Lynch Mayor John Adams is trying to craft a budget that will trim expenses for the upcoming year. Delaying raises for employees is a good first step all council members agreed.
At a special called meeting of the Lynch City Council on Tuesday, a first reading of the 2014-2015 budget was completed.
“Right now I can’t see giving anyone a raise,” said councilman Winston Yeary.
Adams said the city will “just break even” if they tighten their belts, allow no raises and keep the $10 assessment fee, which was approved by the council in December 2013.
Asking how the insurance premium tax has been helping the city since it was assessed in 2013, councilman Carl Collins said he is “looking forward to seeing the final amount they receive from this tax for the year.”
“As of right now, and we still have one more quarter for the year to receive funds, we have gotten $24,980,” said Clerk Erica Eldridge. “Just seeing the pattern from what we have been receiving I’m estimating we’ll get about $6,000 more for the year.”
Adams told council members one of the biggest things the city is looking at for the coming year is stipulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for repairs and updates to their water and sewer plants.
“We’ve spent at the water plant, including grant money, not including weatherization, but replacing pumps and other things we were required to do, about $60,000,” said Adams. “The EPA gave us so many months at the sewer plant to put inflow and outflow meters in, get drying beds working, fix cracked pipes, put automatic sampling machines in. So, we took the $25,000 we got in coal severance funds from this past fiscal year, plus $3,000 more and we’re still going to be $3,000 to $4,000 short. I’ve got to come up with about $8,000 for the automatic samplers and now the EPA said we have to put meters on all the filters.”
Adams said all the extra money from the assessment and insurance premium fees will be used to make the EPA required updates and improvements to the city’s water and sewer plants.
“If we didn’t have to make all these improvements the city would be running good,” said Adams.
A second reading of the budget will be held at a special called meeting on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at city hall.
In other council action:
* Tabled accepting a new business lease proposal submitted by Sandy Bowman for the Big Store in Lynch;
* Tabled discussion on a burn ban ordinance until the fire chief can go over a sample copy presented to council members and make changes he would like to see in the ordinance. It was suggested the ordinance have a fine of $250 for anyone violating the ordinance after it is put in place. Adams said Lynch is a heavily wooded area and any fire, big or small, poses a threat to homes in the area.
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-909-4147 or on Twitter @Nola_hde