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Surgoinsville budget 'maintains' services with no frills and no tax hike

July 1st, 2014 7:00 am by Jeff Bobo

Surgoinsville budget 'maintains' services with no frills and no tax hike

SURGOINSVILLE — The Surgoinsville Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave final approval Monday night to its 2014-15 budget with no tax increase, no increases in recurring expenses, and no major capital outlay projects.

Mayor Johnny Greer said the best way to describe the new budget is it "maintains."

The initial draft of the budget approved on first reading on May 12 had a deficit of just under $10,000, but the BMA was able to eliminate that deficit while maintaining the same property tax rate of $1.20.

Greer said the budget deficit that existed in May was eliminated thanks in part to some additional state shared tax revenue which hadn't arrived May 12.

The fire department also agreed to postpone the purchase of equipment it was asking for in 2014-15.

What the final budget includes is $25,000 worth of paving, purchase a $4,500 salt spreader, and maintaining the same municipal services.

What it doesn't do is provide pay increases for any town employees, or include the purchase of any new equipment other than the salt spreader.

Expenditures in 2014-15 budget approved Monday are projected to be $829,848, while revenue is projected at 839,231, for a projected budget surplus this coming fiscal year of $9,383.

The town is projected to end the 2014-15 fiscal year with a reserve fund balance right at $200,000.

Greer said the 2014-15 budget was kept bare bones in anticipation that there may be a need for more funding after the sewer system goes online in the coming months.

"To be honest we don't know where we're going to be next year with the sewer coming in," Greer said. "We're trying to maintain in case we have to help it along the first year. They say it's not uncommon to have to do that the first couple of years until it gets in full swing."

In other business Monday the BMA:

  • Approved a resolution authorizing a $953,000 bond sale through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development program. The funds will be used to pay for the sewer system which is currently being installed along Man Street in Surgoinsville between the middle and elementary schools and the Phipps Bend Industrial Park.
  • The new 40-year bond issue brings the total cost of the sewer project to just short of $4.5 million. Rep. Phil Roe is scheduled to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the sewer system on the Surgoinsville middle and elementary campus Tuesday at noon.
  • Voted 5-0 to appoint interim police chief James Hammonds as police chief.
  • Voted to 5-0 to appoint Shane Southers to fill the alderman seat vacated by Alex Dykes who had to resign due to moving out of town. Although Dykes' term isn't set to expire until 2016, it wasn't clear if that seat would have to be placed on the ballot for the November municipal elections. City Attorney Joe May was going to research the question and provide the BMA an answer at its next meeting July 14.
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