On Monday the BMA unanimously approved the first reading of the proposed $1.297 million 2013-14 budget with no property tax increase.
Mayor Johnny Greer said there is no plan for a property tax increase this year. He said the $87,000 deficit can mainly be attributed to $100,000 in additional paving, which was included in the 2013-14 proposal.
“We’re trying to find a way to do a sizeable amount of road repair in this budget,” Greer said. “That’s why the (deficit) number is higher. It’s not as bad as you think if you take away the paving. We set a goal to do $100,000 worth of paving this year, and I don’t now if we’re going to be able to achieve that or not.
“I’ve heard the people speak loudly about the roads in Surgoinsville,” he added. “We’ve got to do some work on the roads.”
Greer said the BMA will be able to have four budget workshops before the budget comes up for final approval at its regular monthly meeting June 10.
“You’d be hard pressed to get anyone on this board to vote in favor of a tax increase,” said alderman Larry Dykes.
In other business Monday the BMA:
• Heard a report from Vice Mayor Merrill Graham that the annual Doc Lyons Festival will take place Saturday, June 1. Festivities begin at 9 a.m. with the Doc Lyons Day Breakfast, hosted by Bellamy Hardware Store, on Main Street for $6 per plate.
The Doc Lyons Festival kicks off at 4 p.m. with a parade. The festival itself will be at Riverfront Park and includes a tractor show, live music, door prices, children’s games and attractions, and food.
Proceeds from all Doc Lyons Festival activities will help cover expenses for the annual Riverfront Festival in September.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance requiring inoperable motor vehicles to be removed from property within 30 days everywhere except businesses that do repairs on motor vehicles. The ordinance also requires repair shops to remove inoperable vehicles from public view within four days, either inside a garage or behind a privacy fence.
Existing businesses will have 90 days to comply if the ordinance is approved on second and final reading next month.
• Approved the first reading of an ordinance that allows the town to send notice of code violations by first-class U.S. mail. Currently the town sends those notices by certified mail.
Dykes said a common practice is for the recipient to refuse a certified letter from the town because they know it’s a code violation notice. State law only requires first-class mail for code violations, Dykes noted.
• Heard a report from Alderman Alex Dykes that Surgoinsville now has a Facebook page called “Town of Surgoinsville,” which will be updated with information for local residents.
• Approved a contract with certified public accountants Eddy and Eddy to continue doing the town’s annual audit.