The Doolittle Board of Aldermen Monday night adopted a $273,027 balanced budget for fiscal year 2017-2018. Here's the details . . .
The Doolittle Board of Aldermen Monday night adopted a $273,027 balanced budget for fiscal year 2017-2018.
Just before doing that, the board approved the adjusted fiscal year 2016-2017 budget to reflect positive changes that occurred during the to bring the budget up to $289,859.
The budget for the year beginning July 1 is similar to the 2015-2016 budget and to the 2016-2017 budget before the adjustments were made.
Expected revenues are as follows:
Real estate taxes, $12,000;
Sales tax, $70,000;
Telecom tax, $7,000;
Franchise tax, $6,000;
Merchant licenses, $900;
Interest, checking accounts, $240;
Interest, Cds, $1,100;
Water user fees, $887;
Sewer user fees, $96,000;
Motor fuel tax, $24,000;
Hall and land rents, $1,600.
Traffic and other fines, $52,000;
Police training funds, $900;
Gascosage Electric rebate, $400.
Planned expenditures are as follows:
Payroll taxes, $26,000;
Xerox lease, $870;
Parks and recreation, $1,300;
Memberships and training, $1,485;
Vehicle fuel, $5,000;
Building maintenance, $500;
Vehicle maintenance, $500.
Water system maintenance, $300;
Road maintenance, $18,000;
Sewer maintenance, $8,700;
Sewer treatment (payment to Rolla), $42,920;
Sewer bond, $36,960;
Sewer bond reserve, $3,696;
Capital improvement, miscellaneous and police vehicle, $4,000;
County tax preparation, $450;
Trash pickups, $1,475;
Police uniforms, $1,200.
Mayor Paul Smith stressed a couple times for the board, the city employees and the residents who attended the meeting that the budget is a spending plan, that can be changed.
“Just because it’s on here, doesn’t mean we’ll spend it,” he said.
Or conversely, if an urgent need arises, changes will be made to allot money for that.
The current year’s budget was adjusted to include both changes in revenues and expenditures. The city received more revenue than it had budgeted when the board voted to add overdue sewer fees, some years in arrears, to the city tax bills.
That made the sewer bill payment required to avoid a delinquent tax bill, and the city saw some $12,000 in back payments come in. There was other revenue this year, too, and a major expenditure with a patrol vehicle for the Doolittle Police Department.
In other discussion or action at Monday night’s meeting:
* The board authorized spending $400 from the police department fund for four vests to hold the armored plate. Police Chief Scott Jones said the carriers for the plate now in use by him and the three officers are fine for the winter, but they are worn under the uniform shirt and are unbearably hot in the summer. The carriers he asked for slip on over the officers‘ uniform shirts.
* Chief Jones also reported the Mobil on the Run in Rolla has offered the police department a card for 50 car washes for $100. Jones said $2 per car wash was inexpensive and it is more convenient than attempting to wash the car in or outside the city maintenance building. The board agreed, and authorized the $100 expenditure.
* The board also authorized reimbursing Mayor Smith $300 to replace two tires on his tractor, which were damaged while mowing. That will cover the cost of the tires and their mounting on the wheels and the tractor. The board also authorized a payment to Smith of $100 to cover gasoline for the mowing season. Smith has for several years taken care of the mowing of city rights-of-way, for the city does not own mowing equipment.
* Also authorized was a $35 reimbursement to Alderman David Schmickle for a pump he purchased at a pawn shop for the city‘s use.
* A payment of $1,303.35 to Earl Burns was authorized for his work on replacing and repairing windows in the Doolittle Community Center, as well as wiring and installation of a stove and refrigerator donated by the Doolittle Lions Club.
* The board and mayor expressed appreciation to the Doolittle Lions Club for the donation of those appliances in the Doolittle Community Center.
* Sewer collection and treatment was discussed with the mayor noting that a couple of property owners are planning on building residences. One has already built a small house, another plans a duplex. Cost to hook into the sewer system is $3,000 per residence, the mayor noted.
* In related discussion, City Clerk Della Bishop distributed copies of the latest round of overdue sewer bills. Mayor Smith noted that at last month’s meeting, the board voted not to shut off sewer system, but aldermen agreed they would assist in the collection of overdue fees. Mayor Smith encouraged them to contact the residents who are behind in their payments, and he said he would help them if needed.
* Alderman Billy Martin expressed concern about the planned health reimbursement accounts the city board has authorized. He noted that under the arrangement, the city will deposit $100 per month to two accounts for the use of two employees, City Clerk Bishop and Maintenance Director Travis Gray. Once the money is deposited, he said, the city has no control, and there is no accountability to assure the money is used for healthcare costs. Mayor Smith said he and the city employees are aware of that and the health benefit plan remains a work in progress.
* Chief Jones asked that the city publish an employee handbook for Doolittle city employees so all the responsibilities and benefits are spelled out. Smith indicated the Missouri Municipal League might help with that.
* Jones also noted that not all city property is being mowed on a timely basis, and when he issues warnings to residents that they need to mow their yards, some residents sneer and ask why the city can‘t mow its own property. Schmickle and Smith agreed that this is not a major issue; city property is mowed once or twice a year and residents are still required to follow the city ordinance regarding grass height on their lawns.
* Alderwoman Zelma Smith encouraged everyone to welcome the new residents from California to the community.
*Alderwoman Linda Newton noted that brush in ditches remains a problem, as does at least one ditch where a homeowner has built a fence in the ditch that acts as a dam. The brush and the dam cause flooding, or at least backed-up water, on neighboring properties.
* Alderman Roy Stevenson and Alderwoman Sherry Pierce were absent..