Jellico board debates budget

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By Natasha Colbaugh

 The current budget cycle has already begun.

But Jellico lags behind other municipalities as it continue to debate expenses.

Last Thursday, the Jellico Board of Mayor and Aldermen should have passed the budget in the second and final reading for the 2010-11 fiscal year beginning July 1. But the board again debated the budget, deciding to meet in a workshop and special call meeting on Wednesday to at last finalize the revenues and expenditures.

A new tax rate is yet to be set by the board and a decision on giving a 50 cents an hour rate increase to employees is also yet to be decided. The rate increase would amount to $22,000 that is still not budgeted.

Depending on overtime, the amount could be more, according to Mayor Forster Baird.

Alderman Alvin Evans expressed his firm opinion to provide employee raises, opting to take the amount from the general fund.

The board continued to suggest needed equipment and vehicles for several departments.

“You could raise everybody’s taxes 50 cents and still not pay for it,” said Baird.

Alderman Mike Johnson listed off many vehicles needed by the departments.

“There is not enough money in the budget to do everything you want to do,” said Baird.

The board continued its debate over the budget, but reached no conclusive decisions.

In other business the board approved the appropriation of $3,400 to repair a ditch on Siler Street. Also, the purchase of sod for the little league infield meant installing an irrigation system and repairs for $3,000, said Johnson. Johnson said the county is purchasing the sod.

“If we are going to do it we have a small window to do it,” said Johnson.

The board also approved the appropriation of $3,000 for irrigation and repairs to the little league field.