By Crystal McGough, copy editor
PINSON – The Pinson City Council held a first reading of its proposed 2019-2020 fiscal year budget at the regular council meeting on Thursday, June 6.
The proposed budget is in the amount of $3,375,000. Last year’s budget was $3,723,000. The year-to-date city expenses for the 2018-2019 fiscal year are $3,496,651, and the year-end projection is set at $3,999,559.
“The year-end projected, there’s always places where you’re a little over or a little under,” Mayor Hoyt Sanders said. “The budget was $3.7 (million), the projected is almost $4 (million), probably mostly due to the extra items we’ve done at the Rock School.”
Sanders said that the difference between last year’s budget and the new budget mostly has to do with the money the city had saved over a long period of time for the Rock School project, which is the new location of the Pinson Public Library.
“Last year we budgeted to dip into savings for the Rock School project, $400,000, which goes away,” he said. “This year, we actually have budgeted $200,000 to go back into savings. We’ve been saving for quite some time to do the library.”
Sanders said that the next two years will be a period of replenishing the city’s savings.
In other news, the council members gave their support for the mayor to sign the Jefferson County Coalition of Mayors’ Good Neighbor Pledge, a pledge stating that each mayor in the county agrees not to “actively pursue a business to move from its current location in Jefferson County to (another) municipality.”
“It is a pledge, it’s not a contract,” Sanders said. “We all want to be good neighbors and what the Mayors’ Association has looked at is that other regions in our state and in our country that are far surpassing our metro area on growth and quality of life issues have similar programs, where they try to work together rather than pull and poach from one another. So that’s really the root of this, looking at some other metro areas in the country and seeing how we can better work together.”
While mayors do not require council approval to sign the pledge, Sanders asked the council for their will and direction, and a motion was passed unanimously to approve the mayor to sign the pledge.
“I think it’s a good effort,” Councilor John Churchwell said.
Councilor Dawn Tanner pointed out that the pledge does not prevent new businesses from coming into the city, and Sanders added that it does not prohibit the city from requesting businesses to add a new location in the city of Pinson.
Additionally, the council passed Resolution 19-21, appointing, recognizing and confirming six members to the Pinson Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Tanner abstained from the vote, as she was one of the members being appointed to the board.
Upon acceptance of the appointments, the members of the board will be Chris Ousley, Tinika Bryant, Breanna Evans, Mike Miles, Jon Garner, and Tanner will serve on the board as a non-voting, ex officio member, as well as the city council’s representative on the board. Each of the appointees will serve for a term to expire on June 30, 2020.
Under “New Business,” the council passed a motion to release funds to the city’s local fire departments. Center Point and Palmerdale fire departments will receive $12,500 each, and Glenwood will receive $500.
“We budget each year, $12-and-a-half thousand to give to our two fire districts, Center Point and Palmerdale,” Sanders said. “Glenwood has a few properties, so we give them $500.”
Sanders said that the city has helped the departments with specific projects during the last year, but these funds are unrestricted.
The council held a public hearing for a report from Planning and Zoning concerning the condition of the property at 6807 Briarwood Drive. The property is under new ownership and a representative, Annette Jackson, came to speak on behalf of the property.
“We acquired the property and we’re going to fix it up and make it presentable,” Jackson said. “We’ve done another project in that neighborhood and everybody’s been really happy. So most of the neighbors around there know me and they look forward to us cleaning that up.”
She said that she is expecting the improvements to the exterior to be finished in about three weeks and for the project to be completely finished in about two months.
The council agreed to allow a stay of action pending further progress on the property.
Upcoming Events in Pinson:
June 20 – City Council to recognize PVHS Special Olympians at the regular council meeting
July 3 – City Council meeting, moved from July 4 in honor of Independence Day
July 20 – Beat the Heat at Turkey Creek
Aug. 6 – National Night Out at Bicentennial Park
The next meeting of the Pinson City Council will be Thursday, June 20, 2019, at 7 p.m., following a pre-council session at 6:30 p.m. The council meets at Pinson City Hall.