By Crystal McGough
For The Tribune
CLAY – The Clay City Council unanimously approved a motion made by Councilor Don Baker to adopt the General Fund Budget for the Oct. 2018 – Sept. 2019 fiscal year during its regular council meeting Tuesday, September 25.
“We’re going to be right at a $4 million budget with income and expenses,” City Manager Ronnie Dixon said.
Of the $4 million, $1.2 million is budgeted for employee benefits.
“We’re only at 25.6 percent of our budget for employees, which is really, really low,” he said. “Most (municipalities) are at least at 50 percent, so I think we’re doing good, employee-wise.”
Overall, Dixon said that the new budget is not much different from last year’s.
During the 2017-2018 fiscal year, the city added $200,000 to the Building Fund to go toward the cost of the Cosby Lake dredging project. Dixon said that under the new budget, the city will add an additional $200,000 to the fund, and a final $200,000 is expected to be added under the 2019-2020 budget.
Also under the new budget, the city’s funds for schools will increase from $225,000 to $250,000.
The city ended the 2017-2018 fiscal year under budget, with $218,478.60 remaining in its General Fund.
“Thank y’all (Mayor and Council), and thanks to all the employees of the City of Clay and the job they do in helping us maintain the city and maintaining the budget,” Dixon said. “We really appreciate the quality and quantity of work that they do for us.”
During Mayor and Council comments, Councilor Don Baker asked the council about addressing littering in the city, especially around the Paradise Valley area. He said that he would like to have “No Littering” signs put out to remind the public that those who litter are subject to a $500 fine.
“I’m tired of seeing everybody’s 12-pack boxes and Jack’s out there,” Baker said. “I like Jack’s and I’ve been known to have an adult beverage, but I also have a garbage can. So if maybe a sign might just cause somebody to pause for a moment, it might help.”
Following a public hearing, at which no one spoke, the council unanimously approved Ordinance 2018-05, annexing the property at 2540 Galloway Drive into the city of Clay. The annexation was unanimously recommended to the council by the Planning and Zoning Commission.
Councilor Bo Johnson informed those at the meeting of the upcoming 2nd Annual City of Clay Fall Festival, which will be held at Clay-Chalkville High School’s football field on Nov. 2 at 6 p.m. The free event will included inflatables, hay rides, photo booths, carnival booths, free food and drinks, and more.
“If anybody has a business that would like to have a booth, you can get with me and we’ll make that happen,” Johnson said.
At the end of the meeting, the council and mayor moved into an executive session to discuss upcoming litigation.
In her motion to move into executive session, Councilor Becky Johnson asked that City Attorney Alan Summers would also attend.
“This is a proper procedure and I will attend the meeting,” Summers said.
The next council meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Clay City Hall, with a pre-council session preceding the meeting at 6 p.m.