Woodland residents face property tax
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
Messenger Associate Editor
Just how much money does a city need to survive? That’s a question the Woodland Mills mayor and board of aldermen have been trying to answer.
Faced with declining income from state-shared sales tax and older infrastructure in need of repair, the board has had to make an unpopular decision to start charging its residents a property tax.
Mayor Wade Carrington said Monday night that property assessor Kathy Robertson informed him the board needed to come up with an amount needed to run the government annually and her office could then review the property assessments for Woodland Mills and figure up a property tax amount.
“We need to do it now. It has to be worked into the budget,” he said.
Alderman Waymon Reagan bounced around the idea of setting an amount that would allow the city to build up its reserves and then roll back the property tax.
Alderman Mark Hayes said he was concerned about the amount being too much for those on a limited income, especially the elderly. And, he added, he thought it might take a while to build up a reserve. He said he thinks the city needs to start low and stay there.
The mayor added he thinks once the city gets the sewer system’s problems worked out that the board can cut back on the sewer rates, therefore balancing out the money.
The city has been dealing with a deteriorating sewer system that was put in place in the 1970s. It has several leaks and rainwater infiltrating the system which has caused a large amount of water to be treated for which the city doesn’t receive payment.Over the past several years, the city has repaired the pumping stations and replaced flow meters. It is currently working to place risers on manholes and repairing known leaks.
Carrington said the city has streets which need to be paved and other physical needs which must be addressed. “We’re behind about three years and it may be three years before we get enough money (to address those needs),” he said.
After much discussion, the board agreed to start with an amount of $20,000 and review it after five years.
In other business, after the meeting was opened in prayer by Hayes and members were led in the Pledge of Allegiance by Reagan, the board:
• Approved the March and April financial statements. Total assets for April include $9,313.75 in the street aid fund, $6,775.73 in the refuse collection fund, $566,045.42 in the sewer fund and $47,937.81 in the general fund.
• Decided to hold off on purchasing springs to repair a toy ride on the playground. The springs cost $235 each.
• Received a letter of resignation from city recorder Tammy Speed, who recently obtained her LPN license. It is effective in June. She is being replaced by Thelma Green. Mrs. Green and her husband, James, owned the former Green’s Market which was located in Woodland Mills. They live in Maplehurst Subdivision.
• Learned petitions will be available for pick-up at the election office on Friday. Hayes announced he will not be running for another term.
• Heard everyone is complying with the proof of insurance requirement for rental of the Civic Center.
• Set May 27 and June 12 at 6 p.m. for budget meetings.
• Heard from board members that they have had good comments about the ball park, pavilion and ball teams playing there.
• Agreed to request a study from the Tennessee Department of Transportation about reducing the speed limit on Highway 5 from Brevard Road to Maplehurst Subdivision from 55 mph to 45 mph.
• Learned from Tom Menees, the city’s contact with the Obion County Emergency Management Agency, that the city will receive two to four emergency radios for use by city leaders.
• Heard the city is maintaining a lane by the Moore property. City personnel have already cut back limbs and plan to mow and spray weeds. It was noted a fence also needs to be erected around the city’s property at the end of the lane.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 5.20.08