Mayor Butch Berry acknowledged department heads and council Monday for their budget discipline the past 18 months since he imposed a spending freeze. He said revenues this year are below expectations but so are expenses, and it appears the city is $490,000 in the black.
He said sewer is still running in the red, and utilities are higher than expected. He also found out the state will not allow the city to partner with anyone to construct a solar farm on a sunny spot on one of our hills. However, the Transit Department is getting solar arrays at their main depot, so their electrical expenses will continue to reduce over time.
Berry said he would ask Finance Director Lonnie Clark to present a schedule for accelerating payments on the water and sewer bonds so council is aware of the plan.
As for repairing the main water leaks, Berry said staffing at Public Works has been a problem, but Director Dwayne Allen has identified where to find the main leaks.
Aldermen will discuss the proposed 2018 budget at the next workshop.