City aims to pass 16-17 budget Thursday

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Star Photo/Curtis Carden The Elizabethton City Council will vote to approve a second and final reading for the 2016-17 fiscal year budget during a special called meeting set for noon Thursday.

Star Photo/Curtis Carden
The Elizabethton City Council will vote to approve a second and final reading for the 2016-17 fiscal year budget during a special called meeting set for noon Thursday.


The Elizabethton City Council will convene at City Hall Thursday at Noon in a special-called meeting to look at approving the 2016-17 fiscal year budget on a second and final reading, along with the property tax rate for the year.
Information provided by the city mentions that last year’s property tax rate was pegged at $1.80. Following three budget workshops before presenting the proposed budgets, the city received the certified tax rate of $1.7909, with this year’s budget being based of the rate of $1.79.
While citizens won’t expect a tax increase, there were adjustments made to a relatively cut-and-dry budget process.
During the regularly scheduled meet on June 9, councilman Sam Shipley made the motion to amend the budget to increase the $50,000 appropriation for the Carter County Rescue Squad to $120,000 – an increase that also happened during the past budget talks.
The motion was seconded by councilman Jeff Treadway will the vote going 6-1 in favor on the increase, with councilman Bob Cable voting nay.
Along with the increase to the CCRS, councilman Richard Tester made a motion to amend the budget to include a one percent salary increase for city employees, to go along with a $500 one-time bonus for full time employees and $250 for part time workers that was included in the recent budget.
Councilman Wes Frazier seconded the motion, which passed unanimously by officials.
The City Council voted to continue operating under the 2015-16 budget during a special called meeting on June 20.
“The hold up this year was the reappraisal,” City Manager Jerome Kitchens said. “We didn’t think we were going to make it in time but the appraisal came in earlier”
Operating under the current 15-16 budget also allows the City Council time if they are unable to pass the 16-17 budget Thursday. The deadline for the budget to be placed is July 1, if the proposed budget passes, it will go into effect for the upcoming fiscal year.
Based on the economic growth of the city, the general fund is expected to move from $10.2 million to $10.7 million in the general fund. An update on the Elizabethton Twins was not discussed during the first reading of the budget. Following a workshop with city officials and the Minnesota Twins’ organization, the club agreed to pitch in nearly $600,000 – one-third of the cost projected for stadium renovations. Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director and Twin’s General Manager Mike Mains credited the financial effort made by the Twins and added that the city has always been an active supporter of the club.
Thursday’s reading also includes a public hearing from individuals that want to voice concern or questions over the budget.
Along with looking to pass the budget, city officials will also look to approve the 1.7909 certified tax rate.
Also on the agenda Thursday is spring cleaning to the 15-16 yearend budget. The amendment will include the recent purchase by the city for the Bonnie Kate Theatre. The city received a grant award from the Elizabethton-Carter County Community Foundation for the amount of $111,700 on June 9. The amendment, which is a first reading, will include the purchase, as the town will turn around and write a check for the same and provide to the owners of the Bonnie Kate Theatre.
A check presentation ceremony, which will feature ECCF officials giving their check to city officials, is set to take place at the conclusion of meeting at 12:30 p.m. in front of the Bonnie Kate Theatre – officially putting the wheels in motion for renovation of the facility.

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