Council member Tracy Bailey reported the findings of a committee designed to reduce the costs of the city’s phone bills.
“We can reduce from six phone lines to four phone lines. We can also combine our invoices to make it less complicated and cost less,” Bailey said. “The total savings will be about $240 month.”
The council accepted the recommendation that was presented by the committee.
Bailey also asked about the amount of money that has been saved by reducing the number of police officers in the city.
Collier said the city is saving approximately $2,700 per month.
Council member Anne Carr later inquired about a $5 assessment fee that has been applied to the residents of Lynch.
“I know part of that fee goes to the insurance of our employees, and the other was initially used to defer the cost of an extra police officer, which we no longer have,” Carr said. “I remember some of the citizens asking where the rest of the $5 is going.”
“We had been using that to pay for one payment, or two weeks, of Taylor’s (Hall) salary. It’s not going for anything other than the police department,” Collier responded.
Carr asked how much of the assessment fee was being used to pay for the insurance of city employees.
Collier said $2.27 out of each $5 assessment fee was used for the insurance.
During the meeting there was also a first reading to the city’s budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.
“The budget for this year was $733,216. Your estimate for the budget next year is $607,848. You can see that is a pretty drastic cut,” Collier said.
The council agreed to review the budget and report back during the next regularly scheduled council meeting in June.
Collier also reported on the 2007-2008 fiscal year.
“The fiscal year of 2007-2008 has been successful in some areas of operations,” he said. “However, with the discovery of unpaid taxes and numerous delinquent bills from prior administrations, it has presented the utmost strain not only on the budget, but also on the inflow of revenue.”
Collier recommended a property tax increase of 4 percent on an annual basis, and a 3 percent wage increase for all employees. He also said that an exploration into new revenue should be sought to bring the city out of debt and into the future.
Collier later said the city’s sewer plant has experienced several setbacks during the previous week. He said the plant was issued a citation for waste that was dumped into Looney Creek and said the various malfunctions have already cost the city several thousand dollars.