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New Adel budget to have no tax rate increase

The Adel Mayor and Council will consider adoption of the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 budget during their regular meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 2, at Adel City Hall.


During the Monday, Sept. 18, meeting, Council Member Michael Purvis made a motion to enter into a public hearing to gain input on the proposed new fiscal year budget. Council Member Vivian Sharpe seconded the motion. There was no opposition.


City Manager John Flythe explained that the total citywide budget this year is $23,030,100. He reviewed significant dollar differences in line item amounts between last year’s budget and the proposed budget. He noted that the property tax millage will remain the same but will produce an increase in revenue due to growth in the tax digest.


Additionally, the general fund includes $366,700 in revenues that will be received due to financing capital equipment (three police cars and a side dump garbage truck). There is an increase in the transfer to the general fund from the enterprise funds of $99,300 as compared to last year, with the transfer in from reserves remaining at $685,525. Overall, the total increase in the general fund is $495,400 as compared to last year.


Flythe also reviewed the expenses for each department and the capital purchases that are included. There is an increase in the water fund of $38,825 as compared to last year; a decrease in the sewer fund of $10,000; an increase of $519,000 in the electric fund; and an increase in the gas fund of $211,575.


Flythe further added that it has been requested that a Downtown Director be included in the budget. He noted that if the Council decides to do that, a budget adjustment would be required. Council Member Purvis asked if the position was included, would a corridor redevelopment study be included as well for Highway 37 from I-75 into the downtown area.


John Flythe added that the average lowest paid salary for this position is in the $40,000 range and that does not include benefits and an office, nor travel and conference expenses. Flythe said he is thinking it would cost a minimum of $100,000 to fund this position. He noted there have been some others [local government agencies and groups] that have expressed an interest in helping to fund this position. Council Member Purvis said he would encourage that a plan be presented to the Council by the requesting group.


When asked if there was any input from the public, Ben Pickett, council member for the City of Cecil, asked if the budget included a “safe haven” for citizens during storms. Pickett also said he hadn’t heard anything included in the budget about what the City of Adel is doing with drainage problems and sewer system problems.


Mayor Buddy Duke replied that the “safe havens” are typically identified by 911 [Emergency Management Agency], which is run by the County. Mayor Duke added that there are facilities in Adel that have been used during times like those following the January tornado and the recent effects of Hurricane Irma. Pickett replied, “That was the churches, though?” Mayor Duke agreed that churches were used along with Cook Middle School. Those individuals are allowing their facilities to be used by the municipalities and governmental agencies for this purpose, Mayor Duke said, adding that as far as a standalone single building, the City of Adel does not have anything like that.


Pickett replied this needed to be added for consideration. Mayor Duke expressed his appreciation to Pickett for his input.


Ron Mozzo then asked when the water meters are going into effect. City Manager Flythe explained that of the 2,500 to 2,600 meters to be installed, approximately 200 have had communication issues. “We are currently replacing the steel containers with plastic to allow them to communicate with the collectors,” Flythe said.


The Electric Department is 100 percent installed with the Gas Department being about 15 percent installed. With the gas meters, you are required to have certified technicians complete the installations, Flythe said.


Another question Mozzo asked was, “How many guys are on the trash truck? You have a lift on the trash truck, so why do you have three people?”


Flythe asked to confirm whether Mozzo was asking about the trash truck or garbage truck, to which Mozzo replied, the garbage truck. Flythe said the City will be going to one person, which is beginning with the new budget.


Later in the Adel City Council meeting, Ordinance #17-07, establishing the ad valorem tax rate for 2017 at 6.401 mills, was read for the first time.


Then, Resolution #17-02, allowing for the provision of funds for operation of the City of Adel from Oct. 1, 2017, until Oct. 31, 2017, pending adoption of the budget, was presented to the Council. Council Member Purvis made a motion to approve the resolution. Council Member Butch Fausett seconded. All were in favor.

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