Perry council adopts 2010 budget

PERRY — The Perry City Council approved a $10.2 million budget during its regular meeting Tuesday that contained no millage increase and also kept a school resource officer position initially proposed to be cut.

The budget contains no merit increases for employees and eliminates the ADVANCE program, a drug prevention program that targets students. The city also transferred $109,700 from the gas system revenue fund.

Last week, Gilmour suggested City Council eliminate a school resource officer position.

However, a building maintenance technician position that had been vacant for the past six months was eliminated instead.

“It’s a good thing,” City Councilman Joe Kusar said of the change.

The budget includes fee increases on water, sewer and solid waste, which are standalone funds.

The water and sewer fund is expected to generate $5.2 million in revenue. Recommendations call for the base charge to be increased by $1 to $4 per billing while consumption rates will go up 8 percent.

The need for the increase comes from declining new construction resulting in less connection fees, changing to an automated meter system, less water consumption and a need for repairs to the city’s infrastructure.

Users of the city’s solid waste system could see an increase in their rates.

Rates for residential trash are recommended to be increased from $21 to $21.50 for regular amounts of trash while commercial customers will see an increase from $27 to $28.

In other action at the meeting, the Perry Police Department received recognition for attaining and maintaining state certification from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police for the past 10 years.

In past years, the department was reviewed every five years to see if they met 118 professional standards.

Michael Caldwell, general counsel for the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, presented the award and said the department was to be commended for meeting the rigorous standards.

“The standards provide a detailed blueprint for professional law enforcement practices,” Caldwell said, adding that the certification will enhance effectiveness and lower insurance costs.

Chief George Potter said getting the recognition was a team effort

“It comes from the action of everyone who works for us and I appreciate their hard work and dedication,” Potter said.

To contact writer Natasha Smith, call 923-3109, extension 236.