Houston & Peach

Byron council approves 2017 budget

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The City Council passed a $6.3 million 2017 budget Monday.

Council members unanimously passed the $6.3 million general fund operating budget without comment along with three other 2017 financial plans for the city: a debt service fund budget, special revenues budget and enterprise funds budget, which is the city’s water and sewer service accounts.

Budget documents estimate level revenues and expenditures for the city in 2017 at the $6.3 million figure. The city’s 2016 budget was $5.8 million.

Documents show half the estimated revenue coming through various taxes at $3.1 million with an addition $2.3 million coming from licenses, permits, grants, fines, forfeitures and public safety, and just under half a million coming through miscellaneous sources such as facilities rentals, contributions and donations and interfund transfers.

Other budget fund figures include projected expenditures in 2017 of $372,598 in the debt service fund and $290,000 in the special revenues budget, which is primarily income and expenses related to the city’s hotel-motel tax fund.

The enterprise funds budget for water and sewer services reflect estimated revenues of $2 million with estimated expenditures of $1.9 million and an expenditure contingency fund of $144,225. Natural gas revenues are expected to be $456,599 with expenditures of $452,762 and an expenditure contingency fund of $3,836.

Solid waste revenues are expected to be $316,470 with expenditures of $281,997 and an expenditure contingency fund of $34,472.

In other business during the council’s regular meeting, members approved moving forward with the next phase of its required stormwater master plan. The move will see a feasibility study come to an end and the beginning of the process of educating the public about the stormwater plan and a utility that will ultimately charge fees to residents.

The new phase also calls for creation of a public advisory committee.

In other business, the council:

▪  Authorized approval of a contract with TMT Utilities, LLC, for $17,450 for a sewer extension on Allred Road and approved an increase of tap fees to $1,500 with the understanding builders will provide grinder wastewater pumps to home owners;

▪  Approved as unchanged the city’s annual $1 lease agreement with the Byron Area Historical Society for the society’s use and management of what’s commonly known as the city’s train depot and old jail buildings;

▪  Approved an agreement with Stephanie T. Ward for $1,500 a month to represent certain indigent people who are defendants in the city’s municipal court;

▪  Approved an agreement with the Byron Convention and Visitors Bureau Authority regarding its funding from the city hotel-motel tax and duties to promote business and tourism and provide related services to the city;

▪  Passed an ordinance annexing 2.54 acres on lots 17 and 18 of Old Oak Road as well as rezoning the property from county residential (R1) to city residential (R-1);

▪  Passed an ordinance concerning aligning the city to state soil erosion, sediment and pollution control best management practices, passed a measure involving specific land owner/developer responsibility regarding building and maintaining run-off water ponds, and had a first reading of an ordinance related to drought control bringing the city into better overall compliance with state regulations;

▪  Agreed to a measure assuring additional and firm gas capacity provision to the city’s Kumho Tires plant and expected future production near the end of 2017;

▪  Appointed Willa Dean Barber to replace Willie Frank Hamlin on the Byron Redevelopment Authority and reappointed Mike Patel, Rick Knowles and Marlene Humphry to the Byron Downtown Development Authority/Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors.