At its regular meetings on Feb. 8 and 22, the Eutaw City Council received detailed financial reports on its status relative to the budget and reports on the progress of the water system as well as making other decisions to advance the city.
Ralph Liverman, Financial Consultant to the city, reported that “for the first four months of the current fiscal year, October 1,2021 through January 31, 2022, based on its General Fund Budget, the City of Eutaw collected $ 1,036,724 in revenues, which was 46% of its budget, and spent $766,394,
which was 34% of its budget.”
Liverman clarified that this meant that for four months, about a third of the year, the City had generated more than its projected budgeted revenues and was right on schedule with its expenditures.
Liverman presented a detailed report of the status of 24 bank accounts that the City is required to maintain to separate revenue sources, provide accurate expenditure reports and to maintain reserves for the maintenance and repair of equipment and the repayment of loans.
The City has a detailed budget and new accounting system which allows the Mayor, Council and staff to review and forecast revenues and expenses. In the past the Mayor, Council and the public did not have access to accurate and timely financial information upon which to make financial decisions concerning purchase of equipment, facilities and staffing. The new system gives the city an opportunity to make decisions in a more rational and financially sound manner.
Corey Martin reported on the water system. The system has 1,480 customers and has made significant upgrades over the past year to improve services. Collections for the current fiscal year are running above the budgetary projections. The water system used $400,000 in COVID funding to institute a digital telemetry system to monitor its wells and pipes, as well as make other improvements to the system, which will produce better results in the future.
At its February 8th meeting the Eutaw City Council approved $50,000 for purchase of a new modular office for the street, water and sewer staff, to replace the current run-down facilities. The Council approved $12,900 for a study by BAM to map the city lagoon and sludge depth to use to seek funding for improving sewage disposal. $16,592 was allocated from the Tank Repair Fund to improve Water Well No. 5 in Branch Heights. Funding was also approved for the Tango-Tango radio system for the Police Department.
At the February 22nd meeting, funds were approved for the DocuWare Cloud investment for the city to improve recordkeeping. The schedule for the completion of the GIS mapping of all city utilities was extended to May 24 to allow all data points to be appropriately mapped. City Engineer Babb stated the mapping involved establishing, digitizing and compiling 75,000 to 100,00 data points into maps that show the exact location of all city utility services.
A hearing for overgrown properties at 330 and 332 First Avenue was scheduled. If the landowners do not properly maintain their space, the city will do the work and add the cost to the ad valorem tax bill for the properties.
Doug Fulghum from the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service gave a report on improvements to traffic, walking and biking trails and playground repairs at Carver Circle that his agency will be working on during the coming months, with grant funds they have secured and mad available for these purposes.
The Council adopted ordinances to approve non-exclusive franchise agreements with Charter Communications (Spectrum Southeast LLC) and Telepak Networks (C-Spire) for expansion of fiber broadband services within the city. These agreements will generate a 5% franchise fee to the city when implemented.
The Council approved an ordinance and referred it to the Planning and Zoning Boards, amending chapters of the City Code, which would bar businesses that received more than 50% of their revenues from the sale of alcoholic beverages on the City Square, surrounding the old Courthouse. This would effectively ban nightclubs, sports bars and other business that sell alcoholic beverages from operating in the center of town.
The Council approved travel, per diem and registration for the Mayor, Council And clerks to attend the Alabama League of Municipalities 2022 Annual Convention in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on May 11-14, 2022.