EARLY — Following Tuesday’s public hearing regarding a 1-cent reduction in property tax, the Early City Council is expected to pass its $6.8 million budget during its Sept. 18 meeting.
The council will meet one more time Aug. 28 as it enters the final phase of its budget process and hold the final public hearing before making a final vote on whether to drop property tax rates by 1 cent.
“They will hear any public comments on that. The budget and tax rates will go for finalization Sept. 18,” Aaron said. “The budget is coming together pretty well. It’s a little over $6.8 million. The revenues are up around 8 percent from last year and our expenditures are actually down 1 percent from last year.”
Aaron said the 2019 general fund budget would remain the same, with the exception of adding a third firefighter for each shift. In regard to the capital fund, he does not expect any major expenses and will focus much of 2019’s budget on wrapping up ongoing projects.
“We’re putting in around $300,000 in street improvements and that has been a continuing trend we have done over the last several years with crack seal and seal coat of several streets,” Aaron said. “Most of this budget is about wrapping up projects that are ongoing. The visitor and event center is still under construction so we’re getting that project wrapped up and the basketball court at McDonald Park, which is about to be in construction, we’ll be trying to wrap that up through the next year. In the area of water and sewer, we’re looking at doing a sewer project near the Crescent Street so we’re in the planning phases of that right now. It will probably in the later part next year that we will actually look at doing construction on that.”
During Tuesday meeting, city councilors also held an executive session to conduct Aaron’s annual evaluation. Considering Early has experienced an economic boon this year with a slew of new businesses and housing projects, Aaron said his evaluation went well.
“The council stated they were pleased with the direction we were going and what was happening through my administration and our staff. I’m blessed to work for a council and a community that is forward thinking,” Aaron said.
Early city councilmen also:
Amended its flood damage prevention and protection ordinance.
Received a presentation by Enterprise Lease Program.
Held its second budget review.