Council introduces fiscal 2019 budget

By RON HARRIS
Posted 9/5/18

Jasper City Council members introduced a new city budget for fiscal 2019 during Tuesday’s city council meeting.The proposed Fiscal 2019 budget, which would take effect when the new fiscal year …

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Council introduces fiscal 2019 budget

Posted

Jasper City Council members introduced a new city budget for fiscal 2019 during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The proposed Fiscal 2019 budget, which would take effect when the new fiscal year starts on Oct. 1, is just over $24 million and has many similarities to the previous budget, Jasper Mayor David O’Mary told council members.

It includes step raises for city employees, a lighting project to replace all current lighting with LED lighting, and will include full funding of the comprehensive pay plan for city employees.

A work session was planned for later Tuesday for more in-depth discussion of the new budget, and O’Mary said monetary figures mentioned Tuesday were tentative “and could change.”

“The thing that jumps out at me is that this is a balanced budget, and that’s important,” O’Mary said, adding that expense management helped ensure that.

O’Mary said department heads in the city have worked hard over the past few weeks to help with the new budget. “They’ve done a great job,” he said. 

The council is expected to vote on the new budget at its next meeting on Sept. 18.

In other business, council members:

•approved minutes of the Aug. 21 meeting.

•presented a proclamation in recognition of Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month. 

O’Mary presented the proclamation to Melissa Alsup, Karen Hyche, Karen Globetti and Linda Hyche, who are each survivors of the disease.

Gynecological cancer is among the leading causes of death of women each year in the U.S. More than 98,000 women are diagnosed each year with the disease, and more than 30,000 die each year. “The absence they leave will forever be felt in our hearts,” the proclamation said.

Throughout September, teal ribbons will be hung throughout the city in observance of Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month. 

•approved an event permit for a Patriot’s Day ceremony hosted  by American Legion Post 9 and planned for Sept. 11. The event will begin at 8 a.m. at the courthouse square.

•adopted an amendment to the city’s current budget to provide matching funds for a paving project with the District Attorney’s Office and to provide funds for lighting for a new pavilion at the Percy Goode Center.

The amendment also includes the addition of $1.5 million for Phase II of the current paving project underway in the city.

•approved a request to accept $2,000 from Southern Midways, which recently hosted a carnival in the city.

The carnival was co-hosted by the Jasper Police Department, and the money will go to the police department.

•approved paying city employees overtime for working this weekend’s Foothills Festival.

•adopted a resolution to reject bids received for a 19th Street West sidewalk project. 

The reason for rejecting the bids comes after city officials learned that grant money could be available to assist with the project.

•approved allowing O’Mary to enter into an agreement with the Jasper City Board of Education for a project to replace pipe on school property.

Working with the city, which will serve as an administrator of the project contract, will help keep costs  down, O’Mary said.  The city will incur no expenses from the work.

•adopted a resolution to set cost for a property that falls under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance.

A second issue concerning costs was tabled until the next council meeting.

The council later added two properties to the ordinance.

•heard from O’Mary, who said he’s expecting this weekend’s Foothills Festival to be ”a grand event” and thanked all city employees who have been a part in organizing the event.

“I think when the dust settles Saturday night and we look back on it, we’ll see all the hard work from these employees,” O’Mary said.