Leitchfield talks 2014-15 budget

By Matt Lasley mlasley@civitasmedia.com

June 3, 2014

The City of Leitchfield recently announced its plans to take on a number of new City projects in the next fiscal year.

During the regularly scheduled Monday, June 2 Leitchfield City Council meeting, Mayor William Thomason presented his message regarding the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year budget, which for the first time since 2007 offers a balanced budget with a proposed net income of $9,984.

Thomason said that when the budget committee - consisting of City Councilmembers Kelly Stevenson, Margaret Fey, and Margie Decker - received its first copy of the budget, there was an approximately $101,000 deficit to resolve.

After meeting with department heads and analyzing their needs, the deficit became an even larger $770,000, Thomason said.

At this point, the budget committee, Thomason, and the department heads began the process of cutting the budget to balance it.

“Unfortunately, there was no department untouched by those budget cuts,” said Thomason.

City officials and employees spent more than 15 hours formulating and balancing the budget, Stevenson said.

“We took it line for line to give everybody something they needed,” Decker said.

By the time the proposed budget was completed, however, funds still remained to proceed with a number of projects and investments in the coming fiscal year, including improvements to Shull White Road, Shaw Station Road, and James D. Beville City Park.

The City has also budgeted the purchase of new equipment for the Public Works Department and two new vehicles for the Leitchfield Police Department.

“We believe these projects and investments are crucial to continue operations and provide a safe environment for our citizens,” Thomason said.

Following Thomason's message, City Finance Officer Erin Embry gave the first reading of the proposed 2014-2015 Fiscal Year budget, which the City Council approved.

In other business:

*City Attorney Kenneth Smart provided the first reading of the Vacant Property Ordinance, which intends “to establish a vacant residential property registration and maintenance program as a mechanism to protect neighborhoods and minimize hazards to persons and property as a result of the vacancy.”

The City Council approved the first reading of the Vacant Property Ordinance.

*The City Council approved the $9,000 bid from Little Mac's Construction, of Morgantown, for the replacement of half of the City transfer station floor.

Little Max Construction provided the only bid for the project.

*The City Council approved bids for concrete materials from IMI and excavation from Budco for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year.

If the bidders are unable to provide the service/product, the City reserves the right to purchase from the other bidder, but this must be noted on the signed ticket.

*The City Council passed a motion to upgrade to the City website and keep its official ky.gov site at the cost of $3,468.

*Kevin Pharis presented his letter of resignation as head of the Leitchfield Girls Softball League to the City. The letter was read by Thomason and approved by the City Council.

*The City Council approved the renewal of the City's health insurance plan for the 2014-2015 Fiscal Year.

The rate increased by five percent, and there was also a five percent tax increase with the plan; however, the deductible remains the same, and minimal change was made regarding coverage.

“It's a good plan,” Embry said.

*The City Council authorized the sale of surplus property - a pool slide, pool diving board, ADA pool lift, and five pool ladders - on govdeals.com.

*The City Council approved the first reading of the 2013-2014 Fiscal Year Amended Budget.

*The City Council approved the re-appointments of Mark Smith and Joyce Mudd to the Leitchfield Tourism Commission for the July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2017 term.