City Council revisits bond funding

Published 8:28 am Thursday, May 24, 2018

A relatively smooth budget process continued its trend Tuesday evening.

Elizabethton City Council members were able to hash out final details of the proposed balanced budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year during a workshop at City Hall. The proposal will go before Council for second and final reading during Thursday’s meeting before getting implemented. The budget would start July 1.

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According to the current proposed budget, the tax rate will remain at $1.79, meaning no property tax increase for residents. The total appropriation for the general fund is $18,921,435, leaving a surplus of $38,700. Debt service is also down from last year’s $1,576,092 to a proposed amount of $1,360,645.

City Finance Director Deborah Kessler confirmed to the Elizabethton Star Wednesday that some changes were made to a roughly $2.1 million bond note for the city.

Hampton Golf, the management firm for the Elizabethton Golf Course, provided a list of capital projects during the meeting. Council members have been complimentary of the firm’s work at the facility since taking over management. Council agreed to move the golf’s allocation of bond proceeds up to $300,000, up from the original $250,000, to assist with projects. The Covered Bridge’s amount also moved up to $200,000 while $80,000 was agreed upon to be used for parking at City Hall. With no other changes occurring to police, fire, equipment and sports complex allocations, Kessler said there’s roughly $230,000 left designated.

Elizabethton police is slated to receive $1 million for renovations, $250,000 for sports complex, $150,000 for the Bonnie Kate, $140,000 for radio equipment and $250,000 for the fire department.

City officials also agreed to table the compensation study for employees until the 19-20 fiscal year and approved the one-time $1,000 bonus for full-time city employees and $500 for permanent part-time employees for this budget cycle.

Different facets of the city are expected to reap the rewards of a relatively conservative budget.

Some of the bigger projects coming from the budget include $141,000 for new police cars, $140,000 for work on downtown canopies, $50,000 for crosswalks on E Street, $50,000 for sidewalks, $49,827 for guardrails on West G Street, $46,000 for ADA work and over $42,000 for new playground equipment for Kiwanis Park. A new addition to the budget is $10,000 to go toward a downtown facade program.