The Eutaw City Council met on October 12 and again on October 19, 2021, with the main purpose of approving a budget for city operations for the fiscal year October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022. At the October 12 meeting the budget was tabled but at the October 19 meeting it was approved by a 4 to 1 vote.
Several council members said they did not completely understand the entire budget and the concept that the budget could be amended and changed as new financial issues came up. Mayor Johnson said, “This budget is not written in stone, it can be changed as new things occur. We have a surplus in all o our main accounts, so funds are available to cover unexpected or new expenses.”
Mayor Johnson almost begged some council members to approve the budget, “I have been on the council under the last two mayors and we did not have a budget, so we never knew if we could afford to make a decision that involved spending money. The people of Eutaw deserve to know how much money is coming in to the city and what we are spending it on. The council and the people need to know that we have a budget, with a spending plan and that we are following our plan. If something changes or needs to be adjusted then we can always amend the budget.”
The Mayor also assured the council, that with new accounting software that is now in place, bills and expenses will be charged to the appropriate budget and category within the budget, so the council will be able to measure expenses against the budget as they are paid.
The budget is compiled from seven major funds the city has: General Fund, Water Fund, Sewer Fund, 4 Cent Gas Fund, 7Cent Gas Fund, Capital Improvements Fund and Special Street Fund. The revenues coming into each fund are based on experience during the past year and expenses are projected based on actual personnel and costs that are in place for the coming year. The budget projects total revenues of $4,807,716, with expenses of $4,526,200, leaving a surplus of $281,516, with a surplus in each of the seven funds.
The Democrat plans a more detailed review and analysis of the city’s budget in future issues. “I am pleased to see that the City government of Eutaw has a budget, after many years of operating without a budget. This will give the Mayor, Council and the public a better handle on the finances,” said Danny Cooper, Chair of the Greene County Industrial Development Authority and a frequent observer at council meetings.
In other actions, The Eutaw City Council:
• Approved a resolution for a $25,000 contingency fund for the $500,000 grant to repair the roof at the Robert H. Young Community Center, formerly Carver School.
• Declared an old swing set at Clarence Thomas Park as surplus.
• Agreed to close City Hall at Noon on October 21st to prepare for National Night Out at 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the City Park.
• Approved Sever Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday for February 25-27, 2022.
• Approved the Mayor’s appointments to the City Industrial Board – Faye Tyree; Eutaw Planning Board – Joe L. Powell and Noha Alnaham; and the reappointment of Isaac N. Atkins to the Eutaw Housing Authority Board.
• Approved Girl Scout Troop for use of City Park on October 22 and 23, for a Trunk or Treat event.
* Approved rental agreement for Clifford McPeek for music classes and drum repair at R. H. Young Community Center.
• Approved payment of bills.