MASON — The Mason Town Council voted to accept the 2017-18 town budget, as presented in a special session held Friday.
With an anticipated increase in income, due mostly to Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes, several departments will also see increases in their individual budgets.
The town foresees the B&O taxes increasing an estimated $49,000 next year. Other income expected to increase are property taxes, excise tax on utilities, wine and liquor taxes, franchise fees, and gaming and video lottery income.
Due to those increases, additional funding next year will go to the police department, city hall, streets, and parks and recreation.
The police department budget will go up by $35,525, going from $211,860 this year, to $247,385 next year. City hall funding will increase from $107,672 to $118,264, up by $10,592. Street spending will increase an additional $13,089, going from $33,000 to $46,089. The parks and recreation budget will increase from $20,000 to $35,588, or by $15,588.
The total budget went from the current $420,482 to $499,376 next year.
Also approved was the coal severance fund budget, with the anticipated income remaining the same as the current year at $3,005. Coal severance funds are spent in either streets or parks and recreation.
Two budget revisions for the current year were also approved, placing an additional $70,000 into the police department from the general fund, and over $9,300 into the street department. They were presented by Recorder Ciji Casto.
In other action, the council:
Approved the total lease/loan amount to Farmers Bank for the new 2016 police vehicle at $25,547;
Approved equipment from Tri-County Emergency Lighting of Point Pleasant for the new police vehicle;
Approved the purchase of tires for the police department Ford Escape from Sassafras Tires;
Heard a report from Mayor Donna Dennis that Pullins Excavating will begin renovating the park restrooms next week; and,
Heard a report that Officer J.L. Higginbotham will be leaving for the police academy in April.
Attending were Mayor Dennis, Recorder Casto, and council members Marty Yeager, Becky Pearson and Sharon Kearns.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at email@example.com.