The Eutaw City Council met on Monday November 7, 2022, for its first regular meeting of the month.
The Council approved a resolution honoring former Mayor Hattie Edwards, who died last week by naming February 28, her birthday as “Hattie Edward’s Day in Eutaw” and allowed flags to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, November 12, 2022, the day of her internment.
The Council approved the 2022-23 budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2022, and the Employee Handbook, which governs human resource issues in the city.
The 2022-23 budget as presented by Ralph Liverman, Financial Consultant is 27 pages covering all funds handled by and through the city.
The budget covering 11 funds projects $5,483,783 in revenues with expenses of $4,390,622 and a surplus of $1,093,161.
Liverman said, “The $5 million total is a new record for the City of Eutaw. This includes a $3 million-dollar General Fund, which is also a record.”
Liverman pointed out that the projections were based on the prior year’s income and expenses and that it was up to the Council to implement any salary increases for the new fiscal year.
“I have projected a large surplus of $493,394 in the General Fund which can be used for salary increases and additional capital improvements,” said Liverman.
The current budget includes $175,000 in road and street repairs from the 4-cent gas tax fund and $225,000 in improvements from the 7-cent gas tax fund. This includes $110,000 for the Streetscape project for the downtown Courthouse Square which is matching for a $600,000 ALDOT grant. The Streetscape project also has matching funds from the Greene County Commission and Greene County Industrial Development Authority.
The budget also has allocations of COVID relief funds from the American Rescue Plan for the new firetruck ($50,000), repairs to the Carver School Building for roof and cafeteria ($61,000) and Employee Cost of Living Adjustment in December 2022 ($53,000).
The budget includes servicing of the USDA Rural Development loan for the water system, with required reserve funds, and servicing a five-year loan taken last year, from Merchants and Farmers Bank, to purchase new trucks and equipment. The water system may require an annual rate adjustment and the sewer system is being partially subsidized with bingo funds.
The Council approved $9,800 to P&M Roofing for additional repairs to the roof of the R. H. Young Community Center, which was the former Carver School.
The Council approved a ten-year Memorandum of Agreement for leasing two classrooms at the R. H. Young Center to the Alabama Forestry Commission for $450 rent per quarter. Councilman Carpenter objected to this agreement because it would bind future councils to an agreement made by this city council.
Councilman Carpenter offered a motion to require that city vehicles, including police cars be parked behind City Hall daily and not used by the police to drive home. This led to a heated argument with Police Chief, Tommy Johnson, who said that parking the cars daily would result in slower response times when there was an emergency. The motion died for lack of a second, which further angered Carpenter.
The Council also approved an MOU between the City and Greene County EMA; a contract with Tri-State Consulting for creation of a Geodatabase for the city; and a new Fire Hydrant Ordinance, required by the State of Alabama.
The Council voted to pay bills and claims and approve travel to training for various employees.
In a prior meeting on October 11, the City Council:
• Approved $6,200 for a contract with Supreme Electrical LLC to install LED lighting in the Cafeteria at R. H. Young Community Center.
• Declared surplus and returned a strip of land to C. T. and Joyce Solomon, at the old Family Dollar location, which was a right of way, to facilitate the possibility of locating a Jack’s Restaurant at this location.
• Approved a bid of $20,100 to Jasper Means Construction to repair Robert’s Street drainage problem.
• Approved a contract with Alabama Power Company for LED street light installation in the City of Eutaw.