classified staff members will receive a three percent salary and step increase, if eligible.
The school system’s federal projects fund is pegged at $1,522,965 — an increase of $25,840 from 2015-16 — with two grants on the horizon for the Special Education Program totaled at $70,000. The system’s School Nutrition Program will also see a $51,064 increase ($939,436 to $990,500) with the budget reflecting the participation the three elementary schools in the Breakfast in the Classroom Program.