Zero Attendance at Public Budget Hearing

No Fayette residents attended the Public Hearing regarding the City Budget held by the Council at Thursday night. The hearing was held to offer citizens the opportunity to ask questions or comment on the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year Budget. With no public or questions, the hearing was adjourned and the council proceeded with a special meeting.
The special meeting was called due to the Independence Day holiday. During this meeting they looked at budgets and discussed financing for a fire truck.
Council members approved the amending of the 2017-2018 Fiscal Year Budget, officially closing the budget for this fiscal year.
A pay increase for city employees was approved. All hourly and salaried employees (excluding seasonal, volunteer, and elected) will receive a $0.50 per hour raise for general employees and $1.00 per hour raise for police department employees. These pay increases were effective July 1, 2018.
The 2018-2019 budget was presented. The council expressed their appreciation for City Administrator, Robin Triplett, and her time and efforts preparing the 2018-2019 budget. The budget was approved.
After reviewing the budget, Mayor Greg Stidham commented on the expected income, noting it was almost the same as two years ago. Expenditures continue to increase while income stays flat or decreases each year. Stidham expressed the need for community growth; economic development, an increase in population and increased visitors to the city.
A new fire truck is heavy on the minds of the council. The $635,000 truck is needed, and there is currently just under a third of the money needed to purchase. The Assistance to Firefighters Grant would be a possibility, but the cycle for these grants is closed until spring. Financing options reviewed included loans from USDA and REV Financial Services. A 10-year loan would require a payment of approximately $53,000 each year. A 12-year loan would reduce the payment to approximately $48,000, and a 15-year loan would be approximately $40,000 per year. The city would be able to use the $25,000 budgeted for the Fire Department Sinking Fund each year. A loan for building improvements for the Fire Station is almost paid in full and will provide another $15,000 which would cover $40,000. However this would leave no room if anything should arise.
Council members all agreed in the need for the truck. Alderman Larry Dimond stated, “We have kicked around so many projects, we have not been a proactive group. We cannot continue to wait and wait.” Alderman Grafton Cook agreed and said it was very understandable to him after a recent demonstration why no one should go up in the current truck.
The city is moving forward in an application for a REV loan and will follow up at their next meeting.
Alderman Cook addressed the council regarding the slate for the Historic Preservation Commission. He expressed the need for a differing opinion on the commission, noting that almost everyone on the slate had been approached and asked to serve, and only one had volunteered. Cook believes having a slate of only like-minded individuals reduces the chances of seeing other needs and opportunities for action.
Cook explained that in the past, a slate has been presented and voted on as a whole. If not all members were desired, the entire slate was rejected and sent back for review. This had been his plan with the slate he presented the June 19 meeting.
Due to the July 4th holiday, the Fayette City Council will meet next on Tuesday, July 17 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Leave a Comment