Byron Council holds millage rate steady 5th straight year

Byron Council holds millage rate steady

Telegraph correspondentSeptember 9, 2013 

BYRON -- City Council set Byron’s millage rate at 9 mills during Monday’s regular meeting.

It’s the fifth year in row city officials have held the property tax rate steady at 9 mills with no increase, said Derick Hayes, city administrator.

Hayes said a house valued at $100,000 costs about $360 a year in taxes at the 9 mill rate.

Councilman Mike Chumbley, chairman of Council’s budget committee, credited being able to hold the rate at 9 mills to the work of his Council peers and the city’s department heads and employees.

He noted that as well as keeping the city’s millage rate stable, the city had not terminated or fired a city employee since the national economic downturn in 2008.

In turn, Mayor Larry Collins credited Chumbley for his role overseeing the city’s financial situation calling him an “astute businessman” who was doing a “splendid job” for the city.

Council’s vote for the ordinance setting the millage rate was unanimous. Councilman Farrell Bass was absent from the meeting.

Council referred to its legislative committee a matter from Alan Dorsey of Alan’s Automotive of Byron to cap the number of wrecker services on call to the Byron Police Department at three at any given time.

He said the request had the approval of Byron Police Chief Wesley Canon, who was not at the meeting. He said that capping the number of wrecker services on call cut down on confusion.

He also said Peach County law enforcement has a similar cap.

Council members said they did not oppose the cap, but said it should come from Canon to the legislative committee to be brought to council for approval.

Councilman Michael Chidester reported to Council Monday from its utility committee, which he chairs, regarding progress toward needed improvements at the city’s water lift station.

He said funding sources for the project had been identified for the project. He said money designated for utilities from a 2008 special purpose local option sales tax would be used for planning and engineering work for the project and that a Georgia Environmental Finance Authority loan for $2.2 million would be used for remaining repairs.

There was no timetable given for the project.

In other matters, Council approved Willie Frank Hamlin and Willie Pate as appointees to the planning and zoning board through September, 2015; Willie Lee Hill and Robert Lee Smith as appointees to the Byron Housing Authority through May, 2018; and former city clerk Betty Sims as absentee ballot clerk for the 2013 general election.

Council also approved a variety of police and fire department job descriptions suggested by department chiefs.

Contact Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

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