Emerson approves budget amendment
by Jessica Loeding
Nov 23, 2010 | 1727 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Emerson City Council took action to amend their budget Monday after City Manager Kevin McBurnett revealed that funds had been placed in the wrong categories.

McBurnett said the 2010-2011 budget's bottom line did not change, but funds have been moved around to correct the original misplacements. The council voted to approve the amendments.

The council in June approved the 2010-2011 budget, which represents a 14 percent increase over last year. The proposed budget, which took effect July 1, totals $1,771,020, with the 2009-2010 budget totaling $1,550,829.

McBurnett expressed concern over expenditures, saying the city needed reserves.

"We can't keep bleeding like we are right now," he said, adding that a bright spot for the city had been announced: the remainder of the only building in Highwoods River Point had been rented out.

The city manager also mentioned questions about the costs of adding the necessary water and sewer lines for a new Emerson Elementary School, which is scheduled to begin construction in the next few years. Although no timetable has been set for the school, Emerson has applied for a $300,000 grant, with the city matching that amount, for installation of the lines.

During a work session prior to the council meeting, McBurnett advised the council that due to infrastructure placement along Second Street and in the intersection of Second and Third streets the contractor had offered the city a "very cheap" deal on installing sewer lines.

The line, which totals about 750 feet, will cost the city an additional $60,070, with the project to be paid for with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax miscellaneous sewer line funds.

"You can't beat that price," McBurnett said.

Also Monday, the council:

* Held a first reading of the planning and zoning by-laws.

* Approved a resolution to dispose of surplus inventory removed from the community center during refurbishment. McBurnett said what the city did not donate would be disposed of.

* Heard a first reading of the hotel/motel tax ordinance.

* Approved the capacity certification and assignment procedures standard operating procedure.

* Approved the lift station inspection procedures SOP.

* Approved the trunk line inspection and maintenance procedures SOP.

* Amended the budget to add an item setting the fees for rental of the community center. The council OK'd a $50 rental fee plus a $50 refundable deposit.