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Cookeville Passes Final Budget Amendments Of Year

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Cookeville Passes Final Budget Amendments Of Year

Cookeville City Council passed a handful of budget amendments Thursday night in preparation for the 2023-2024 fiscal year-end.

Finance Director Brenda Imel said the ordinance includes amendments to five funds. She said $660,000 has been added to the State Street Aid Fund Balance to cover any paving the city completes before June 30. She said the Solid Waste Fund, Animal Control Fund, and Quality of Life Fund would also be amended.

“Most of them are housekeeping-type items to prevent us from ending the fiscal year with expenditures exceeding the budget for our audit report,” Imel said. “So, for the general fund, the ordinance increases the budgeted revenue by $2.2 million. We anticipate sales tax to exceed the original budget by about $380,000.”

The General Fund amendment includes some $911,000 in total expenditures, leaving the General Fund with a net increase of some $1.2 million. The expenditures include grant matches for the police department, wages and benefits, and capital equipment.

“Also during the year, we had a couple of retirements, workers comp claims, four trucks in the police department that were not in the original budget, and we’ve got a leaking roof at the depot museum that we’re currently getting bids on,” Imel said.

An MOU for state opioid abatement funds with Cookeville Regional Medical Center accounts for another expenditure of some $160,000, and a contribution to the construction of Rosebud Villiage tacks on another $250,000. The Public Works Department will jump some $411,000, largely due to $400,000 the city budgeted for a garbage truck that was not purchased. Imel said the city has two trucks budgeted for next year.

“For the Animal Control Fund, budgeted revenue is increasing by $57,000 and includes interest on deposits of $32,000 and spay and neuter fees of $25,000,” Imel said.

The city will also budget $25,000 for repairs and maintenance at Dogwood Park. Council Member Eric Walker said he is glad to have everything squared away for the year’s end.

“I appreciate all your hard work on this,” Walker said. “I know you’ve put a lot of hard work into our city’s budget and it’s good to have everything in order and good housekeeping.”

Cookeville City Council voted to approve an increase to water and sewer rates. Water and Sewer Quality Control Department Barry Turner said capital costs have increased nearly double since 2018. He said operational costs have also risen, including a $1 million increase in chemical costs in just a two-year period.

He said for a typical customer, a monthly bill for water and sewer combined would increase from some $70 to some $80. He said he plans to increase the base rate by another $1 each year through 2027. City Manager James Mills said the city still charges the same amount or less than most nearby cities of similar size.

“We’re not out of line with other cities,” Mills said. “I think that’s important.”

In other business, the council authorized City Manager James Mills to property for industrial development, jointly with Putnam County. Mills will work alongside Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter to bring a total price or price per acre to the council within 30 days of any such agreement. Mills offered no comment on the location or potential purpose of the land.

The council also passed an ordinance on second reading to amend the city’s zoning code for a new Medical Services designation.

Economic and Community Development Director Jon Ward said the change will delete current provisions for methadone clinics and similar facilities, and add provisions for regional medical services as a special exception or use permitted upon appeal in the Medical Services Zoning District.

Ward said that in February, the Cookeville Planning Commission denied a request to rezone 1225 South Willow Avenue from Commercial Industrial mixed-use to Medical Services for a potential non-residential treatment center for opioid addiction.


The post Cookeville Passes Final Budget Amendments Of Year appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.