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Jellico passes balanced budget for 2009-10

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By Charlotte Underwood

The Jellico Mayor and Aldermen passed a balanced budget for the 2009-10 year in a brief special called meeting on Tuesday night.

The budget was passed quickly and with little discussion, as there were not many changes from last year’s budget.

No increases or extra costs were passed onto the citizens of Jellico. There had been some discussion about raising the property tax by 5 cents, but the mayor and aldermen did not want to raise rates on the citizens, they said.

The property tax rate will remain at $1.20.

The total projected revenues for the 2009-10 budget are $2,153,062, with the total expenditures equaling the same.

The main changes included in this budget are the allowance for raises in certain areas, though they have yet to be determined and allotted. The budget also included employee bonuses, but in what manner these bonuses will be doled out has not yet been decided.

The budget also allowed for the hiring of a fourth street department employee.

Finance commissioner and Vice Mayor Mike Johnson asked if the town could cut costs by having the street department do all the mowing in the town. Jellico currently hires out some portions of mowing.

“We just can’t keep up with it all Mike; we’ve got so much mowing and brush that we just can’t keep up with it without hiring someone,” street commissioner Alvin Evans said.

The budget was passed and a special-called meeting was scheduled to discuss bonuses and pay raises on Sept. 8 at 6 p.m.

“I feel good about the budget and the fact that there was no reason to raise property taxes,” Johnson commented after the meeting.

“We’ve controlled a lot of expenses since this administration has come into office and that’s allowed us to put some money in the coffers which is great,” Johnson said.