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Fri, Nov 28, 2014

County continues budget review

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The county's Budget Committee held its third meeting to review the 2010-2011 budget Thursday night.

Both Roads and Solid Waste funds reviewed ask for budget increases for next year.

Road Superintendent James Williams is requesting $121,485 more than last year's $9,356,150.

Williams said the county is beginning the process of bringing all road name signs and stop signs in compliance with what he called "another unfunded mandate."

"We have to increase the size of the stop sign and road name sign," Williams told the committee. "Probably the next year's budget will have to increase considerably more than that."

According to Williams, Rutherford County uses engineer grade road signs. New federal guidelines require 30 inch stop signs and road name signs with six inch letters.

The new federally mandated reflective material can be seen three times as far away as current signs. The change needs to be completed by 2015.

In the Solid Waste and Sanitation budget, Mayor Burgess expressed polite concern over growing costs.

"Contracts with private agencies again has increased by $40K. Engineering services has increased by $47,500, and testing has increased $5,000," Mayor Burgess explained. "We're going to have to do some remedial review in engineering to determine how we continue to properly maintain this and keep this in compliance."

Solid Waste and Landfill Director Mac Nolen requested $3,381,474. Some funds will buy a new truck to help the county take over hauling its own recycling. The county's contract for those services end in July.

The most interesting funds requested would help bring the county in compliance with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The funds would create a second collector well for leachate that is not being collected on one side of Middlepoint Landfill.

"The main thing is it must be done," Mayor Burgess reminded the committee. "We had a meeting with TDEC an we must develop a plan and we are developing a plan."

In a review of the Debt Services fund budget request, Finance Director Lisa Nolen told committee members not to hold her to numbers she presented in earlier meetings.

"Y'all give me a little leeway when we come back to you to present all the budgets again because I may need a little more than $3 million."

Nolen explained that in order to move expenditures she'll need a higher than expected fund balance.

On the "flip side," Nolen said, "sales tax for schools came in 3 1/2 or 3 1/4 higher than the same month a year ago, so that's positive."

The full commission will vote on the budget June 28.
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