Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Council agrees to give city employees a 3 percent raise, sets aside $10,000 for donations in next year's budget

UPDATE, May 9: A special meeting of the council has been called for 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 13, to continue budget discussions.

The Midway City Council wrapped up its preliminary deliberations on Mayor Tom Bozarth's last budget Monday night by deciding to give the seven full-time city employees a 3 percent raise and dealing with the often difficult issue of donations.

The council deferred decisions about donation requests from the Francisco's Farm Art Festival, the Woodford County Chamber of Commerce and other groups, setting aside $10,000 for such contributions in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Soon after the council took up the donation issue, Member Grayson Vandegrift suggested a catch-all line item for donations, instead of individual amounts, noting that they are hard to predict individually and that Midway College might seek another $1,000 for lectures.

"I think that's a good idea," Bozarth said. "that doesn't limit you if somebody comes with another cause." At another point, council members noted that they can always amend the budget.

Vandegrift suggested allocating $7,500, but Bozarth said that would be "a little short," so Vandegrift moved for $10,000 and the other members agreed. "If I had a vote," Bozarth said, "I'd vote yes, too." The mayor presides over council meetings but can vote only in case of a tie.

Bozarth said he would put the revised budget into the form of an ordinance and present it for first reading at the council's next meeting, May 19. "I think it's been a very good process," he said. "thank you all." He is not seeking a third four-year term; Vandegrift and Council Member Sharon Turner are running for mayor.

The council also inspected the new handicapped ramp on East Main Street and heard first reading of a long-discussed ordinance to set new policies for adjustment of water bills that are abnormally high because of leaks on the property owner's premises. The ordinance, the original draft budget and other materials in the council's meeting packet can be downloaded as a 3.2 mb PDF here.

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