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Caryville's $1M projecting higher revenues

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By Brent Schanding

CARYVILLE—Officials here approved a $1 million operating budget Monday night that earmarks an estimated $59,000 in state road-paving projects. 

Nearly $436,000 of the funds are allocated to cover salaries and expenses for 13 government workers employed by the town. 

The budget, effective July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, was passed 6-1 without any last-minute comment from the public or town officials.  

“I think the budget looks really good,” said Caryville Mayor Chris Stanley in an interview with The Press after Monday’s vote. “We tried to put everything in the plan that the city needs.”

Stanley said the plan balances the town’s budget and reduces garbage fees for service users from $12 to $10 a month — its previous rate.  

But at least one alderwoman expressed displeasure about the budget shortly following its approval.  

“I didn’t think it was in the best interest of the community,” said Vickie Heatherly, the lone dissenter on the budget. 

After Monday night’s vote, Heatherly contended there were some good items in the budget. She wouldn’t cite specific reasons for voting against it. 

Nevertheless, Stanley said he’s optimistic about the town’s finances, citing improved revenue streams from several industries and businesses that largely operate along Caryville’s Interstate 75 exchanges. 

The town projects about $688,500 from local tax revenues in its 2013-14 budget. That’s up more than $33,000 from the previous year — and $115,000 from 2011. 

“I do believe things are looking up in the town,” Stanley said. 

An expansion at Matix Corp. could bring an additional 100 additional jobs to the area. Three undisclosed industries are also flirting with multi-million dollar investments near I-75 exit 141, Stanley said. 

“It’s pretty hot up there right now,” he said. 

The town is also anticipating the opening of new retailer Dollar General, as well as a Holiday Inn Express & Suites, which opens this week at I-75 exit 134.

Tax bases provided by other hotels in the area are also improving, Stanley said. 

“People are traveling more than last year,” he said. “And the revenue that’s coming in [from I-75] now is better.” 

While the town would like to lure a major restauranteur to the area, Stanley said it’s been limited by the availability of prime land near I-75. 

Without owning the land, he said the town is unable to offer incentives that could help lure an anchor restaurant or retailer to the area

“Anything we can put in Caryville would help our revenue,” he said.