In its regular meeting on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, the Eutaw City Council dealt with financial and budgetary matters prior to the beginning of a new fiscal year, later this week on October 1, 2021.
The Council approved recommendations from the Mayor for raises for city personnel other than the Police Department, which had received raises in a prior meeting.
“When we raised the police salaries, you asked me to evaluate the rest of the staff, street, water and other workers, I have now done this and recommended raises in the range of 50 cents to a dollar an hour for the staff. I also consulted Mr. Liverman, our financial consultant, who agreed that funds were available to cover the cost of these raises which will begin with the first pay period in the new year,” said Mayor Latasha Johnson.
Financial advisor, Ralph Liverman, presented the council members with a new draft budget for the coming year, which he said he was still revising.
Liverman said, “We have increased revenues for the coming year, based on
higher sales and gas tax payments made by Love’s Travel Center, which has really helped us. We are also receiving about $50,000 a month in receipts from electronic bingo. We also increased revenues in the Water Department due to better management and collections. I expect we will have $5 million in revenues to work with in the coming fiscal year.”
Liverman explained that the City had set up the proper accounts in Citizens Trust Bank for the water improvement project loan from USDA Rural Development. We are now making required monthly deposits in our loan payment account and two reserve accounts for maintenance and repairs on the system. The City has also established a Water Tank Maintenance Account, to have funds available for tank repairs and have ended a contract with a company for tank maintenance.
Liverman also said he had sent a copy of the proposed budget to BBI, the software company which is setting up the city’s new financial system, which will be used to prepare financial statements and reports comparing expenditures to the budget in the coming year.
The City Council approved a contract with STATERA Consulting, a Human Resource (HR) firm, for $3,500, to review and revise the City’s Personnel Policy Handbook, which requires updating and clarifications. The representative of the company, on a video connection said that he would “make realistic and practical recommendations for changes and improvements to the policies and compliance.”
City Attorney Zane Willingham presented the City Council with a memorandum on legal steps they will need to take to deal with overgrown properties and charge the costs to the owners. Willingham suggested that council members prepare a list of problem properties in their districts so that
they could be acted upon together.
The Council received a request from Mercy and Grace to purchase 4.5 acres of land on Boligee Street, where the swimming pool was previously located, to build an Assisted Living facility for the elderly. Attorney Willingham advised that the Council would need to approve a resolution that the land was not needed for public use before it could be sold. The Council tabled the sale until the resolution could be prepared for the next meeting.
In other actions, the Eutaw City Council:
• Opened bids for the sale of surplus property, including trucks, cars, a van and equipment. The Council accepted some of the bids and rejected others. A full report is on the City’s website.
• Approved purchasing identification badges for all city employees, including council members.
• Approved observing October 11, 2021 as Branch & Gilmore Local Holiday, in place of Columbus Day for all city employees.
• Approved request from Girl Scout Troop 408, Greene County Human Rights Commission and Greene County Health Advisers to use City Park on October 6, 2021 for their annual run/walk to promote cancer awareness.
• Approved request from Greene County PARA for use of the City Park on November 6, 2021 for a Commu8nity-wide Fall Festival.
• Approved resolution to declare certain water fund accounts as bad debts and uncollectible, to clear records for the new fiscal year.
• Approved payment of monthly bills.
• Announced National Night Out, for police community relations, will be held October 21, 2021 at the R. H. Young Community Center.