2007-01-18 / Front Page

City council approves FY `07 budget

The final FY 2007 budget was adopted by the Lincolnton City Council at its regular meeting held Wednesday, January 10.

The $702,100 budget represents a $30,200 increase (4.5 percent) over the FY 2006 budget of $671,900. In spite of the slight increase, the millage rate remained the same at 5.6 mills.

In other business, the council:

.. Voted to grant concept approval to Appalachian Mountain Services (AMS), Inc. for the collection of delinquent taxes owed to the city. The contract will be signed after the city attorney and Ric Baxter, CEO of AMS, have worked out the legalities.

The cost of collection will be borne by the delinquent taxpayers.

.. Voted to appoint Guil Mattison as mayor pro tem.

.. Voted to re-appoint Barry Fleming of Fulcher Hagler, LLP as the city attorney.

.. Heard the Water Department Report given by Superintendent Stanley Parton who indicated that total water production decreased "quite a bit" in December, from 12.26 mg (million gallons) in November to 10.4 mg in December.

Concerning upgrades to the water system, Parton said that residents on Perryman Avenue, Ward Avenue, and portions of Lillian Sims Drive and East Lincoln are now hooked up to the new six-inch water mains.

In further items of information, the superintendent noted that he is looking into the purchase of a sewer jetter machine. Once he has explored all of the available options, the matter will be turned over to the Public Utilities Committee.

.. Heard a presentation made by city engineer Kenny Green of G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers concerning the proposed sewer service delivery area map that must be approved by both the city and Lincoln County as part of their joint services strategy.

According to Green, "The county wanted to limit the city to providing sewerage services inside the city limits only, but the city wanted to extend its service area three miles outside the city limits. Since then, the city has agreed to compromise and will accept a service area that extends to one mile outside the city limits.

"The county can't provide sewerage services - it doesn't have a plant," said the engineer. "Once this agreement is signed, we can provide people living just outside the city limits with sewerage services. It will eliminate a lot of paperwork."

"The city wants to benefit from subdivisions built just outside the city limits," added Mayor Dwaine Biggerstaff.

The proposal will be forwarded to the county.

.. Was informed by Ginger Dawkins, city zoning administrator, that the zoning board has recommended that a public hearing be held in conjunction with the next regular meeting of the mayor and council for the purpose of granting preliminary plat approval to the Lincoln Square subdivision.

The council agreed to hold the public hearing at the beginning of its February meeting.

.. Voted to accept the low bid of $6,000, submitted by Southern Line Services, to clear the right-of-way along six miles of sewer lines.

.. Heard Mayor Biggerstaff appoint the following committees for 2007:

Finance and Personnel: Councilman Dwain Moss, chairman, and Councilman Henry Brown.

Public Utilities - Water & Wastewater: Councilman Robert Glaze, chairman, and Councilman Brown.

Public Safety - Police and Fire: Councilman Brown, chairman, and Councilman Mattison.

Public Works - Streets and Sanitation: Councilman Glaze, chairman, and Councilman Chuck Beggs.

Permits and Ordinances: Councilman Mattison, chairman, and Councilman Glaze.

Downtown Revitalization: Councilman Moss, chairman, and Councilman Mattison.

Public Buildings: Councilman Beggs, chairman, and Councilman Moss.

.. Voted to grant a new alcoholic beverage license to the El Portal Restaurant.

.. Voted to adopt the occupational tax ordinance for 2007. There were no changes made to the ordinance.

.. Discussed the dispatch services contract between the city and the county. The agreement expired June 30, 2006.

"On December 1, we received a bill for six months at the new rate ($30,000 per year), and we paid it," said Mayor Biggerstaff. "However, I told the county, which is in the process of changing finance directors, not to bill us at six-month increments in the future."

It was further pointed out that in a sense, the new agreement is a twoyear contract because it was postdated to June of 2006 and will remain in effect until June of 2008.

"Legally, the council cannot enter into any contract that exceeds 12 months," commented the mayor.

It was decided that the city will contact the county attorney and the matter will be revisited at the regular February meeting of the mayor and council.

.. Heard Mayor Biggerstaff commend Joey Johnson for his diligence in taking down the city's Christmas decorations.

.. Heard the mayor read a note from Dorothy and Roger Dowell thanking the city for its many kindnesses following the death of Mr. Dowell's brother. Mr. Dowell is a city employee.

.. Was informed by Biggerstaff that the city is still in the process of placing its new emblem on vehicles and buildings.

The next regular meeting of the mayor and council will be held Monday, February 5, at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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