MASON — Mason Town Council members passed a general municipal budget of $468,810 for the upcoming fiscal year, during their most recent meeting.
Mayor Donna Dennis said revenue for the 2018/2019 year, which begins July 1, will be decreasing by approximately $30,000. Most of the cuts to realize that loss will come from city hall, the police department, streets, and parks and recreation.
The city hall line item was decreased from the present budget amount of $118,264 to $110,016, while the police department will lose over $12,000, going from $247,385 to $235,000. The street budget will go from $46,089 to $35,000, and parks and recreation will fall from $35,588 to $33,244.
Proposed budgets for the water and sewer departments will be voted on in the coming weeks.
Although revenues are expected to decline, the council agreed to give pay raises of 75 cents per hour, across the board, to all town, water and sewer employees. The increases are effective immediately. It was noted that some of the workers have not had pay increases since 2015.
In other action, the council:
Approved $45,127.40 in sewer project funding to be submitted for reimbursement, as presented by Kathy Elliott of Region II Planning and Development;
Gave permission to employee Travis Nance to attend the Wastewater I class March 26-30, with the town to pay for the class, plus mileage;
Heard a report from the mayor that a sidewalk project pre-bid meeting will be held March 20, and bids will be opened March 29;
Agreed to allow the mayor to sign an asset management agreement for the wastewater project, as well as a fair housing proclamation;
Approved the purchase of two banners from the Wahama Athletic Boosters, at $100 each, for the baseball and softball fields;
Held the first reading of an amended animal ordinance, which increases the penalty amounts, and designates 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. as a “quiet time” for animals;
Agreed to purchase a new Durango with police package, at a cost of $24,691, from Dutch Miller in South Charleston ($9,614 of the funds will come from a recent insurance settlement involving a wrecked police car, and the remainder from the police budget); and,
Agreed to allow the police department to purchase a used car for up to $6,000.
Attending were Mayor Dennis, and council members Becky Pearson, Marty Yeager, and Sharon Kearns.
The next meeting will be April 5 at 6:30 p.m.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.