Jan 26, 2014

City Council approves over $20 million in appropriations

BY RYAN BERRY

MANAGING EDITOR
GREENVILLE – With a unanimous vote Greenville City Council approved over $20 million in appropriations for 2014. The appropriations include all general and enterprise fund (primarily capital improvement projects) accounts. The city will consider appropriations for the park, pool and special park funds at a later date. Total appropriations approved on Jan. 21 were $20,052,293.58

While there were a few funds that weren’t included in the appropriations, the administration and council did include a two percent wage increase for non-union employees in the 2014 ordinance. Council also unanimously approved an ordinance authorizing the increase.

In a report to council from the finance committee, Tracy Tryon, committee chairman, said, “The first line of this report says what this body is here for to ‘demonstrate the sound fiscal responsibility and prudence of management of the city’s financial resources.’” The administration and department heads were commended for bringing a balanced budget to council.

According to Mayor Michael Bowers, with the street department taking over many of the duties this past year work continues on determining how much money will be needed to fund those account lines. Tryon added, “We pulled the park, special park and pool out because that area we need to reign in and get under control so we can give the citizens of this community the bang for their buck in that area.” He continued, “The parks are a showcase for our city and we want to keep them that way, but we also want to keep them fiscally responsible for all of the activities that go on there.”

With the appropriations approved, the mayor asked for a meeting with the Capital Improvement Allocation Committee to begin discussion on the use of capital improvement funds.

Mayor Bowers will also soon be introducing a new way to open a line of community between residents and the city. Beginning on Feb. 25, the city will hold its first quarterly ward meeting. The time and place is yet to be determined, but plans are to meet with residents of the first ward on that date. Bowers pointed out the council member representing each ward will be involved with their respective ward meetings. At large council members will be invited to all ward meetings.

Council also expressed its support for a project to control the feral and stray cat problem introduced by the Darke County Humane Society. Safety/Service Director Curt Garrison explained the program and touted the benefits, including controlling the populations, cutting down on the number of calls his office will handle and zero cost to the city for its implementation. The Humane Society will seek grants, donations and reduced fees for service. They believe it will cost approximately $5,000 to begin the program.

In other business, council:

* learned the police department is getting closer to hiring a new police officer and dispatcher;

* learned residents are responding to the safety/service director’s plea to schedule appointments for water meter installation;

* learned 28 resumes of been received for the Clerk of Council position; and

* heard a report from Susan Spires, of DP&L, that Watt Hour Meters to determine how much your appliances are costing you are available for check out at the Greenville, New Madison and Arcanum Public Libraries.

The next regular meeting of Greenville City Council will be Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m., Council Chambers.

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