Union City increases fund balance $661,813

Union City increases fund balance $661,813

Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:26 pm
By: Donna Ryder, Associate Editor

By DONNA RYDER
Associate Editor
Union City council members received good news Tuesday night.
Craig Atwill with Alexan-der Thompson Arnold PLLC informed the council members during the 2009-10 fiscal year the city was able to increase its fund balance by $661,813. This is a welcome change from years when the city was using the fund balance to cover expenses, a spokesman said.
Atwill said his firm has given the city “a clean opinion,” with only one issue to be addressed. That matter came with the collection of the hotel/motel tax and the expenditures in that fund being in excess of what had been budgeted by $12,000.
City manager Kathy Dillon explained that does not mean the city is in the hole. It simply means she did not correctly project the revenue from the tax when she prepared the budget. The city distributes the tax to the Obion County Industrial Development Corp., the Obion County Chamber of Commerce and to Main Street-Union City, with a 5 percent processing fee kept by the city, as it is collected.
In a management’s discussion and analysis letter included with the audit, Ms. Dillon reported the city’s general fund at the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year was $1,309,454. The city borrowed $650,000 through a tax anticipation note for operating expenses, which was repaid by the end of the fiscal year. Additional debt was not incurred during that budget year and the long-term debt was decreased by $586,000, leaving the balance at $9,522,437 on June 30, 2010.
During the 2009-10 fiscal year, the city eliminated the operation of one of three fire stations, reorganized staffing to avoid filling vacancies, increased utility and tax rates and restricted spending.
After the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Learned there is still no recommendation for the Ward 2 seat on the City Beautiful Commission.
• Approved a resolution to send a letter to Topix in California letting the company know the city council is concerned about people posting libelous items on its website without having to use their real names.
The Rev. Eddie Mallonee presented the item to the council, saying citizens are concerned about the harm the website is doing to the community. He said he knows they will not be able to stop the posts, but hopes the company will make it possible for those who have been wronged to obtain the IP address for those making the posts so legal action can be taken if that is what they wish to pursue.
Council members agreed with Mallonee. Councilman Dianne Eskew said the such posts are “mean, spiteful and cowardice.”
• Increased the water tap fees for inside and outside the city limits to reflect the true cost to the city. Fees will begin at $525 if no street break is required and $900 if a street break is required inside the city limits, while fees will begin at $700 for outside the city limits.
• Agreed to accept bids for the demolition of a building at 312 Adams St.
• Was informed a policy, at the council’s direction, is being drafted which will develop a restricted fund allowing the fines collected from the red light and speed violations to be used for street paving and street maintenance only.
• Learned Spring Cleanup has been set for May 7-21, with the county’s hazardous waste day set for May 21. Dumpsters will be located at the National Guard armory, the former Reelfoot Packing Co. parking lot, at Save-A-Lot and on empty lots across from The Messenger and across from the water plant.
After the meeting, councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison told The Messenger it is important for the citizens and business owners to cooperate and clean up their yards and property, especially their fence rows and around their buildings. He said with Goodyear closing, an effort to locate more industry here will bring business owners to the community. “This is a new beginning,” he said.
• Heard from Police Chief Joe Garner that 52 grave markers at City View Cemetery on Taylor Street were vandalized during the evening of March 7 or the early hours of March 8. He said the police are encouraging anyone who has information about the damage to come forward. Information may be reported to Crime Stoppers at 885-TIPS.
Garner said the police have a lead on the recent arsons as well.
• Asked about the development of the city’s website. Ms. Dillon said they are still working on it, but that the city’s computer system is being upgraded. Once that is completed, they can concentrate on building the website. She said citizens will be able to pay their utility bills and property taxes online and will be able to pull forms off as well. “Pretty much anything you can do at City Hall,” she said.
• Was asked about the property tax collections. Ms. Dillon said there was only about 3 percent which had not been collected.
• Questioned Ms. Dillon about the Animal Adoption Center. She said she had not had the opportunity to speak with them, but that she would be contacting the president to go over the contract and make sure they have accomplished their goals and are meeting the requirements of the contract. “I’ve been trying to stay out of their hair and let them get their job done,” she said.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at dryder@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 3.16.11

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