The proposed budget, which would take effect July 1, totals $1,771,020, a 14 percent increase over the 2009-2010 budget of $1,550,829.
City Manager Kevin McBurnett said the major increases from the budget will come from fees associated with the development of Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store. Likewise, the addition of the Bartow County Landfill to Emerson’s pump station brought in revenue for the city.
McBurnett said the $220,191 difference in the current and proposed budgets will be spread throughout the city’s expenditures.
“It just washes itself out,” he said, adding that the city “would probably be upside down” in the upcoming budget if not for the development of Love’s.
Also during the work session, McBurnett updated the council on discussions with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.
In April he said the city’s wastewater permit, which expired in December 2009, was not reissued. At that time, McBurnett said the federal Environmental Protection Agency required local protection divisions to look at a few different areas, one of them being the Catoosa, which includes Emerson, and the number of TMDLs, or Total Maximum Daily Load.
A TMDL is a calculation of the maximum amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and still safely meet water quality standards.
Under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, states, territories, and authorized tribes are required to develop lists of impaired waters, according to the EPA. These are waters that are too polluted or otherwise degraded to meet the water quality standards set by states, territories, or authorized tribes. The law requires that these jurisdictions establish priority rankings for waters on the lists and develop TMDLs for these waters.
Emerson has one stream — Pumpkinvine Creek — on the 303(d) list because it contains fecal matter.
The city will also conduct a feasibility study to determine whether a stormwater utility fee is needed. A stormwater utility fee is based on the amount of runoff generated from a property. Residential properties tend to generate less runoff than commercial or public properties with larger paved parking lots.
McBurnett also said that, beginning today, workers will begin replacing every sign in the city. No figure was available for the cost of replacing the markers.
Council approves tree and shrub ordinance in regular meeting
During the regular council meeting Monday, the agency held a second reading of and approved ordinance section 27.9, which prohibits trees or shrubs obstructing sewer or water services.
Also Monday, the council:
• Held a first reading of the proposed 2010-2011 budget.
• Held a first reading of the 2010-2011 state drug fund budget.
• Voted to close the federal drug fund. Emerson Police Chief Stan Bradley said the fund was created several years ago and no other seizures had been added. With all funds having been used from the account, Bradley said it would make sense to close the fund.
• Entered into executive session to discuss pending legal matters.