By KEVIN BOWDEN
Money matters dominated Tuesday night’s meeting of the Kenton mayor and board of aldermen.
The board is quickly approaching the new fiscal year and is facing the task of drafting a 2013-14 budget.
“We’ve got to have it passed by July 1,” Mayor Virginia Davidson told the board Tuesday.
Although the city is in relatively good financial shape compared to previous years, there appears to be the possibility of a tax increase to balance the new budget.
“It’s just that bad,” Mrs. Davidson announced. “The revenue is just not there y’all.”
One factor that may help the city’s financial status is the upcoming reappraisal, but city officials are bracing for the difficult task of coming up with a balanced city budget.
Each of the Kenton board members serves as a commissioner over a city department, and each board member submits a budget for that department. Those departmental budget proposals are then matched up with projected revenues and the board tries to come up with a balanced budget.
The board will resume work on drafting a new city budget at next month’s meeting.
One piece of good news for the city came from the mayor Tuesday night. She announced the city has been awarded a $335,000 state disaster grant that will be used to raise the city’s lift station.
“We are proud of it,” Mrs. Davidson said about the grant. “This is our first grant in a while.”
State officials are scheduled to actually present the $335,000 grant to city officials Friday afternoon in Kenton.
But there was a little controversy Tuesday night to go along with that good news. It appears a dispute over a $1,942.72 bill for a grinder pump is headed for court.
The city billed Danny and Leanne Marvin of 611 St. Mary St. after three separate pumps serving their property burned up.
“I’m looking for the bill to be paid,” board member Tim Johns told the board. He serves as the city’s water and sewer commissioner and said the Marvins bear some responsibility for the cost of the pumps.
However, board member Faye Sharp argued the Marvins shouldn’t have to pay and claimed one of the grinder pumps was not properly installed.
Johns said the city has replaced pumps serving the residence in March 2011, July 2012 and December 2012.
“Y’all can do what you want to do. I think we should drop it,” Mrs. Sharp said.
She is the mother of Mrs. Marvin and argued strongly that the city should drop the issue.
“They’re not going to pay anything,” she said.
Mrs. Sharp said her daughter has contacted an attorney and it was decided by the board to have the issue settled in court.
“I’m sorry this couldn’t be worked out any better than that,” board member Delores Agee said.
Discussion of the grinder pump issue took up nearly 40 minutes of Tuesday night’s hour and 10 minute meeting.
In other action, the board:
• Voted to discontinue injecting fluoride into the city’s water supply, after it was announced the state no longer requires fluoride be added to the public water supply.
City residents will be notified of the change, as will the state. The change will actually take effect June 1, according to Kenton Public Works Director Nathan Spencer. He told the board the change will save the city about $1,200 a year.
• Was informed by the mayor that she has formed a committee to meet with Gibson County 911 officials over changes being made to the city’s dispatching system. Mrs. Davidson will serve on the committee along with board member Angie Taylor (also Kenton’s police commissioner), Kenton Police Chief Kyle Kirk and Kenton Fire Chief Ed Sims.
“It’s time that we do this,” Mrs. Davidson told the board.
• Discussed ongoing problems with Kenton properties being sold through the Obion County Chancery Court for delinquent taxes. Mrs. Davidson claimed the city is not receiving its share of the sales from the court. She said she will contact court officials to discuss the problem.
• Approved a contract with the Union City accounting firm Alexander Thompson Arnold to perform the city’s audit.
Tuesday night’s meeting was opened in prayer by Mrs. Agee. Absent from the meeting was board member Sarah Skinner.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 4.4.13