VIDEO: Fort Payne Council passes 2018 Municipal Budget

VIDEO: Fort Payne Council passes 2018 Municipal Budget

PHOTO: Councilman Wade Hill discusses the 2018 Budget before its approval. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor 

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Full Video at the Bottom) The Fort Payne City Council convened earlier today to pass the 2018 Municipal Budget and handled several other items, including authorizing an application for matching funds for airport improvement projects, making an appointment to the Fort Payne Improvement Authority (FPIA) Board, and took disciplinary action regarding two sanitation employees. Before the meeting, the city held a workshop to discuss insurance policies with the Cody Coffey Agency.

Towards the end of the meeting, the council addressed and passed Fort Payne's 2018 Municipal Budget.

"I'd like to say I appreciate the department heads coming in the first round of this," stated Councilman Wade Hill, before making the motion to adopt the budget. "I think we had four departments that presented budget request under last year's funding, when we tasked them to do as close to level funding as possible. We have cut this thing down as much as I think we can and still function properly. There is still money in here for special projects that we've been talking about; their is money in here for part of the Highway 35 project, there is property acquisition for industrial development..... so I think all-in-all this is a good of a budget as we can put together, so I make a motion that we go ahead and adopt this budget today," said Hill.

"Another thing everybody needs to understand, the budget is just a work in progress," said Councilman Gerald Taylor. "It's not like it's something set in stone."

"I'd like to also commend our department heads for coming in and looking at things, and seeing where we can cut and change. I think they've all done a good job at getting us to the place that we are at," said Council President Brian Baine.

The 2018 Budget (Full bottom line budget below) totals out at $21,501,050.00 in expenses and $25,446,978.00 in revenues, leaving $3,945,928. Deductions from the bottom line, which include expenses such as bond payments, property payments, new equipment for city departments, etc., total out to be $2,095,556.00; leaving $1,850,372.00 for capital expenditures.

Capital requests, which are the total amounts requested from various departments for future improvements, such as police, fire, sanitation, parks & recreation, animal control, etc., total out at $1,055,456.00, leaving a $794,916.00 total surplus.

Alcohol Tax revenue, which has been in a decline in recent years, totals out to $310,000.00, which is divided among DeKalb Tourism, the Economic Development Authority (EDA), sidewalk repair, and the Fort Payne City School system.

The largest deficit on the budget is the DeSoto Country Club, which only posted $104,030.00 in revenues as opposed to $279,003.00 in expenses, for a deficit of -$174,973.00. It should be noted, however, that the DeSoto Country Club is a stand alone department from Parks and Recreation, as it does generate revenue. The airport and sanitation department also posted deficits of -$14,859.00 and -$16,443.00, respectively.

Full Budget: 

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Other items addressed in the meeting:

  • Adopted Resolution 2017-43; Authorizing the city to apply for matching funds for an airport improvement project.
    • The city applies yearly with the state for matching grants to be used for airport improvement projects
  • Reported bid results for a tandem axle dump truck. 
    • CP Truck Sales (Flatrock) submitted the only bid in the amount of $27,800.00.
  • Approved a curbing request for James Moore, 403 34th Street N.E. 
  • Appointed Randy Moses to the FPIA Board. 
    • Tim Shugart recently resigned from the Fort Payne Improvement Authority Board due to a change of residency, and it became necessary to appoint another member. Applications were accepted through October 6, and Joel Early, Randy Moses, and Bob Thomas applied. Councilman Taylor made the motion to appoint Moses, with a second from Hill, and the motion was approved.
  •  Held a disciplinary hearing for two Sanitation Department workers, Morris Bynum and William Curtis Harris.
    • Bynum faced 1 week suspended without pay, in which he chose to use his vacation days for. Harris faced termination, and per city policy, and was entitled to a hearing today. Harris failed to show up. The council voted to uphold both disciplinary actions.
  • Temporarily appointed Teresa Freeman to serve as City Clerk during Andy Parker's absence. 
  • Went in to executive session to discuss the Terrapin Hills Sewer System
    • City Attorney Rocky Watson explained that the council was to discuss recent action by the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), which sued to file an injunction that would shut down the failing system. A court hearing was held that morning, and ADEM agreed to allow the City of Fort Payne to intervene in the best interest of its citizens. After the executive session, the council authorized Attorney Watson to intervene.

Watch the Full Video: